When a group of ten ladies gather around a kitchen table on a Friday night with a large selection of wine and cheese and a collection of books, one would expect gossip and chick talk to ensue. Nothing could be further from the truth! Instead an intelligent mix of conversation and debate flows. This evenings discussion was the much acclaimed novel be Louise Doughty, ‘Apple Tree Yard’.

As a novel it has been highly recommended by many literary persons and publications as a ‘psychological thriller. However these local ladies had their own opinions on the work. And it was not on a par with the much publicised reviews.

These ladies decided that it was NO ‘psychological thriller’ and that it was in fact one to compare with the cheesy ’50 Shades of Grey’. It had many flaws and the characters were not fully believable. The narrator and main character Yvonne may well have been experiencing a mid life crisis but even this did not justify her actions.

However, a very well written book, it did pose many questions for discussion and includes a rape scene which awoke many emotions within the group. As for the affair which is the core of the novel, it failed to engage little sympathy for Yvonne and left everyone dismayed in her stupidity.

Books, wine and girl talk on this Friday night posed many questions on the life of the modern day middle aged woman. Is it really possible to be as non maternal as the character of Yvonne or can we really blame mental instability for her stupidity? Either way, the wine and cheese helped the conversation along and Yvonne gained little to no sympathy as the night progressed. Richard and Judy might recommend this as a great read, but the local ladies will not be sharing this recommendation.

We country ladies have much more respect for ourselves and each other and have no plans to explore the crazy world of sleazy affairs. Disabled toilets and back alleyways will not get travelled by these ladies, but wine and cheese will continue to be enjoyed! Mrs C certainly entertained with her outstanding hospitality!