This was my book group read for February, and I have reviewed it on the ‘My Book group Reads’ page. Here’s a copy and paste of what I wrote:
Exactly What You Mean wasn’t universally loved by the book group members. I personally really didn’t like it at all, and the others were at best lukewarm, although a couple did say that the book grew on them. It is a ‘novel’ – at least it says it is a novel where each chapter follows different characters in different points of time who are all loosely connected to the island of Guernsey, but it is really a collection of short stories pretending to be a novel. This threw some of us, because of the disjoint between chapters if you are expecting a novel where things make sense as a whole. I found the stories to be quite bleak and depressing. Our host, Sheila had suggested the book after she had seen it praised on the BBC between the covers podcast, and we watched the podcast together. Ben Hinshaw talked about the book and actually came across really well, and perhaps if I’d seen his interview before reading I might have enjoyed it more (or maybe not!).