An enthralling novel about love, loss, secrets, friendship, and the healing power of literature, by the best-selling author of The Knitting Circle.
Ava's 25-year marriage has fallen apart, and her two grown children are pursuing their own lives outside of the country. Ava joins a book group, not only for her love of reading but also out of sheer desperation for companionship. The group's goal throughout the year is for each member to present the book that matters most to them. Ava rediscovers a mysterious book from her childhood - one that helped her through the traumas of the untimely deaths of her sister and mother.
Alternating with Ava's story is that of her troubled daughter, Maggie, who, living in Paris, descends into a destructive relationship with an older man. Ava's mission to find that book and its enigmatic author takes her on a quest that unravels the secrets of her past and offers her and Maggie the chance to remake their lives.
©2016 Ann Hood (P)2016 Recorded Books
The underlying concept of this book - choosing the book that matters most to you in your life - was what intrigued me most, and it was probably what kept me reading throughout the story. It made me reflect on what books have really had that kind of impact on me throughout the different phases of my life. I really enjoyed seeing what books the members of the book club in the story selected and added a few to my to-be-read list.
"Could a writer understand how her book had saved someone long ago, when the world was a fragile, scary place and the people she loved weren't in it anymore? Could a writer understand that her book had mattered more than anything?"
Unfortunately, for most of the book I was distracted by so many subplots, back and forth in time, undeveloped characters, and loose pieces of the story the author doesn't tie up. The entire storyline of Ava's daughter in Paris had me skimming pages and fast-forwarding past those pieces. Had it not been for the decent story buried throughout, I probably would have put this book down early on.
This is just a great feel book. I love the cast of characters. I love the twists and turns and surprises. But what i liked most was, it was real life. unpredictable and this is how we deal with life.
I had a migraine and couldn't sleep. This kept me listening and interested though I can't say that I "enjoyed" it. The writing was good, the audio narrator was even better, but the story...
I was more interested in Ava's story than Maggie's (Ava's daughter). The chapters alternated. I liked all the "book talk," at Ava's book club, found many characters interesting, but it was pretty depressing.
The thing that bugged me the most is one of my pet peeves: gigantic logic flaw, but without this faulty premise, one of the character's wouldn't have a story. Without spoilers: essentially, one character is in a bad situation that gets worse and worse but can't figure out how to escape. Ok...said character does have people to call (though I could understand why the character didn't make a phone call to say, "Help!"), but the character had plenty of money and could have just left. One could make arguments about why the person didn't leave, but early on--before things really get bad--the person knows it's time to get out. As screwed up as the character was, I just didn't believe that the person stayed in this new and awful situation when easy financial means were available to get out.
Exceptional Ann Hood ...I want the hard copy to read the printed words...I am Weeping is all I can say...Ann has moved me to tears again. the narration got better with each performance
of each of Anne's charecters. For any aspiring writers ..or even established authors..after u read this and all Anne's other novels, and her short stories, and memoirs about her lste dad.
and her faughter who died so uoung. and then her book about character emotions named , Creating Character Emotions, something she is a master at, as well as inducing every emotion a reader can possibly ask of a masterpiece ...
Rose Heredia, Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY..August 14, 2016.
Just wow. That's all I can say. Any information will spoil this book. You just have to read it (or listen to it).
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