The two books discussed at our October Meeting were A Long Petal Of The Sea by Isabel Allende and The House Guest by Mark Edwards. Although we were only able to have six at the meeting due to COVID restrictions, once again our differing views ensured a lively debate. 

A Long Petal Of The Sea – The part fiction, part factual book by Isabel Allende was enjoyed by some because of its historical accuracy and honest portrayal of life through the Spanish Civil War. It followed the story of two brothers and their mother as life changed under Franco. As opponents of his regime, they had to flee Barcelona and the tale documents the treacherous and harrowing journey to France and ultimately on to Chile, where they lived as exiles under the Pinochet regime. Full of facts, at times the book felt more of a history lesson than a story. The characters could have been developed further, enabling more engagement and empathy with Victor and his family. A long book, which also had a few predictable moments, was therefore met with mixed reviews. 

The House Guest fared similarly. Some readers enjoyed this psychological thriller by Mark Edwards; others found it far-fetched and didn’t enjoy it at all. The novel is based in the US and tells the tale of Adam (playwright) and Ruth (emerging actress) who house-sit for wealthy friends. One night a girl (Eden) turns up on their doorstep, saying she is a friend of the home owners. After a boozy night, Eden and Ruth both disappear. As Adam tries to find them, gunfights, cults and coincidences abound. The novel was again enjoyed by some, but others found it far-fetched and didn’t enjoy it at all. 

Our October reads are: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee and Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes. 

Our next meeting is on Thursday 5th November; attendance likely to be restricted to six people again. 

If anyone would like more information about Camposol Reading Group, please contact Angela Jones on 626 736 874