Present were Beth, Betty, Carla, Colette, Jane, Janet, Linda, Marg, Michèle and Shirley. We discussed Beth's book choice, The Dig by John Preston.
John Preston is an English journalist and novelist. He has written 7 books, three that are novels. He was the Arts editor at the Evening Standard and The Sunday Telegraph.
The Dig is a fictionalized account of Britain's most important archeological find, Sutton Hoo. Beth referred us to the British Museum website that has several photos of the Dig and of the treasures that were found.
Most but not all our members had not only read the book but had also seen the movie, so we had a good conversation about the differences between the two. We all appreciated learning about Sutton Hoo and the treasures that were found. Edith Pretty, the owner of the property where the mounds were wanted to honour her husband who died before they could investigate what may be buried in the mounds. She hired an amateur archeologist Basil Brown to begin the dig. When the local museum in Ipswich finds out what Mr Brown has discovered, they and the British Museum get involved.
Most of us found the book very readable, "lovely" how some of us described it. There is no great drama but you want to know what happens between Basil Brown and his wife May, between Peggy the young newly married woman and Rory the photographer. Some found the pace of the book a bit slow, it is definitely not a page-turner. We all agreed however, that the text was very well written and there were some beautiful passages such as the description of the nightingales' song that evoked more than just the song.
...The nightingale waited for a response. but there was nothing, only silence. After a few minutes, the singing started up again, both louder and more passionate than before. Bubbles of sound streamed up into the night sky.
The sound was sadder than anything I had ever heard before. Full of yearning and desperation and the proximity of regret.... page 197.
All of us found that learning about the archeological find Sutton Hoo was well worth the read. Thank you Beth for the book choice and the reference to the British Museum website that explain and shows through photographs, what was found.