For the last 8 or so months I’ve been attending the bookclub at my local
cake shop Fancie. Not only is it a lovely bunch of ladies but we meet in a cake shop. Genuinely, it couldn’t get better.
This month* we met to talk about Mutton by India Knight.
I had high hopes for the book from the chat at our December meeting when we chose books but these hopes faded when I saw the front cover – I am just not sure I like the image to be honest. ( The inside pages however are beautiful and it’s only out in hardback at the moment so you’ll get this experience too)
The book follows the journey of Clara a 46 year old single mother of 3 (who it turns out, if you’ve read any other India Knight books, you’ll have met before – I haven’t) who’s in the midst of debating her age and beauty. You get the feeling that she’s ok with her appearance at the start of the book, but the arrival of her old best friend – who has been living in LA and is a masterpiece of surgery, healthy (boring) eating and yoga – starts to make her question her original thoughts on her looks. I wont go into too much detail, so I don’t spoil the book, but it explores Clara and Gaby’s relationship with their looks and their age and how this affects the people around them. It was pretty funny – starting with a disturbing list of things that you find yourself doing as you get older (I wont divulge which one I thought ‘crap, I’m 32 and I do that’ at!) but if you read it, or have read it, please let me know what you thought about the ending…..
The one thing that surprised me the most about this book was the discussion it generated afterwards. Our book club is made up of women (men can come, I just don’t think they’ve fancied it) of varying ages – from a little above Clara’s age to 17 and the differing views we all had of ‘having a bit of work done’ and the idea of dressing your age. I’ll be honest, I’m not against having something done if it’ll enhance your self esteem – I’m not taking a full Heidi makeover, but right now I can’t see an issue with it.
And our organiser, Sarah, brought up the dressing your age issue – which is something I struggle with. She’s 34, I’, 32 and it’s an issue for us both. I think I’m at about that point where when I pick stuff up and have to question whether it’s too young for me. And I don’t want to be frumpy (I think this is about the age people can start going a bit that way!) but I am not thin or 21 anymore so I’m finding I have to be quite careful when I’m scouring the rails in H&M these days. I did leave the book club feeling a little better about myself, but also considering the ‘free botox’ fringe option again!
What are your thoughts on have a bit of work done? And at what age do I really have to start thinking about what I wear?
*We meet the first Wednesday of the month, so we read a book one month and talk about it at the start of the next which might get confusing to blog about.