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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A MUST read

If you could sum up The Book That Matters Most in three words, what would they be?

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.

If you could rename The Book That Matters Most, what would you call it?

Perfect title

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Barely OK

pedestrian prose, often cliche. Important aspects of the characters' actions rarely explained. Far too happily ever after ending.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

'Our lives are our own to ruin as we. may"

That sentence revealed to me how much control we have. in our lives to choose and not blame others for our decisions to take our selves,,,,,,,,, out of the picture.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Unrealistic plot

The plot was too easy to figure out and the "happily ever after" theme with the junkie daughter was not realistic!!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Well done!

What a great story teller...the development of character... the bridge of generations ... the growth and maturity of relationships... the clarity and acceptance of life thru living...well done!

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • A.F.H.
  • Walnut Creek, CA
  • 05-02-18

Predictable and trite

Skip this one. And for a book that has so much French in it you’d think they could have found a voice actor who could speak French.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Unrealistic

Interesting and attention grabbing but a little too corny and contrived. I liked the premise though.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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lovely book

good book. narrator was perfect for this novel. very easy to listen to. I would recommend, but don't know if I'd read again.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wow

I would have never picked this book for myself, but as part of a book club it was suggested and it was interesting as the story is based on a book club. What an amazing book, so sad and so real. It is a beautiful story of life, tragedy, grief, and finding yourself. The performance by the narrator was amazing as well. Highly recommend this book to young and mature audiences. ❤❤❤

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Loved the concept, not the book

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.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful