In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France … but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne’s home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything.
Ireland, 1959: Young Christy Hurley is a Pavee gypsy, traveling with his father and extended family from town to town, carrying all their worldly possessions in their wagons. Christy carries with him a burden of guilt as well, haunted by the story of his mother’s death in childbirth. The peripatetic life is the only one Christy has ever known, but when his grandfather dies, everything changes.
The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it—from garden seeds to Scripture—is calamitously transformed on African soil.
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.
With her father’s maid, motherless fourteen year old Lily Owens sets out on a quest in 1964 South Carolina to learn more about her mother and the mysterious circumstances of her death. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd is a story about motherhood, sisterhood, prejudices, love, and coming of age.
On a fateful morning, Daniel’s devoted father, proprietor of Sempere & Son booksellers, feels the time has come for Daniel to know of the secret wondrous library maintained by the second-hand booksellers’ guild. Books are hidden away and protected in this mysterious place until their rediscovery. Young Daniel is drawn to a particular book. ” The gold letter of its title gleamed in the light bleeding from the dome above. I drew near and caressed them with the tips of my fingers reading to myself The Shadow of the Wind Julian Carax.”
Daniel chooses this book, or does this book choose Daniel?
The Story of Edgar Sawtelleby David Wroblewski is set in Northern Wisconsin in The Chequamegon National Forest and surrounding area. Remote and heavily wooded, teeming with wildlife and lakes, The Chequamegon National Forest is the ideal wilderness hideaway for a boy not wanting to be found.
The Thirteenth Tale is the story of Vida Winter, a prolific writer with a mysterious past. She commissions a young writer named Margaret to pen her story, the “Thirteenth Tale”. Mrs. Winter tells the story of Angelfield, an avoided house that was home to spooky twin girls that terrorized the village. The manor was run by their father, a recluse that never got over the unconventional love he had for his sister. Mrs. Winter’s tale, along with Diane Setterfield’s intriguing writing, will draw you in as you are told the stories of Angelfield and its inhabitants.
In the summer of 1938, Layla Beck’s father, a United States senator, cuts off her allowance and demands that she find employment on the Federal Writers’ Project, a New Deal jobs program. Within days, Layla finds herself far from her accustomed social whirl, assigned to cover the history of the remote mill town of Macedonia, West Virginia, and destined, in her opinion, to go completely mad with boredom. But once she secures a room in the home of the unconventional Romeyn family, she is drawn into their complex world and soon discovers that the truth of the town is entangled in the thorny past of the Romeyn dynasty.
“The trouble with eating Italian food is that 5 or 6 days later you’re hungry again.” ~ George Miller, British writer
The Wedding Officer by Anthony Capella is an affirmation of life, love, and good food. The setting is WWII occupied Italy. The British Army is in Naples and James Gould, a young naive British officer, is assigned to prevent weddings between the lonely British soldiers and the young Italian women desperately trying to survive the war. James’ very proper and restrained existence is set upside down by the fiery young woman, Livia Pertini, he hires as the British personnel’s cook.
The Andreas family is one of readers. Their father, a renowned Shakespeare professor who speaks almost entirely in verse, has named his three daughters after famous Shakespearean women. When the sisters return to their childhood home, ostensibly to care for their ailing mother, but really to lick their wounds and bury their secrets, they are horrified to find the others there.
Balram’s India is a corrupt one where schoolteachers steal children’s lunch money and bribes are commonplace. “In the old days there were one thousand castes and destinies in India. These days, there are just two castes: Men with Big Bellies, and Men with Small Bellies. And only two destinies: eat – or get eaten up”
The Widower’s Tale is the story of Percival Darling. He still lives in the house where his daughters grew up – “the house of her mother’s heart” according to Clover, Percy’s eldest daughter. Percy is a 70 year old who runs everyday to get in shape to die and who fantasizes of a quasi-Luddite retirement – “Cursed be the cursors; farewell to iEverything and its pertly nicknamed apps.”
On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.
Ladies and Gentlemen! Step right up for the amazing, the unbelievable, the marvelous wonders we have gathered for this book club party inspired by Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. The main character, Jacob Jankowski, jumps on the circus train after suffering a tragedy in his life. He encounters “the most dazzling collection” of people and animals “gathered from all four corners of the earth”.
The Mulvaneys of High Point Farm in Mt. Ephraim, New York, are a large and fortunate clan, blessed with good looks, abundant charisma, and boundless promise. But over the twenty-five year span of this ambitious novel, the Mulvaneys will slide, almost imperceptibly at first, from the pinnacle of happiness, transformed by the vagaries of fate into a scattered collection of lost and lonely souls.