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We weren’t even playing poker, but we still had a full house. It was great to see veteran and new members crammed around the table in a lively discussion of the month’s book, A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart.

Based on the author’s own experiences with an autistic son, the book takes the reader through the story of a father who struggles relating to his autistic son so much that it has put a strain on his marriage. Only when the son starts playing ‘Minecraft’ does he manage to establish a rapport with him.

The opinions were very divergent, nearly split right down the middle; one side enjoying the book and finding it very interesting, the other deeming it contrived and the writer very self-absorbed. The discrepancy in opinions could be due to level of experience and/or knowledge of autism. Some have had close encounters with autistic people, either because they have autistic family members, or as a result of working with autistic children. Others have had no personal exposure at all to the condition.

The debate was enlightening and led to an exchange of memories and experiences with autistic children and an interesting talk about connection between parents and children in general.

The suggestions for next month were Origin by Dan Brown, A Column of Fire by Ken Follett, When You Disappeared by John Marrs, Island of Secrets by Patricia Wilson, A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys, The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom and The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances.

Further suggestions were Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day, both by Kazuo Ishiguro. By coincidence it was announced on the same day that Kazuo Ishiguro had been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 for those two books. Ishiguro is a Japanese born British novelist.

The group chose When You Disappeared by John Marrs to be discussed at our next meeting. One morning a husband and father disappears without any trace. Having been presumed dead, he turns up 25 years later to give his wife an explanation.

Next meeting is Thursday November 2nd 2-4 pm and as usual we meet in The Cultural Centre, Camposol B. Everybody is welcome.

For further information, please contact Chris Leiper on 968 199 441 or email chrisleiper1944@gmail.com

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