MSB Book Club – June

The MSB book club has finished its sixth book, and this month, the team look at the book to TV/Film adaptations they love and those they could do without.  

May’s Book

May’s book was chosen by Emma Parry. She chose Julia Quinn’s The Duke and I. This book was published over 22 years ago in 2000 and was the first in Julia’s Bridgerton family saga. It was adapted for the small screen by Netflix for the very popular Bridgerton series which broke records in 2021 when it was first released.  

In the ballrooms and drawing rooms of Regency London, rules abound. From their earliest days, children of aristocrats learn how to address an earl and curtsey before a prince – while other dictates of the tone are unspoken yet universally understood. A proper duke should be imperious and aloof. A young, marriageable lady should be amiable…but not too amiable.

Daphne Bridgerton has always failed at the latter. The fourth of eight siblings in her close-knit family, she has formed friendships with the most eligible young men in London. Everyone likes Daphne for her kindness and wit. But no one truly desires her. She is simply too deuced honest for that, too unwilling to play the romantic games that captivate gentlemen.

Amiability is not a characteristic shared by Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings. Recently returned to England from abroad, he intends to shun both marriage and society – just as his callous father shunned Simon throughout his painful childhood. Yet an encounter with his best friend’s sister offers another option. If Daphne agrees to a fake courtship, Simon can deter the mamas who parade their daughters before him. Daphne, meanwhile, will see her prospects and her reputation soar.

The plan works like a charm-at first. But amid the glittering, gossipy, cut-throat world of London’s elite, there is only one certainty: love ignores every rule…

Emma said “I chose the first Bridgerton book as I have been loving the series on Netflix, so I decided to read the entire Bridgerton saga. I bought the whole collection in December 2021 and I am just about to start book three. So far, I prefer the books to the series!” 

Team Reviews

“I have had a copy of this book for around 18 years, and it was fun to go back and re-read, especially after the recent Netflix series. It made me realise how much the series changed but I love them both in their own right. I love the direction the series has taken, and I love the characters in the book and all the detail. I especially love the Bridgerton family dynamic. It is a nice easy read. I’d give the book four stars” Rachael Payne, Solicitor **** 

“I would give The Duke & I four stars. It is an easy read and a book you can immerse yourself in, maybe due to the TV series but I am reading all the other books in the saga.” Emma Parry, Legal Assistant **** 

“I would give The Duke & I four Stars. I read the first few Bridgerton books after watching the series and I do find them to be predictable, but I think that is sort of the point – they are easy, comforting reads. I do prefer the second book overall, as sometimes the characters’ lack of communication in this book could become frustrating!” Michelle Summers, Solicitor **** 

“I listened to this book on audible after already watching on Netflix. Usually, a book is better than any screen adaptation but, for this story, the TV series was far more enjoyable. Although I enjoyed some aspects of the book, in particular the inner thoughts of the two main characters, the Duke and Daphne, plus their humour, overall, I found it tedious and dull. I would give it two stars” Louise Murphy, Partner & Head of Social Housing & Regeneration ** 

“I would give The Duke & I four stars. Light-hearted and funny. An easy read. I think I enjoyed it more because I had watched the series first.” Amy Tagoe, Associate Solicitor **** 

LJ Ross - Holy Island

June’s Book

Amy Tagoe picked the book for June and chose Holy Island by LJ Ross. This was the debut novel of LJ Ross released in 2015 and the first in the DCI Ryan mysteries. It was a number one bestseller and LJ Ross has gone on to write a further 22 novels.

“Detective Chief Inspector Ryan retreats to Holy Island seeking sanctuary when he is forced to take sabbatical leave from his duties as a homicide detective. A few days before Christmas, his peace is shattered and he is thrust back into the murky world of murder when a young woman is found dead amongst the ancient ruins of the nearby Priory.

When former local girl Dr Anna Taylor arrives back on the island as a police consultant, old memories swim to the surface making her confront her difficult past. She and Ryan struggle to work together to hunt a killer who hides in plain sight, while pagan ritual and small-town politics muddy the waters of their investigation.”

Amy said: “I love easy read crime fiction and this series is set in the North East where I grew up so the locations described and the way the characters speak, some of the phrases and words they use, reminds me of home.”

Book to TV/Film Adaptations

As the book club read the first in the Bridgerton Series, which despite being published over 20 years ago released a new sense of life with the Netflix series, we wanted to discuss when TV and Film adaptations of books have been done right, and when they have been done wrong…

“There have been some adaptations of Stephen King which I have really enjoyed, and I think did the books justice (Stand By Me, IT, The Shawshank Redemption, and the Green Mile, which emotionally wrecked me). I also really liked the Shining, but it makes some changes from the book and interestingly Stephen King didn’t like it at all!” Michelle Summers, Solicitor

“An adaptation I found disappointing was Bridgerton series two as the book was amazing and I don’t think the series did justice to the book. The story was much better in the book and the passion between the characters before they got to together was so much more will they/won’t they. I am still however looking forward to continuing the series and reading the books. A TV adaptation I enjoyed was Normal People, but I didn’t enjoy the book and lost interest around halfway through! I am also looking forward to the new BBC adaption of ‘Everything I Know About Love’ by Dolly Alderton. I have yet to read the book, it is currently on my ‘to be read’ pile.” Emma Parry, Legal Assistant

“I have a love/hate relationship with adaptations. I know I need to treat them as separate works, but it is hard to remember that when you love the books and all the detail they offer. I did enjoy the Hunger Games adaptation. The books are from the main character’s point of view, and we only have the background uprising hinted at. Within the movies I think the fact we could actually see the background story progress and got to follow other characters greatly helped. I did not enjoy the Love, Rosie or Shopaholic film. Both taken from amazing novels from great authors and were utterly destroyed.” Rachael Payne, Solicitor

Do you agree with our team? What book adaptations did you love or hate?

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