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The Dark Circle
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2017 Book of the Month > July 2017 The Dark Circle

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message 1: by Val (new) - rated it 4 stars

Val | 720 comments Mod
Our July book is The Dark Circle by Linda Grant.

Most of the book is set in a TB hospital. Traditional treatments are running alongside trials of a new and promising antibiotic. Among the patients are twins Miriam and Lenny from the Jewish East End of London, who are being treated under the newly formed NHS.

Reviews:
https://www.theguardian.com/books/201...
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-ent...
https://www.ft.com/content/2384b0fe-a...


Penny | 590 comments Mod
I am loving this one so far. I'm listening to it but so far the whole world of the sanatorium and the different characters have got me hooked (just need to finish a book for my in-person book club before getting on with this one) Anyone else reading this one?


message 3: by Val (new) - rated it 4 stars

Val | 720 comments Mod
One of the things I liked about the book is that although it concentrates on a few main characters, the minor ones are well drawn as well. I sometimes felt that the middle-class characters were perhaps a bit too well-behaved and unquestioning, but that made the contrast between them and the irrepressible working-class twins more marked.


message 4: by Di (new) - rated it 3 stars

Di S  (DiTheLitLoft) | 4 comments I've just finished this and enjoyed it, but not perhaps as much as I'd hoped. I enjoyed being so effectively transported into the post war era and also learning so much about TB's history and early treatment (not something I'd ever really considered before). However I felt that overall the book lacked the tension I had expected to find. Some of the characters were beautifully drawn - especially the female ones- but many of the men were more stereotypical and lacking depth.
Not sure about the contribution made by Part 3 either, although I suppose it did serve to close the circle of the story.

An interesting, but not outstanding, read I felt.


Penny | 590 comments Mod
Di wrote: "I've just finished this and enjoyed it, but not perhaps as much as I'd hoped. I enjoyed being so effectively transported into the post war era and also learning so much about TB's history and early..."

I agree about the last part of the book. It seems to suddenly jump ahead and leaves a large gap. Also you are right that there was not a lot of drama or tension between the characters which actually there was the potential for. In some ways I suppose it wasn't that kind of book but perhaps some deeper drama would have improved it.
Overall though I felt it was a well-written and beautifully put together piece.


message 6: by Val (new) - rated it 4 stars

Val | 720 comments Mod
The ending was more like a brief epilogue than a part of the story. I would have liked a bit more detail there.

The drama mainly came from the disease and what was going to happen to the patients, rather than from the actions of the patients themselves. The author could have made more of the interactions between the characters, but, as you say, it was not really that kind of book, and I think she wanted to make the disease so overwhelming that it dwarfed the characters.


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The Dark Circle (other topics)

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