Deborah Moggach

All posts tagged Deborah Moggach

Talking about Heartbreak Hotel by Deborah Moggach with Chrissi

Published October 31, 2013 by bibliobeth

Heartbreak Hotel

What’s it all about?:

The irrepressible Russell ‘Buffy’ Buffery has upped sticks from London and moved to a decrepit B&B in rural Wales. He needs to fill the beds, and what better way than with ‘Courses for Divorces’, his new money-making wheeze.

Those checking in include: Harold, whose wife has run off with a younger woman; Amy, who’s been unexpectedly dumped by her (not-so) weedy boyfriend and Andy, the hypochondriac postman whose girlfriend is much too much for him to handle.

Under Buffy’s tutelage, these casualties of the marriage-go-round find themselves re-learning all those skills never thought they’d need again, and a whole lot more besides…

This book was chosen as part of the Richard and Judy Summer Reads 2013.

What did WE think?:

CHRISSI: What were your first impressions of this book?
BETH: I found this book very promising at the start, it seemed to be written with very “real” people, which was quite refreshing, and I enjoyed the way that we had multiple points of view, even if I did find myself saying at times: “Now who are they again and what’s their story?!” Having previously read the author’s book These Foolish Things/The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and reviewed it with you, I was comparing it to that, and on some levels, it was quite similar.
BETH: How does the title “Heartbreak Hotel” relate to the story we are told?
CHRISSI: I think it’s a good title for the story, because it does relate to a lot of the central themes of the book. A lot of the themes that came through for me whilst reading were insecurities, depression, infidelity and loneliness. Definitely issues that cause heartbreak.
CHRISSI: Are there too many characters to follow in this book? Do we get the chance to know them well enough?
BETH: There are a LOT of characters in this novel, and I did enjoy all the different points of view but I do think we probably didn’t get to know them well enough to make them believable, or for the reader to connect with them properly. We do hear a lot more from Buffy, our main character, who is arguably the most important, and I did enjoy his take on life.
BETH: Which of the characters was your favourites (if any) and why?
CHRISSI: I think my favourite was Buffy, and this is only because we seemed to hear a lot more about his story than the other characters. For me, there were far too many characters and points of view. I think I would have enjoyed this book much more, had it focussed on just a few characters.
CHRISSI: How well do you think Deborah Moggach portrayed male characters? Were they believable?
BETH: Buffy is quite a loveable character, and as an actor a bit of a “luvvie,” I think. He had some quite humorous parts, like when his BAFTA was being used by one of the guests to prop open a door (shocking!). I think the author captured the male voice quite well in a number of different personalities, like poor Harold whose wife has run off with another woman, and Andy the postman who really DOES enjoy delivering the mail.
BETH: Was the author successful in her portrayal of middle-aged relationships?
CHRISSI: I think she did portray middle-aged relationships well. I find with Deborah Moggach that her characters are incredibly real and ordinary. They are very like people you may know already in your life.

Would WE recommend it?:

BETH: Maybe…

CHRISSI: No, it wasn’t for me.

BETH’s star rating (out of 5):

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CHRISSI’s star rating (out of 5):

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Richard and Judy Announce Their Autumn Reads 2013

Published September 1, 2013 by bibliobeth

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Richard and Judy are back for the Autumn with eight new titles for the Book Club. I always enjoy seeing what they have to offer, and again there’s a great selection:

The Shining Girls – Lauren Beukes

Snow White Must Die – Nele Neuhaus

The Husband’s Secret – Liane Moriarty

The Twins – Saskia Sarginson

The Last Runaway – Tracy Chevalier

Never Coming Back – Tim Weaver

Heartbreak Hotel – Deborah Moggach

Instructions For A Heatwave – Maggie O’Farrell

Looking forward to digging into these, if anyone wants to join me for a read-along, they are more than welcome!

Talking about The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach with Chrissi

Published May 23, 2013 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

When Ravi Kapoor, an over-worked London doctor, is driven beyond endurance by his obnoxious father-in-law, he asks his wife: ‘Can’t we just send him away somewhere? Somewhere far, far away.’ His prayer seems to have been answered when his entrepreneurial cousin, Sonny, sets up a retirement home, recreating a lost corner of England in a converted guesthouse in Bangalore. Travel and set-up are inexpensive, staff willing and plentiful – and the British pensioners can enjoy the hot weather and take mango juice with their gin.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a brilliant comedy of manners, mixing acute observation with a deeper message about how different cultures cope in the modern world.

What did WE think?:

CHRISSI: What surprised you most about the book?

BETH: I’m afraid it had to be the pornography-loving old gentleman, Norman! He was one of the more “icky” characters I have ever come across although it was highly amusing.

BETH: What did you think were the main themes of the book?

CHRISSI: I think the main theme is the elderly generation looking back on their lives, reflecting on what they’ve done with their lives.

CHRISSI: Did the author do a good job of making the characters believable? e.g. do they speak in the right voice for their age group or the time period of the novel?

BETH: I do think all of the characters were believable, the author seemed to find an individual voice for each of them which must be a mammoth task but I think she pulled it off marvellously.

BETH: Which character did you identify with or enjoy reading about the most and why?

CHRISSI: I can’t say I really identified with any of the characters. I thought all of the characters were interesting in some way. They were very quirky.

CHRISSI: Did you think the ending was appropriate?

BETH: I thought it was an appropriate ending considering the themes of the book. It was almost bitter sweet in a way, and warmed the cockles of my heart even more towards the elderly.

BETH: If you were sent to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, how would you react and what would you do?

CHRISSI:  I’m not sure how I’d react. I found the book depressing at times. It wasn’t an easy, light read. I think I’d find it quite depressing that I was a ‘burden’ to society.

CHRISSI: Did your opinion of the book change as you read it?

BETH: It did slightly. I feel like it was a bit up and down in places, and I felt myself gravitating between emotions of happiness and sadness depending on the situation.

BETH: Did the book affect you in a personal way, such as offending you or making you uncomfortable? Did you reassess your views on certain topics because of the novel? Do you have a better or new understanding of certain aspects or a new awareness of something you’d never thought of before?

CHRISSI: It didn’t really affect me, but it did make me consider how we treat our elderly in Britain. I also found the older gentlemen’s love of pornography highly amusing. I’m not sure that was the intention.

CHRISSI: Who would you recommend this book to?

BETH: I think most people would enjoy this novel (perhaps not younger adults), it’s not one I loved, but I thought it was quite a sweet and interesting story and I loved the back drop of India as something a bit different and original.

BETH: Would you read something else by this author?

CHRISSI:  I’d give it a go! The writing style was good.

Would I recommend it?:

BETH : Probably!

CHRISSI:  I think so.

 

BETH’s Star rating (out of 5):

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CHRISSI’S Star rating (out of 5): 

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WWW Wednesday #3

Published May 22, 2013 by bibliobeth

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

To join in you need to answer 3 questions..
•What are you currently reading?
•What did you recently finish reading?
•What do you think you’ll read next?

Click on the book covers to take you to a link to find out more!

What are you currently reading?

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This is a bookclub choice by Deborah Moggach, I’m about halfway through it, it’s quite good so far, I’d definitely be interested to see the film. My sister and I (ChrissiReads) are doing a comparison post about it soon so look out for it on my blog!

What did you recently finish reading?

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I loved this book, and can’t believe I didn’t read it earlier. You can see my review HERE.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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This is the first book on the Richard and Judy Summer Reads 2013 list (please see my previous post HERE). It’s a debut novel, and looks like a great beach read.

Please feel free to share your own WWW Wednesday, happy reading everyone!