Rural Reads review #8: 'Clay' by Melissa Harrison

Rob Davies reviews the latest rural read. For the September meeting, we read Clay by debut author Melissa Harrison. Clay is an unusual novel for Rural Reads because it is set firmly in a city; it is, however, about how people within an urban environment interact with the green spaces available to them. This is a theme […]

Rural Reads review #7: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Written by Rob Davies, Volunteer Coordinator. For the warm, sun-filled month of June we read Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, a quintessentially English book and author. We decided to read it because we realised that in the four years of our book group we had not read a single Jane Austen novel, so we thought […]

Rural Reads review #6: Harvest by Jim Crace

by Rob Davies, Volunteer Coordinator and Rural Reads regular. In April, members of Rural Reads read Harvest by Jim Crace –  you can already guess the rural connection. Harvest was shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2013 and had rave reviews, the quotes on the back of the book give it high praise. “One of his […]

Rural Reads review #5: The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier

Written by Adam Koszary, Project Officer. We had to take February off for Rural Reads this year, which allowed us plenty of time to stew on our latest book: The Last Runaway. Its author, Tracy Chevalier, is probably better known for her other historical novel Girl with a Pearl Earring, since adapted into a movie. Set in the […]

Rural Reads Review #4 – Lorna Doone by R.D.Blackmore

Written by Rob Davies, Volunteer Co-Ordinator For the dark winter months of December and January the MERL Book Group ‘Rural Reads’ read Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor by R.D. Blackmore. Lorna Doone is the perfect ‘rural read’, as living and working in the countryside is intrinsic to the story and is integral to the […]

Weekly What's On – 25th Nov to Dec 1st

What’s on at MERL this week? Rural reads book club Thursday 28th November, 5.30-7pm Free. (£1.50 for tea & cake) Drop in and join this informal group discussing books on a rural theme. This month the book we’ll be talking about is Trespass by Rose Tremain. As there is no meeting in December, we have […]

Rural Reads Review #3 – Waterland by Graham Swift

Robert Davies, reviews our October ‘Rural Read’… The book for MERL’s Rural Reads monthly book club last month was Waterland by Graham Swift. The book is set in the Fens and covers a time period of 200 years, successfully bringing the fens to life for the reader with vivid descriptions and endearing characters. For the scale […]

Rural reads review #2 – The Worm Forgives the Plough by John Stewart Collis

Rob Davies reviews the book discussed at MERL’s Rural Reads book club this month… This month we read The Worm Forgives the Plough by John Stewart Collis. The book is comprised of two novels: While Following the Plough and Down to Earth, published as whole in 1973. It is an autobiographical account of Collis’s time […]

Rural Reads review #1 – Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household

MERL’s book club, Rural Reads, has been running for three years. We have read an incredible range of novels, poetry and non-fiction, all with either a rural setting or related to the countryside. In this new feature, Rural Reads regular, Rob Davies, will share his personal views and the group’s reactions to the book they […]

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