Lantern Festival

Mid-Autumn Festival Lunch

Date: Sunday 8 September
Time: 12:30pm
Venue: Summer Palace, Level 3 Regent Singapore Hotel, 1 Cuscaden Rd, Singapore 249715
Price: $60 (children pay separately)

It's mooncake and lanterns time again. Do join us for our annual lunch at Summer Palace. We'll enjoy Chef Liu's Taster Menu with free-flow Chinese tea.

The Heart's Invisible Furies

Afternoon Book Group Choice.
Click cover to read review.

Afternoon Book Group August Meeting

Non-members are welcome

Book: The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyle
Date: Monday 26 August
Time: 12:00 noon
Venue: The Tea Lounge, Tanglin Club

The repressive theocratic society of the Irish Free State in 1945 is the setting for the opening scene of John Boyne's 2015 novel The Heart's Invisible Furies. Catherine, sixteen, pregnant, unmarried, is vilified upon the altar steps during Sunday Mass before being kicked out of her home village.

Her son, Cyril Avery, is the main character in a book that 'blazes with anger as it commemorates lives wrecked by social contempt and self-loathing'.

Covering the period of the newly minted Republic of Ireland into the 21st century, 'Boyne's fictional portrait of postwar Ireland and its people is nightmarish but utterly compelling' according to the Guardian.

Sign up using the Book Club online form or email to join the WhatsApp Group Chat for future books and meeting or email Carmel.

Saint Jack

Evening Book Group Choice

Evening Book Group August Meeting

Non-members are welcome

Book: Saint Jack by Paul Theroux
Date: Friday 23 August
Time: 7:00pm
Venue: To be confirmed

Saint Jack by Paul Theroux is a treat for anyone familiar with Singapore's previous existence as 'Sin Galore', either by lingering reputation of the good old days or through first-hand experience.

The main character is Jack Flowers, an unlikeable American desperate to maintain a lifestyle unbefitting his income and social status among the European community during the early days of the Republic of Singapore. He blags his way into free drinks and dinner at exclusive clubs, passing as a member all the while. His moral fabric is for the most part full of holes -- at one point he becomes a brothel keeper charged with the business of servicing American troops on R&R from the war in Vietnam.

And yet somehow in the end this bungling desperado manages to redeem himself and at the same time promote himself to the status of 'saint' by finally digging up the last dregs of a conscience.

Theroux lived in Singapore at the time the book was written, working in the English Department of Singapore University, now NUS where he is not entirely forgotten.

A final note: Peter Bogdanovich's 1973 film based on the book strays a long way from the original in many ways, not least the casting of the suave, sophisticated Ben Gazzara in the role of Jack Flowers. However, it is well worth watching for anyone who wants to experience a tiny bit of the Singapore that was and is no more.

A Book of Bones

Click image for review

An Evening with John Connolly

Date: Friday 30 August
Register: rsvpsingapore@dfa.ie

The Ambassador of Ireland to Singapore, His Excellency Mr Pat Bourne, has extended an invitation to all Singapore Irish societies for an evening at the Residence with internationally best-selling author John Connolly.

Dublin-born Connolly, a graduate of TCD and DCU, is famous for his Charlie Parker crime fiction novels. He will read from his latest novel A Book of Bones and take questions from the audience.