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Waterstones Bookclub read The Lady in the Van

The Lady is the Van is the most recent book to be chosen for the Ballymena Waterstones Bookclub. Last month the bookclub read The Children’s Act by Ian McEwan which provoked lots of chat and discussion and we are sure that this short book will do the same.

Waterstones Bookclub read The Lady in the VanThe Lady in the Van is a true story written by Alan Bennett.


In 1974, the homeless Miss Shepherd moved her broken down van into Alan Bennett’s garden. Deeply eccentric and stubborn to her bones, Miss Shepherd was not an easy tenant. And Bennett, despite inviting her in the first place, was a reluctant landlord. And yet she lived there for fifteen years.

This account of those years was first published in 1989 in the London Review of Books. The play premiered in 1999, directed by Nicholas Hytner and starring Dame Maggie Smith, who reprise their roles in this new film adaptation. Shot on location at Bennett’s house, Alex Jennings plays the author, alongside household names including Frances de la Tour, Jim Broadbent and Dominic Cooper. (Source)

Before you watch the film, grab the book and enjoy the beautifully written tale.

The Waterstones Bookclub meets on the first week of each month in the store in the Fairhill, Ballymena. The staff who run it are friendly and all the group enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, some treats and a good chat about books.

The Lady in the Van is only 100 pages meaning it is the perfect book to start with if you are thinking of joining a bookclub and perfect for this busy time of year. Read it before you tackle the film! It will be a quick, cheerful read for the Waterstones Bookclub.