Seven members of Accra Book Club met on Thursday to talk about Alex von Tunzelmann’s first book, Indian summer: the secret history of the end of an empire . Appropriately enough we met at Heritage Restaurant in Osu, which is one of several Indian restaurants here in Accra.
We did ask for a separate room, and rearranged the tables- from long to squarish – so that we could talk to each other rather than having several different conversations at the different ends! It did work, and we not only had a good discussion, but an enjoyable meal, and we didn’t worry about others feeling we were being too loud, or they were! Plus there was the added bonus of hearing about one member’s recent visit to India, which added a little something to the occasion!
Most of us liked Indian summer, and felt we learned something that was a bit different from what we might have known from the media we read/consume/listen to or the films – such as Gandhi – that we watch. The importance of the role of individuals in events really did come out, even if they were incompetent in many ways! The relationship between Edwina Mountbatten and Nehru was also one that most of us didn’t know about it. Gandhi, interestingly enough, did not come out as saintly as we might have thought before reading this book.
We also made some decisions on books for the next sequence, which I will post about later
We agreed to meet at the end of May for a very much lighter read: Donna Leon’s Through a glass darkly, which continues a Venetian theme.