Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, Jane Fonda and Mary Steenburgen in a scene from the movie Book Club. Supplied by Transmission Films.
Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, Jane Fonda and Mary Steenburgen in a scene from the movie Book Club. Supplied by Transmission Films. Photo credit: Melinda Sue Gordon

The Gympie book club that's more than a book club

THE ageless Jane Fonda is in Australia this week promoting her new film Book Club and offering some candid insights into sex and the older woman.

"For women it gets better because we understand our bodies more,” she said in an interview to promote the movie, in which sex is a prominent theme when the club decides to read Fifty Shades of Grey.

Being of a certain age myself, and a member of a Book Club for 16 years, this is a movie I can relate to. There are about 20 women in our club, ranging in age from 72 to about 40.

The husbands like to accuse us of being nothing more than a wine club at which the occasional token book is read, and we go to great pains to have extra long book discussions whenever we meet at someone's house and the husband is snooping around.

Candice Bergen in a scene from the movie Book Club. Supplied by Transmission Films.
Candice Bergen in a scene from the movie Book Club. Supplied by Transmission Films. Peter Iovino

Often, though, we meet at restaurants.

Once a star student, I have to confess that as life has gotten busier, there are many times now when I turn up purely for the wine and friendship, having not even started the book.

Usually nobody cares, which is one of the reasons I love our club.

Make no mistake, book clubs come in all shapes and sizes and they are about much more than books.

Ours is definitely quirky, sometimes naughty.

It is a friendship circle, a business network and a support system; much like the service clubs of old but without the service.

Having said that though our club has made more than one foray into the community service arena, holding events and raising money for local charities.

In these sometimes dark times of disconnect and fear, joining or forming a book club is one of the best things anybody could do for themselves. Do yourself a favour - make it happen.

Photo Renee Albrecht/Gympie Times
Gympie Times editor and devoted bookclubber Shelley Strachan. Renee Albrecht