I’ve just read The Death of Lucy Kyte by Nicola Upson and attended my first ever Reading Group meeting.
The book is a cleverly structured and utterly absorbing work of fiction based on the real Suffolk Red Barn Murder of working class Maria Marten by her upper class lover, William Corder in 1827.
The book is set in the 1930s and the main character is Josephine Tey, who inherits a cottage from her godmother, close to the site of where the murder took place. Josephine Tey is based on a real person of that name, a playwright and novelist from the inter-war years.
The story revolves around the cottage and its previous occupants. One of whom is Josephine’s godmother and the other a young woman, who was Maria’s fictional best friend.
I loved the twists and turns, the evocative descriptions of 1930s England and the concept of a story within a story. It’s spooky, atmospheric and highly readable!
The Reading Group has just been formed at a local library and I have volunteered to help with it, along with another lady. Neither of us has experience of any other reading group and everyone around the table just put forward their general feelings about the book (and it was interesting to hear the views of those who weren’t as impressed as me).
But I’d like to hear from all you experienced book group members out there. Do you have a structure to your meetings? Do you go through a list of points for discussion? Does someone lead the meeting or is it a free for all?
It would be good to know how to get the best out of these meetings so that everyone goes away satisfied that they’ve had their say and maybe learned something from what others have said.