Young Robert Appleyard wants more from life than to end up with his father in a Durham coalmine, and with World War II now over, surely he can expect more? And just like that, with a swag on his back he heads off ... winding up on the North Yorkshire coast in the company of the delightfully eccentric Dulcie Piper. It is in their nascent friendship that Robert's horizons expand and Dulcie is able to reconcile with her past.
This is an inspirational story of intergenerational friendship distinguished by its lyrical descriptions of the natural world, its wit and wisdom and its appreciation of the life changing power of arts and culture. [Larger font]
All thoroughly enjoyed this book - well written, refreshing and uplifting with positive outcomes. The developing relationship between Robert and Dulcie was well portrayed and several commented on the inclusion of nature throughout. Best book so far this year!
A very enjoyable read - a gentle pastoral book with some wonderful descriptive writing. A hit with all members.
Most of us loved this book, relishing the lyrical writing, and enjoying the relationship that developed. It was interesting to read that the author was motivated by a desire to write a positive and hopeful book for the times we live in, and he surely achieved that.
We all loved this book! On many levels, very satisfying. The language, the narrative and the poetry.
All enjoyed this book. A heart-warming story, a touch of history, and of mystery...Eccentric personages, beautiful countryside with nature observed, lots of interesting words to look up - what more would you want? We discovered that Romy Landau was a real person, which the note-writer didn't mention. Plenty of good discussion.
Poetry was beautiful. A bit predictable.
Everyone simply loved this book. It was full of wisdom and surprise.
We all agreed the language was just beautiful with the most wonderful vocabulary - like poetry. The relationship was so well depicted - showed a time when life was simpler - looking after the 'soul'. It reminded us to seek and cherish relationships with those special in our lives. We all agreed that it was just so well-written, beautiful yet sad - really captured the Midlands, growing old, and the state of the world. Very moving in parts and subtle in many ways... This would be one of our 'gem' reads, and we would recommend to all book clubs.
Beautiful descriptions and writing. Most enjoyed the book although 2 did not. Easy to read with some great poetry.
Many of us were initially a little underwhelmed at the start of this book, but all of us quickly fell in love with the characters and the way the story was built. Dulcie's suppressed love story and the poetry resulted in many tears - as well as many laughs at the ways Dulcie found to cope with her loss. A truly involving book, with a beautiful story told in an engaging way. A definite favourite.
We all loved the book. Not our normal read, but perhaps should read more like it. Great writing, very descriptive. Could "feel" the heat and "knew" the characters. None guessed the surprise ending!
So glad we read this, language a delight.
Most members enjoyed 'The Offing'. Our discussion was sustained by following the discussion questions which led us on to the characteristics of Dulcie and Robert and how they developed their relationship and each other's personal growth.
We all loved the descriptions in this book. The story was subtle and thought provoking. A great read.
We all loved this book. Beautiful images of nature, and the encounter of a worldly-wise, non conformist lady with a youth just setting out in the world, create a colourful and very appealing story. A book re-affirming the values of life.
Absolutely beautiful book - to be held close and enjoyed.
Those that read the book all LOVED it. A positively enjoyable read.
Everyone enjoyed the book, both for the story and the way it was written. People especially liked the author's descriptions of the natural world. A first for the group - in that everyone liked and enjoyed the book!
We all loved this novel. Beautifully written, poetic and uplifting. Would highly recommend. Probably the best book we have read for some time.
We all loved this book. The only criticism was that the protagonist at 16 was more skilled at renovation than would be expected in one so young, but those were different times. It was very much in the style of "Darling Buds of May", and Laurie Lee's books written post war.
Our group had a rating range of 1-5! Comments included "lovely sensory imagery", "lovely story but overwritten", "immersive and beautifully written", and "there is no story".