BOOK CLUB FAVORITES
The Only Woman in the Room
By Marie Benedict
She possessed a stunning beauty. She also possessed a stunning mind. Could the world handle both?
Her beauty almost certainly saved her from the rising Nazi party and led to marriage with an Austrian arms dealer. Underestimated in everything else, she overheard the Third Reich’s plans while at her husband’s side, understanding more than anyone would guess. She devised a plan to flee in disguise from their castle, and the whirlwind escape landed her in Hollywood. She became Hedy Lamarr, screen star.
But she kept a secret more shocking than her heritage or her marriage: she was a scientist. And she knew a few secrets about the enemy. She had an idea that might help the country fight the Nazis…if anyone would listen to her.
A powerful novel based on the incredible true story of the glamour icon and scientist whose groundbreaking invention revolutionized modern communication, The Only Woman in the Room is a masterpiece.
The Tumbling Turner Sisters
By Juliette Fay
(Simon & Schuster $16.99)
In 1919, the four Turner sisters and their parents are barely scraping along. Their father is a low-paid boot stitcher in Johnson City, NY, and the Turners are always one paycheck away from eviction. When their father’s hand is crushed and he’s forced to quit, their domineering mother decides that the vaudeville stage is their best–and only–chance for salvation. With everything at stake, the Tumbling Turners take to the road and the four young women, teenagers Gert, Winnie, and Kit, and Nell, a 22-year-old new mother and recent widow of the Great War, are soon immersed in the tumultuous world of American Vaudeville on a nine-city tour that will make or break them. Swindlers and ne’er-do-wells await in abundance, but so does kindness, and just maybe a chance at love. Equal parts heartwarming, charming, and reflective, The Tumbling Turner Sisters is the story of the sacrifices we make in the name of family, and how the most unlikely choice can ultimately be the one to lead us toward our truest selves
The Persian Pickle Club
By Sandra Dallas
(St. Martin’s Press $16.99)
It is the 1930s, and hard times have hit Harveyville, Kansas, where the crops are burning up, and there’s not a job to be found. For Queenie Bean, a young farm wife, a highlight of each week is the gathering of the Persian Pickle Club, a group of local ladies dedicated to improving their minds, exchanging gossip, and putting their quilting skills to good use. When a new member of the club stirs up a dark secret, the women must band together to support and protect one another. In her magical, memorable novel, Sandra Dallas explores the ties that unite women through good times and bad.
(Harper Collins $15.99)
1928. Riffling through a cupboard, Matilda Simpkin comes across a small wooden club–an old possession that she hasn’t seen for more than a decade. Immediately, memories come flooding back to Mattie–memories of a thrilling past, which only further serve to remind her of her chafingly uneventful present. During the Women’s Suffrage Campaign, she was a militant who was jailed five times and never missed an opportunity to return to the fray. Now in middle age, the closest she gets to the excitement of her old life is the occasional lecture on the legacy of the militant movement. After running into an old suffragette comrade who has committed herself to the wave of Fascism, Mattie realizes there is a new cause she needs to fight for and turns her focus to a new generation of women. Thus the Amazons are formed, a group created to give girls a place to not only exercise their bodies but their minds, and ignite in young women a much-needed interest in the world around them. But when a new girl joins the group, sending Mattie’s past crashing into her present, every principle Mattie has ever stood for is threatened.
(Park Row Books $16.99)
Growing up in New York City in the 1910s, Luella and Effie Tildon realize that even as wealthy young women, their freedoms come with limits. But when the sisters discover a shocking secret about their father, Luella, the brazen older sister, becomes emboldened to do as she pleases. Her rebellion comes with consequences, and one morening Luella is mysteriously gone. Effie suspects her father has sent Luella to the House of Mercy and hatches a plan to get herself committed to save her sister. But she made a miscalculation, and with no one to believe her story, Effie’s own escape seems impossible–unless she can trust an enigmatic girl named Mable. As their fates entwine, Mable and Effie must rely on their tenuous friendship to survive.