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As always, a lively discussion at book club this month. The book in question: Girl Reading by Katie WardGirl Reading by Katie Ward.

Advertised as “Seven portraits. Seven artists. Seven girls and women reading.”, we all agreed that Ward’s book is really a collection of well-written short stories. Some thought the stories were disconnected and wished for something more to draw them and the themes together. We all agreed that the stories made us think and that the author has a gift for establishing time and place.

As for themes – perhaps women’s advancement although that was disputed since you might conclude after reading Girl Reading that women haven’t advanced as much as we might suppose. Women under duress? Parallels between the history of art and the history of women? Deception as a cornerstone of art? Women yearning or searching?

Our conclusion was that each story leaves the reader wondering – not a bad outcome for a book.