This month, I was the host and gave the members of the book group their three choices. 'American Gods' by Neil Gaiman (I have read this already and think it's brilliant!), Evelyn Waugh's 'The Loved One' and, the one they all plumped for, 'The Snow Child', a first novel by Eowyn Ivey.
This is a really beautiful novel, the author captures the wilderness and stillness of Alska perfectly. And portrays the ache in the hearts of the main protagonists, Jack and Mabel for a child of their own with a tenderness and emotional depth.
One day an ethereal child arrives, seemingly out of nowhere, reminding Mabel of her favourite fairy tale 'The Snow Child', about a girl made of snow who magically comes to life.
Watch the video below tho get an impression of the feel and mood of the book.
Fortunately, after The Finkler Disaster (see here), everyone really enjoyed this book, we had a good discussion and opinion varied about Faina (the child) from realistic explanations to the magical. There were a few problems about the book that were raised, but they were minor and didn't detract from the rest of the novel, but I would urge you to read it yourself and make your own mind up.
We gave it an average of 8 1/2 with a few 9s thrown in for good measure.
Mabel bakes pies to earn extra money, and one of the pies she makes is a dried apple pie. I decided to come up with my own version. I bought some ready made puff pastry (because really who has time to make their own?) I stewed two cooking apples with plenty of brown sugar then place them on top of the rolled out pastry. I then arranged dried apple slices on top of the puree and brushed them with some maple syrup. (Now I must admit that the dried apples burnt to a crisp, so once the pie had baked I took off the first lot, added the bits left in the bag and placed it under the grill to brown a little.) No-one knew though and it went down a treat.
The host also provides nibbles, so I thought you may like to see the savouries I provided (no-one ever has tea before book club).
We are having an informal meeting over the summer in a pub somewhere and reading a book I can't mention, as my Mum will be reading this! (But it involves vampires.)
Previous book club cake of the month;