Sitting in a Book Club members garden this morning, discussing Sebastian Barry's The Secret Scripture was a lovely experience - civilisation at its best. Lovely coffee, homemade cakes and biscuits and intelligent talk, in warm early autumn sunshine - what a beautiful way to pass an hour or so. The book we had all read won the Costa prize last year and after reading it, was obviously a worthwhile winner. We all had enjoyed reading the story of Roseanne Clear, although we all had differing reactions to it. Most of us loved Sebastian Barry's wonderful use of language, and read out many extracts and favourite lines and although several of us thought the ending was somewhat contrived, we hadn't seen it coming, at least on a first reading - some of the club had read it more than once, and found clues on the second reading.