By the time you are reading this magazine, the Church Book Club will have held two meetings in 2017. For the first, we had read a book by Margaret Forster entitled ‘My Life in Houses’. This we generally felt to be an enjoyable, evocative and a new way of writing autobiography. The author had died recently and several of us had been attracted to her writings through reading obituaries of her.

With early roots in Carlisle and a lifelong attachment to the Lake District she had decided to tell of her childhood, her student days and her education, her long marriage to her husband and the raising of their family and, of course, her own very successful career as a writer through vivid and intimate pictures of the homes they had created and lived-in.

Particularly strong memories remain for me of the home they created in north London which in later life was shared with another much-loved property in the Lakes. We enjoyed discussing our own memories of and feelings for houses in which we had lived. Place is very important in our lives as human beings and each of us had a story to share.

We took this opportunity as well to share some Lenten poetry. We were perhaps surprised at how sparse the choice was, especially in contrast to Christmas and Easter. As ever, that wonderful magazine ‘Magnet’ came to our rescue and provided us with some more recent gems.

The second meeting has to take place at the time of writing this article. We are busy though reading two books - the novel ‘Exposure’ by Helen Dunmore and a book of devotional writing, but in a very modern vein, called ‘Accidental Saints’. I suspect there will be more to say about this one in the next magazine.

Our early summer reading will include ‘Golden Hill’ by the British writer Francis Spufford and ‘My Name is Lucy Barton’ by Elizabeth Strout. Both novels are set in America and they might give us the opportunity to reflect upon current events in that country as well as enjoying two very good stories.

We really would welcome with open arms anyone who would like to try out our group. Do come if you are interested! The dates are clearly published on the Church web site, in the Church notices or can be obtained from me (01772 863791).

Ken Wales