The Book Club meets on the second Thursday of the month. Doors open at 7 pm for light refreshment and the discussion starts at 7.30 pm.
Our next meeting will be on Thurs June 8th when we will be discussing ‘;Work Like Any Other’ by Virginia Reeves. Introduction to the book and discussion questions are on the next two tabs.
In this astonishingly accomplished, morally complicated, “exceptional and starkly beautiful debut” (Kevin Powers, National Book Award–nominated author of The Yellow Birds), a prideful electrician in 1920s rural Alabama struggles to overcome past sins and find peace after being sent to prison for manslaughter.
Roscoe T Martin set his sights on a new type of power spreading at the start of the twentieth century: electricity. It became his training, his life’s work. But when his wife, Marie, inherits her father’s failing farm, Roscoe has to give up his livelihood, with great cost to his sense of self, his marriage, and his family. Realizing he might lose them all if he doesn’t do something, he begins to use his skills as an electrician to siphon energy from the state, ushering in a period of bounty and happiness. Even the love of Marie and their child seem back within Roscoe’s grasp.
Then a young man working for the state power company stumbles on Roscoe’s illegal lines and is electrocuted, and everything changes: Roscoe is arrested; the farm once more starts to deteriorate; and Marie abandons her husband, leaving him to face his twenty-year sentence alone. Now an unmoored Roscoe must carve out a place at Kilby Prison. Climbing the ranks of the incarcerated from dairy hand to librarian to “dog boy,” an inmate who helps the guards track down escapees, he is ultimately forced to ask himself once more if his work is just that, or if the price of his crimes—for him and his family—is greater than he ever let himself believe.
Gorgeously spare and brilliantly insightful, Work Like Any Other is “a striking debut about love and redemption, the heavy burdens of family and guilt, and learning how to escape them…Virginia Reeves is a major new talent” . Discussion questions on the next tab.
Discussion Questions : Work Like Any other
1. Did you find it easy to get into this book? Did it hold your attention?
2. What did you make of Roscoe T Martin as a character? Was he likeable? Were his actions defenceable?
3. What did you make of Marie his wife? Did she have redeeming features?
4. Compare Roscoe’s character with that of his wife. How would you describe their relationship?
5. What does the book say about family relationships and obligations between family members?
6. Did you care about the lesser characters, did you find them convincing? If so which?
7. How would you describe the prison relationships?
8. Is the plot spoilt by the time changes? Would you have preferred a linear story? Or did you find that the weaving together of past and present helped you to understand the characters’ motivation better?
9. What does the book have to say about a) capital punishment? b) race?
10. What did you think of the quality of writing?
11. The book has been compared with the film, ’The Shawshank Redemption’. Do you think it is derivative or do you think Virginia Reeve has a different perspective?
12. Several reviewers have said they were disappointed with the ending? Would you agree?
These are the provisional choices for 2017: titles suggested by members! They are not set in stone and may change according to availability of the book at the time.
Provisional titles for Spring and Summer 2017
Jan 12th Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain: Barney Norris
Feb 9th Skyfaring: Mark Vanhoenaker
March 9th His Bloody Project : Graeme Macrae Burnet
April 27th 10th Anniversary dinner out (NB NOT 2nd Thurs of month. Further details below)
May 11th The Plot Against America: Philip Roth
June 8th Work like any other: Virginia Reeves
July 13th Cry the Beloved Country : Alan Paton
BOOK CLUB NIGHT OUT
On April 27th we will be celebrating 10 years of the Linghams Book Club with a meal out at 107 Dining Room (provisionally booked) in Heswall. Please keep the date free and let us know by March 9th if you would like to be included.
PRICE: 2 courses @ £15.00 or 3 courses @ £20.00