Reading Group Favorites

 

 

 

 

 

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“Just the knowledge that a good book is awaiting one at the end
of a long day makes that day happier.” — Kathleen Norris 

 

 

 Mothering Sunday

By Graham Swift (Penguin Random House $15.00)

On an unseasonably warm spring day in 1924, twenty-two-year-old Jane Fairchild, a maid at an English country house, meets with her secret lover, the young heir of a neighboring estate. He is about to be married to a woman more befitting his social status, and the time has come to end the affair–but events unfold in ways Jane could never have predicted.
As the narrative moves back and forth across the twentieth century, what we know and understand about Jane–about the way she loves, thinks, feels, sees, and remembers–expands with every page. In Mothering Sunday, Booker Prize-winning novelist Graham Swift has crafted an emotionally soaring and profoundly moving work of fiction.

 

 

The Scapegoat

By Daphne du Maurier (University of Pennsylvania Press $19.95)

Fate catches up with John, an English academic vacationing in France. When he meets a French aristocrat who is his physical “double”, he agrees to change places with the Comte de Gue for a week–only to learn that he is being used as a decoy for forces threatening to destroy the Comte’s family.

 

kitchens-great-mid Kitchens of the Great Midwest

By J. Ryan Stradal (Penguin Random House $16)

When Lars Thorvald s wife, Cynthia, falls in love with wine and a dashing sommelier he s left to raise their baby, Eva, on his own. He s determined to pass on his love of food to his daughter starting with pureed pork shoulder. As Eva grows, she finds her solace and salvation in the flavors of her native Minnesota. From Scandinavian lutefisk to hydroponic chocolate habaneros, each ingredient represents one part of Eva s journey as she becomes the star chef behind a legendary and secretive pop-up supper club, culminating in an opulent and emotional feast that s a testament to her spirit and resilience.

 

Firefly Lane

By Kristin Hannah (MacMillan $15.99)

They were known as the Firefly Lane girls–a single, inseparable unit. The best friends promise to be there for each other forever–and for 30 years, that promise holds strong. Then events and choices make that promise impossible.

 

The Life We Bury

By Allen Eskens (Prometheus Books $15.95)

College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson, and soon nothing in Joe’s life is ever the same. Iverson is a dying Vietnam veteran–and a convicted murderer. With only a few months to live, he has been medically paroled to a nursing home, after spending thirty years in prison for the crimes of rape and murder

 

 

Mozart’s Sister

by Rita Charbonnier (Penguin Random House $19.00)

In this novel based on historical fact, Mozart’s sister is a gifted musician, possibly a greater talent than her younger brother. Charbonnier takes readers on a lush tour of 18th-century Europe and into the fascinating life of a woman who ultimately finds a way to express her own genius.