This is the book that the librarian had chosen for October. I went to the book group for the first time yesterday – it is held in the basement of the library and anyone who wants to go along is welcome. A large table was surrounded by chattering women and a silent, solitary man when I joined them – there was little opportunity to talk or to meet anyone as the librarian came in with a trolley filled with cups, coffee, tea and cakes. She left and returned with a paper with many discussion points and notes. She led the discussion with some interesting points. I had not read TC Boyle previously, a well known and prolific American author. The Tortilla Curtain, deliberately titled to reflect the Iron Curtain, the Berlin Wall and any other man-made wall separating peoples, was written in 1993 and is now on the US High School curriculum although it has been challenged recently (in 2010) by a mother who wanted it removed. Each person around the table then had the opportunity to express their opinion about the book, the subject matter and the writing. What was fascinating were the many different responses, from loving to loathing the book, the subject matter and the way in which the book was written. I was gripped from the outset and although the subject matter, the contrast between the lives of wealthy Americans and illegal Mexican immigrants, was often very painful and depressing, I would absolutely recommend it. It is particularly pertinent given the current situation in Australia with asylum seekers and after the tragic loss of life in Italy recently. Happy reading! And any book recommendations will be gratefully accepted! I am sure there will be plenty of time for reading as winter sets in whilst Simon is toiling away at Arrowsmith!