So, after people raving about it no end, I decided to read The Thursday Murder Club.
It’s a great book. Light-hearted, with funny moments, and captivating characters who you ‘get’ right from the first page. It’s not my genre really, so I can’t say it’s on my favourite list, but I understand the high-praise Osman has received. The character, Joyce, in particular, is brilliantly presented as she battles through understanding Skype, Tinder, and other modern developments. If you’re of the younger generation, you’ll have no doubt experienced some of Joyce’s hilarious misunderstandings and attitudes from your grandparents or parents. The way Osman uses her character is witty and clever, and the chapters from her perspective push the story forward in a natural way.
Like most times when I read something, I always look to find something I can learn and apply to life, particularly in regards to work. What struck me about this diverse group of old, retired people solving murders, was their passion for the job at hand. Elizabeth, who seems to run the Thursday Murder club, is determined to get the task done, and get it done well. She’s relentless. Ibrahim has an eye for the detail and Ron has good connections. Joyce just loves being part of the gang, an unusual one at that. But, they all bring something to the party. Even after their time for career is over, they still have the desire to work towards something - figuring out whodunnit. This is the case for most retired people. Not the murder investigation part, but they do go on new adventures, take on new projects, look after family and friends. They’re not just stagnant. My Dad recently retired and now says he’s busier than ever - whether golf is ‘work’, I’m not sure.
For us as humans, we will always be working in some way, whether we’re employed, retired, or taking a break. People say they don’t want “to live to work”, but to turn it on its head, it’s part of how we’re wired. We do live to work. Of course, there are times for rest and I’m a big advocate of avoiding burnout, but work itself isn’t a bad thing. We want to do it. I believe we were created to do it; to work towards a purpose.
But why do the characters find their work so enjoyable? Because they’re part of something. There’s a moment in the book where Joyce talks about the joyful atmosphere when they’re together as a ‘gang’. It spoke to me loud and clear about the joy found in work due to the camaraderie through doing it with others. Do we always view our working life as serving and being with other people? No, I don’t, but I should more, and maybe then frustrations wouldn't take hold quite as strongly. We should recognise we are part of something bigger when we work. Even if we work alone - a writer, a small business owner, an artist - one way or another, our work will be appreciated or used by others. Work is all about community and connection. Perhaps that’s why, even after our official working hours are up, and we meet the end of our careers, we’ll still be looking to connect with others through some kind of work. That couldn’t be demonstrated better than this group of merry murder investigators.