I recently attended a book club get-together at Simon & Schuster Publishers in Sydney, where we sat down with naughty cakes and discussed the book The Yearning by Kate Belle.
This book is not one I’d usually pick up; it’s erotic fiction. But I found it well written, engaging and thoughtful. It’s a book that sticks with you, and I’m pleased I read it.
When I started reading the book I was a little taken aback, as it’s pretty saucy, and some of the sex scenes are quite detailed. But I’m not prudish, so I ploughed on. It’s the story of a young high school girl in the late ’70s who has more than a crush on her gorgeous new teacher. He is single, a hunk, and revels in the attention of women – and he definitely loves to give attention too.
This is a great book for a book club as there’s so much to discuss. And we were lucky enough to meet the author, who turned out to be super smart, sassy and quite witty.
One of the people who was going to attend the meeting couldn’t make it. When she knew she couldn’t come she said she skimmed the rest of the book. This got me thinking.
As I knew I was going to be talking about the book in more depth, I read it word for word. I thought about it, rattled ideas around my head for things I’d like to say about it and took care not to miss any part of the story.
The book wasn’t necessarily one I would normally pick up. But having had to read it and then discuss it was actually very rewarding. I really enjoyed it much more for the experience of discussing it and seeing the nuances that I might never had picked up if I had read it only for myself. I was left with a much better sense of the story, the characters and the author’s inspirations. I revelled in the detail. With my fellow ‘clubbers’ we laughed at ourselves, chatted about the characters as if they were real and thought of a question that we wondered if we’d be game to ask the author. Which we did!
I haven’t been a regular clubber in my time, but this experience has certainly changed my modus operandi.