The book for discussion on Thursday 12th October is Lucinda Riley’s ‘Seven Sisters’ –
Maia D’Aplièse and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home, ‘Atlantis’ – a fabulous, secluded castle situated on the shores of Lake Geneva – having been told that their beloved father, the elusive billionaire they call Pa Salt, has died. Maia and her sisters were all adopted by him as babies and, discovering he has already been buried at sea, each of them is handed a tantalising clue to their true heritage – a clue which takes Maia across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Once there, she begins to put together the pieces of where her story began . . .
For Thursday 9th November meeting: ‘Twopence to Cross the Mersey’ by Helen Forrester.
Twopence was the price of the ferry-boat between Liverpool and Birkenhead. A tiny sum but an impassable barrier for the poor of Liverpool – desperate to escape the city’s grinding poverty.
When Helen Forrester’s father went bankrupt in 1930, she and her six siblings were forced from their comfortable middle-class life into utmost destitution in Depression-ridden Liverpool. The running of the household and the care of her younger siblings all fell to twelve-year old Helen. In slum surroundings and with little food or support from her parents, Helen was forced on her own resources.
Told with compassion, humour and a remarkable lack of self-pity, this is a fascinating picture of life in Britain before the Welfare State and the moving story one young girl’s courage.
For Thursday 14th December meeting: We all loved JoJo Moyes’ novel ‘Me Before You’ so on recommendation we will discuss another of her books, ‘The Girl You Left Behind’.
France, 1916. Sophie Lefevre must keep her family safe whilst her adored husband Edouard fights at the front. When she is ordered to serve the German officers who descend on her hotel each evening, her home becomes riven by fierce tensions. And from the moment the new Kommandant sets eyes on Sophie’s portrait – painted by Edouard – a dangerous obsession is born, which will lead Sophie to make a dark and terrible decision.
Almost a century later, and Sophie’s portrait hangs in the home of Liv Halston, a wedding gift from her young husband before he died. A chance encounter reveals the painting’s true worth, and its troubled history. A history that is about to resurface and turn Liv’s life upside down all over again. In this story, two young women, separated by a century, are united in their determination to fight for what they love most – whatever the cost.
For Thursday 11th January meeting: The second book in Lucinda Riley’s Seven Sisters series called ‘The Storm Sister’ – the story of Ally, another of the girls adopted by Pa Salt and sister to Maia.
Ally D’Aplièse is about to compete in one of the world’s most perilous yacht races, when she hears the news of her adoptive father’s sudden, mysterious death.
Ally has also recently embarked on a deeply passionate love affair that will change her destiny forever. But with her life now turned upside down, Ally decides to leave the open seas and follow the trail that her father left her, which leads her to the icy beauty of Norway.
There, Ally begins to discover her roots – and how her story is inextricably bound to that of a young unknown singer, Anna Landvik, who lived there over a hundred years before, and sang in the first performance of Grieg’s iconic music set to Ibsen’s play ‘Peer Gynt’. As Ally learns more about Anna, she also begins to question who her father, Pa Salt, really was. And why is the seventh sister.