Let’s talk about Sharon and the book club she loved

Some book clubs are structured, strict and serious. But one local book club doesn’t fit this mould. Once named the ‘madwomen’s book club’, it is quirky and anarchistic. Its members are all ex-staff of Murdoch University. In its early days Murdoch was also quirky and anarchistic.

Books are an excuse to gather but not the reason. The reason is companionship and conversation— sometimes about books, sometimes about other matters that matter.

There is no set book. Members talk about whatever they’re reading or watching or thinking.

Once there was a set menu — members were expected to bring a Sarah Lee carrot cake. These days, as they tuck into local delicacies, no-one misses the old menu.

Credit Sebastian Conan Photography

Conversations wander. Thoughts take flight. Laughter shakes the air. Time goes quickly. Afternoons shade into evenings. People depart reluctantly.

And Sharon Delmege, a member for over a decade, has just departed.

A serious critical reader and strong supporter of local writers.

Sharon of the smiling eyes and inclusive embrace. Sharon who offered unconditional hospitality. Thoughtful, quizzical, quietly intelligent, fiercely on the side of the dispossessed. Beautiful and brave. So brave as her health declined.

Light-heartedly laughing when the book club gathered at her St John’s bedside. Insisting on tea and cake. Insisting. Persisting.

For this quirky book club, she persists.

Jane, Beth, Christina, Judy and Kate


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