Book choice for April 2019

The Dinner [suggested by Isobel Cumbers]

The Dinner

A summer's evening in Amsterdam and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant. Between mouthfuls of food and over the delicate scraping of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of politeness - the banality of work, the triviality of holidays. But the empty words hide a terrible conflict and, with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened...

Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. Together, the boys have committed a horrifying act, caught on camera, and their grainy images have been beamed into living rooms across the nation; despite a police manhunt, the boys remain unidentified - by everyone except their parents. As the dinner reaches its culinary climax, the conversation finally touches on their children and, as civility and friendship disintegrate, each couple shows just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love. [product description from Amazon]

The book has a Wikipedia entry

Author's Wikipedia page
Author's website.

 

Shortlisted for this month

For this month, the "alternative selection scheme" was in operation, each attendee at the meeting bringing a book on the theme of "being based in an EU country other than the UK". Of the suggestions, only one other attracted more than one vote:

Visitation [suggested by Sarah Stansfeld]

Visitation

By the side of a lake in Brandenburg, a young architect builds the house of his dreams - a summerhouse with wrought-iron balconies, stained-glass windows the colour of jewels, and a bedroom with a hidden closet, all set within a beautiful garden. But the land on which he builds has a dark history of violence that began with the drowning of a young woman in the grip of madness and that grows darker still over the course of the century: the Jewish neighbours disappear one by one; the Red Army requisitions the house, burning the furniture and trampling the garden; a young East German attempts to swim his way to freedom in the West; a couple return from brutal exile in Siberia and leave the house to their granddaughter, who is forced to relinquish her claim upon it and sell to new owners intent upon demolition. Reaching far into the past, and recovering what was lost and what was buried, Jenny Erpenbeck tells a story both beautiful and brutal, about the things that haunt a home. [product description from Amazon]

Author's Wikipedia page.

 

Honourable Mentions

Other suggestions which received one vote each were:
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut Jr
Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

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2006

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