SWFT Wellbeing Reading Group review of The Ecliptic by Benjamin Wood

Our book choice for December was The Ecliptic, a novel which was shortlisted for the Encore Award and the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award. The book blurb looked interesting, setting the scene of an artists colony off the coast of Istanbul:

‘On a forested island off the coast of Istanbul stands Portmantle, a refuge for beleaguered artists. There, a curious assembly of painters, architects, writers and musicians strive to restore their faded talents. Elspeth ‘Knell’ Conroy is a celebrated painter who has fled the dizzying art scene of 1960s London; on the island, she spends her nights wrestling with her elusive masterpiece. Then a disaffected teenager named Fullerton arrives at the refuge and disrupts its routines. He is plagued by nightmares that steer him into danger, and Knell is left to pick apart the chilling mystery: where did the boy come from, what is ‘The Ecliptic’, and how does it relate to their abandoned lives in England?’

The Reading Group was split almost down the middle with those who had read the book, and those who hadn’t. Everyone seemed to agree that it was a book that you had to be in the mood for. One reader said that they had started it, but were struggling. Another quite liked it, although they felt that the ending was a bit of a cop out. One group member said that the book seemed disjointed and they were quite disappointed by it, even though they liked the author’s descriptions and thought it was well written.

The group mostly agreed that the first chapter was very intriguing, but as the story progressed, the less they’d liked it. One comment was that the author seemed to have run out of momentum towards the end, and had come up with a ‘Bobby Ewing in the shower‘ scenario to solve the rather contrived plot. This led one reader to say that she would recommend the book… but only if she could warn people about the ending.

As there are no spoilers in this review, I’ll just say that not everything in the book is quite as it seems. Which can sometimes be a good thing, and sometimes not so.

The SWFT Wellbeing Reading Group gave The Ecliptic a score of 5.5/10. If anyone is still reading it, please let me know your views and maybe we can increase the score!

If you still have a copy of this or any of our previous reads, please drop them off at the Education Centre Library.

January Book Group

As the Library Team have asked Santa for quite a lot of books, we thought our January meeting would be a great time to find out what books everyone in the SWFT Wellbeing Reading Group received – or what books they have on their wishlists!

From adventure to crime, non fiction to sci fi, we want to know what you’re reading – or what books you’ve given other people as presents.

The next SWFT Reading Group meeting is on Wednesday 24th January, at 1pm. See you there!