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Book Club Ideas

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

When Elspeth Noblin dies of cancer, she leaves her London apartment to her twin nieces, Julia and Valentina. These two American girls never met their English aunt, only knew that their mother, too, was a twin, and Elspeth her sister. Julia and Valentina are semi-normal American teenagers–with seemingly little interest in college, finding jobs, or anything outside their cozy home in the suburbs of Chicago, and with an abnormally intense attachment to one another.

The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian

When Elizabeth Endicott arrives in Aleppo, Syria she has a diploma from Mount Holyoke, a crash course in nursing, and only the most basic grasp of the Armenian language. The year is 1915 and she has volunteered on behalf of the Boston-based Friends of Armenia to help deliver food and medical aid to refugees of the Armenian genocide. There Elizabeth becomes friendly with Armen, a young Armenian engineer who has already lost his wife and infant daughter.

Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Little Bee comes from a village in Nigeria sheltered from the world’s advancements, but not sheltered from the world’s evils. Little Bee’s journey to freedom begins when she flees her village with her sister and friend. She touches the lives of Andrew (a writer), Sarah (editor of a fashion magazine), Charlie (a batman freak), and Lawrence (Sarah’s confidant). Little Bee touched my life as well. “Sad words are just another beauty. A sad story means this story teller is alive” – Little Bee

That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo

That Old Cape Magic is a story about a man’s journey to lay his father, and then his mother, to rest while reflecting on his upbringing. His fondest memories include that one month of happiness his family would have when they crossed the Sagamore Bridge into Cape Cod. To commemorate the event, they would sing That Old Black Magic, substituting Cape for Black.

Joy, Griffin’s separated wife, sums up the story well when she says “out of sight isn’t out of mind. You think you don’t let your mother into your life-into our lives-but you blame her when a bird craps on you.”

Jemima J by Jane Green

She is an overweight reporter who is looking for love and recognition in life. Jemima J is secretly in love with her handsome co-worker but is sure he would never give her the time of day. Persuaded by a friend to try online dating, Jemima J starts a journey to finding out what is truly important to her and what true love is.

Darling Jim by Christian Moerk

A mesmerizing young Irish seanchaí (storyteller) on a red 1950 Vincent Comet motorcycle pulls into town and into the lives of young school teacher, Fiona Walsh, her twin sisters, Aiofe and Róisín, and Aunt Moira. With riveting tales of long ago kingdoms, mighty battles, princes, princesses and wolves, Jim charms and seduces his listeners. But let the games begin when a jealousy-driven Fiona follows Jim and discovers a very dark secret.

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