4 Seasons Book Club

Four SeasonsJoin us in 2018 as the 4 Seasons Book Club travels around the world!

The 4 Seasons Book Club welcomes adults to meet quarterly to discuss pre-selected works of modern fiction and celebrated classics.

In 2018, we will be exploring authors and reading literature that enhances and expands our understanding of other countries, peoples and cultures. 

Titles read in 2018 will be decided by the group via a voting process approximately 6-8 weeks before each book club meeting. Check this page or login to Goodreads for updates. For more information, if you would like to be added to our email list or to join our Goodreads 4 Seasons Book Club Group, contact Information and Learning Services Librarian Joyce at jwheatley@tcpl.org.

Meeting Dates in 2018

Thursdays: February 8, April 5, June 7, October 4
6:30 - 7:30 PM
Tompkins County Trust Company Study Room


The Book of Memory by Petina Gappah

4 Seasons Book Club Selection

Winter (February 8, 2018)
The Book of Memory
by Petina Gappah

In The Book of Memory, an albino woman named Memory is languishing in a maximum security prison in Harare, Zimbabwe, where she has been tried and convicted of murder. As part of her appeal, her lawyer insists that she write down what happened; that is, the events that led to the killing of her adoptive father, Lloyd Hendricks. But who was Lloyd Hendricks? Why does Memory feel no remorse for his death? And did everything happen exactly as she remembers? Moving between the townships of the poor and the suburbs of the rich, and between past and present, the 2009 Guardian First Book Award–winning writer Petina Gappah weaves a compelling tale of love, obsession, the relentlessness of fate, and the treachery of memory.

Petina Gappah's An Elegy for Easterly (2009) was shortlisted for the Frank O'Connor Prize and the Los Angeles Times First Book Award, and won the 2009 Guardian First Book Award. Formerly an international trade lawyer in Geneva, she lives in Zimbabwe.

"A fiercely vivid novel . . . [a] beautiful, gliding dance of language." Los Angeles Times

"Petina Gappah powerfully probes the tricksy nature of memory [and] brilliantly exposes the gulf between rich and poor . . . The novel is startlingly vivid . . . This is a moving novel about memory that unfolds into one about forgiveness, and a passionate paean to the powers of language." Anita Sethi, The Observer (London)

"For a novel saturated with death, The Book of Memory is most emphatically alive . . . [Petina Gappah's] language dazzles . . . [Gappah is] a writer to take to the heart as well as the head." Catherine Taylor, Financial Times

This is a powerful story of innocent lives destroyed by family secrets and sexual jealousy, prejudice and unacknowledged kinship across the 'artificial divisions this country has erected to keep people apart.' From its burden of guilt flow reflections on fate, religious superstition and the fallibility of memory, with allusions ranging from Thomas Hardy —including a fatefully unread letter—to the Greek furies. At its best, individual lives mesh with the country's distorted fate." Maya Jaggi, The Guardian

"The scope here is ambitious. Gappah takes readers across racial and economic lines and sets Memory's complex upbringing against 30 years of Zimbabwean history . . . Gappah's elaborate tale is intricately plotted." Kirkus Reviews

A limited number of copies of The Book of Memory will be available for preregistered participants to borrow.

Related Pages

Page last modified Dec 18, 2017