The Remains Of The Day was this month’s read and sadly one that only I felt the love for! Most of the group couldn’t wait for it to end and thought the main narrative just went on too much. Another member admitted that they got so bored with it that they didn’t finish it. I, on the other end thought the book was wonderful and was really touched by this man who was so bound by his loyalty to his job that he couldn’t live his life the way it should have been lived.
The book, I felt had so many layers to it; it dealt with the dignity of a man in such a role, social constraints where he was not allowed to show his employer’s how intelligence he was and it also dealt with loyalty and politics. The book touched on the class system and how the aristicracy had a common view of being pro-Germany.
Most members felt that the book was an easy read but they just had no desire to read it. The first person narrative didn’t read well and the relationship between the butler and housekeeper just took too long to develop. We did have a discussion over whether the letter that the Butler received from the housekeeper was pure fantasy and he was just reading into it what he considered to be true. I felt very strongly that the housekeeper was giving the butler opportunities to voice his love for her but sadly these were never acted upon.
We also discussed the sparseness of his Father’s room and wondered if once you were in service you had very little belongings in order to move out quickly if desired. It was also discussed around the lack of emotion that the main narrative had and decided it was a sign of weakness to show any emotion in employment. Overall it was considered that the main narrative had a non engaging character and that it was definitely one of the least favourite books we have read.