As this was the last meeting of the year we decided to have lunch at Scarlet before the book club meeting and we all greatly enjoyed the Nyetimber lunch for locals. This perhaps assisted to the discussions of the classic books The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemmingway and Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy.
It was generally agreed that both books were well written and worth reading. However, some members felt that Hemmingway’s persona unduly infiltrated his novel – it felt like a very masculine book – and others missed the lack of much description of human relationships. This was not the case with Jude, which many saw as a somewhat revolutionary novel, bearing in mind when it was written. In Jude Hardy exposed the turbulent undercurrent in Victorian life and challenged the ideals of the establishment and orthodox religion as well as giving insights into the difficulties that women faced in trying to break out of the confining roles permitted to them by the patriarchal society in which they lived. Most agreed that, although a bleak and harrowing tale, Jude was a book they would recommend to others.
As Scarlet hotel is closed in January there will be a private meeting of the book club at a member’s home in January and the club will resume at Scarlet in February 2015.
New members are always welcome – if you wish to know more, please email Judith at: Jkaylit@hotmail.com