Combs Book Club
Combs may have several book clubs so please let us know what yours is like. We meet in each others houses.
As our houses won’t hold any more people our membership is currently full, but we are delighted to share our thoughts on the books that we read with a wider audience and hear your thoughts too - you could become a "virtual" member!
See below for our book list. Hopefully you may find this helpful if you are looking for a good read.
Room by Emma Donoghue. This is a difficult book to review without giving the plot away! It is the story of 5 year old Jack, who lives in a locked room with his Ma. The story is told through Jack's innocent eyes, a story of unspeakable cruelty, but also with moments of humour. Read More
Time and Time Again by Ben Elton. A fascinating read. It has us believe that Sir Isaac Newton after his years of publishing his theories of gravity and force discovers a way to travel back in time. Read More
The Bees by Laline Paull. An unusual and interesting read focussing on the complexity and division of work within a bee hive. The main character is a female bee (Flora 717) whose status on hatching is defined by her body structure. From being identified initially as a lowly sanitation worker Flora is waylaid by a bee of superior rank and given the opportunity to progress through the system, somewhat haphazardly at times rather than by calculated choice. Read More
The Seven Streets of Liverpool by Maureen Lee. Pearl Street in Liverpool has already seen its share of drama and tragedy in the opening years of the War, but as the residents prepare for Christmas 1942, its spirit and friendship in adversity binds them closely together. Read More
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Liesel has been orphaned and is taken to live with a foster family near Munich. Her foster mother Rosa, takes in washing for local residents. Her husband, Hans, is a housepainter who comforts Liesel through her nightmares following the death of her brother on the train to Munich. Liesel steals books and with the help of her foster Papa, she learns to read them. Read More
In The Shade of a Willow by Chris Todhunter. In 1914 Philip Oakley is a young solicitor in Needham Market. The son of the local Rector, Philip is also a junior officer in the London Division of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. When war is declared, Philip is mobilised. But the Royal Navy has more than enough men for the Fleet, and Philip fears that his chances of seeing action are slim. Read More
The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier. Honor Bright is a sheltered Quaker who has rarely ventured out of 1850s Dorset when she impulsively emigrates to America. Opposed to the slavery that defines and divides the country, she finds her principles tested to the limit when a runaway slave appears at the farm of her new family. In this tough, unsentimental place, where whisky bottles sit alongside quilts, Honor befriends two spirited women who will teach her how to turn ideas into actions. Read More
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. This story is Pilgrim's Progress for the twenty-first century. A heart warming tale of Harold who finds himself on an epic journey almost by accident and by dint of his unassuming nature inspires the nation as he treks across country in his boating shoes. Read More
My Dear I Wanted To Tell You by Louisa Young. The story is set in 1907-18, around the second world war. Harold Gillies, the pioneering plastic surgeon, rebuilds the face of Riley Purefoy, a young soldier who suffers terrible facial injuries.Riley feels his girlfriend Nadine won`t cope with his injuries and so writes her a letter, it begins ‘My Dear I wanted to Tell You...’ Read More
The Time Traveler's Wife. At the beginning of the book, Clare meets Henry in the library when she was twenty and he was twenty eight. She tells him she has known him from the age of six and they go on a date. This is not however the usual relationship between two people, because when Clare first met Henry, at the age of six, Henry was thirty-six. Read More
The Two of Us by Sheila Hancock. John Thaw, star of ‘Inspector Morse’, died from cancer in 2002. In ‘The Two of Us’ the actress Sheila Hancock records their lives both before and after they met in 1969. Read More
The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey. The Daughter of Time is a 1951 detective novel by Josephine Tey, concerning a modern police officer's investigation into the alleged crimes of King Richard III of England. Alan Grant, Scotland Yard Inspector is feeling bored while confined to bed in hospital with a broken leg. He becomes intrigued by a portrait of King Richard III. King Richard seems to him a gentle and kind and wise man. Why is everyone so sure that he was a cruel murderer? Read More
The Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain. The novel is set in America with the timespan spreading across three decades leading up to the present time. The suicide of one of three close friends opens up a web of deceit and secret life that the other two had no idea about. Read More
House Rules by Jodi Picoult. The story is about Jacob, a teenager who has Aspergers Syndrome. When his tutor is found dead, all the hallmark behaviours of Jacob's syndrome - not looking someone in the eye, odd movements, inappropriate actions - start looking a lot like guilt to the police. And Jacob's mother has to ask herself whether her child is capable of murder. Read More
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. This novel is set in 2009 and is about a young lad called Will who had everything in life – money, good job, girlfriend when he had an accident and his life changed dramatically and in the process changed another family’s life too. Read More
Before I go to Sleep by S. J. Watson. The novel set in London and is a psychological thriller about a woman suffering from amnesia. She wakes every day with no knowledge of who she is and the novel follows her as she tries to reconstruct her memories from a journal she has been keeping. Read More
The Last English King by Julian Rathbone. This is a historical novel set around the battle of Hastings in1066. It revolves around Walt, a housecarl of Harold Godwinson the last Anglo Saxon king of England. He had fled England after Harolds defeat and had spent time travelling across Europe and Asia Minor. Struggling with the aftermath of war, the loss of his King and the end of Anglo Saxon England, he recounts his tale to his travelling companion Quint. Read More
The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O’Farrell. The novel is set in 1950s bohemian Soho and present day London. O’Farrell successfully moves the story between the two time frames with a final intriguing link between them. Lexie Sinclair a young, free spirited graduate escapes family life in Devon in the 1950s to make a new life in bustling bohemian Soho under the guidance of the flamboyant Innes Kent, a magazine editor who quickly becomes her lover. Read More
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Brave New World revolves around the idea of totalitarianism and is set in a futuristic world where a combination of science and pleasure form a rather feudalistic society. This idea of totalitarianism is achieved through test tube babies, and hypnotism, resulting in a pre-ordained caste system consisting of intelligent humans suited to the highest positions and conversely, serf-like beings genetically programmed to carry out menial works. Read More
Falling Angel by Tracy Chevalier. This is a fascinating story on several levels: the interactions between the upper and lower strata of the middle class at the turn of the century, reactions to the death of Queen Victoria and the new reign of Edward VII, and the development of the Suffragette movement. Read More