Do you have a passion for reading? Then why not join us every month, when we come together in reading and reviewing a wide selection of books. Our friendly sessions are the perfect way to meet like-minded readers and discover exciting new reads. We explore short stories, novels, non-fiction, poetry, and best sellers.
Friday 15th September – Marriage Portrait, Maggie O Farrell
Winter, 1561. Lucrezia, Duchess of Ferrara, is taken on an unexpected visit to a country villa by her husband, Alfonso. As they sit down to dinner it occurs to Lucrezia that Alfonso has a sinister purpose in bringing her here. He intends to kill her. Lucrezia is sixteen years old, and has led a sheltered life locked away inside Florence’s grandest palazzo. Here, in this remote villa, she is entirely at the mercy of her increasingly erratic husband. What is Lucrezia to do with this sudden knowledge? What chance does she have against Alfonso, ruler of a province, and a trained soldier? How can she ensure her survival. The Marriage Portrait is an unforgettable reimagining of the life of a young woman whose proximity to power places her in mortal danger.
Friday 20th October – The Other Side of Mrs Wood, Lucy Barker
Mrs Wood is London’s most celebrated medium. She’s managed to survive decades in the competitive world of contacting the Other Side, has avoided the dreaded slips that revealed others as frauds and is still hosting packed-out séances for Victorian high society. Yet, some of her patrons have recently cancelled their appointments. There are reports of American mediums nearly materialising full spirits and audiences are no longer satisfied with the knocking on tables and candle theatrics of years gone by. And then, at one of Mrs Wood’s routine gatherings, she hears something terrifying – faint, but unmistakable: a yawn. Mrs Wood needs to spice up her brand. She decides to take on Emmie, a young protégé, to join her show. But is Emmie Finch the naïve ingenue she seems to be? Or does she pose more of a threat to Mrs Wood’s reign and, more horrifyingly, her reputation than Mrs Wood could ever have imagined?
NOTE: Lucy Barker will be at the Landmark on 28th October
Friday 24th November – Red Notice, Bill Browder
In November 2009, the young lawyer Sergei Magnitsky was beaten to death by eight police officers in a freezing cell in a Moscow prison. His crime? Testifying against Russian officials who were involved in a conspiracy to steal $230 million of taxes.
Red Notice is a searing exposé of the whitewash of this imprisonment and murder. The killing hasn’t been investigated. It hasn’t been punished. Bill Browder is still campaigning for justice for his late lawyer and friend. This is his explosive journey from the heady world of finance in New York and London in the 1990s, through battles with ruthless oligarchs in turbulent post-Soviet Union Moscow, to the shadowy heart of the Kremlin.
Friday 15th December – Island of Missing Trees, Elif Shafak
In 1974, two teenagers, from opposite sides of a divided Cyprus, meet at a tavern in the city they both call home. The tavern is the only place that Kostas, who is Greek, and Defne who is Turkish, can meet in secret, hidden beneath the leaves of a fig tree growing through the roof of the tavern. This tree will witness their hushed happy meetings, and will be there when the war breaks out and the teenagers vanish.
Decades later in north London, sixteen-year-old Ada has never visited the island where her parents were born. She seeks to untangle years of her family’s silence, but the only connection she has to the land of her ancestors Is a fig tree growing tin the garden of their home …
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