June's choice for the group to read last month was And Then Forever by Christine De Luca. The novel contains two love stories, one current and one historical. The latter tale centres on Gilbert Jamieson,who emigrates to Winnipeg and embarks on a romance which is doomed due to religious differences. The current story involves the discovery of an old photograph and a journey to learn more about its origins. Those of the group who had finished the book enjoyed it and liked the format. The historical story proved more intriguing than the modern one,which some of the group felt lacked drama. There were themes which could have been developed, whereas the historical tale had several beautiful passages of description. The issues of emigration were the same for both generations - having to start afresh and embrace an alien culture, plus the concerns over those left behind. There were parts of the book which appealed to individual readers -Kathleen liked the story of the brooch and Karen like the way the story began in Australia and moved to Canada.
All in all, the group agreed this was a book to recommend, especially as it is by a "weel kent" author who is aware of how many of her readers will find a personal connection with the theme of emigration.