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We had our first virtual book club last night discussing Alan Hollinghurst’s The…

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We had our first virtual book club last night discussing Alan Hollinghurst’s The Sparsholt Affair.
The book is split into several sections that cover the lives of both David and Jonny Sparsholt. But this is not just a inter generational tale, it is also a clever exploration of the attitudes to homosexuality through the last century and into this one.
Starting when David goes to Oxford where he is subject to much admiration before the start of the Second World War, the novel jumps to when Jonny is a teenager experiencing his first sexual encounter before jumping again to Jonny’s life as a twenty-something in a London where homosexuality is now legal. The book continues in this vein of jumping ahead in each section leaving you reeling in dismay that this part is over but quickly eager to see where their lives are ‘now’. Throughout the novel, Hollinghurst cleverly alludes to, but never explicitly reveals, the Sparsholt Affair and makes you wonder at the end which Sparsholt he has actually been referring to.
A beautifully written and carefully crafted book about the changing world, about art, about the relationship between fathers and sons and about long standing friendships. A great read that spurned a great discussion ❤️📚 @alanjhollinghurst @panmacmillan

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