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Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Adventurous
The Forgotten Garden

This was the first book chosen by our newly organized book club. While several of us were confused in the beginning by the shifting back and forth between characters and their stories, we soon learned the significance of the author's reasons for doing so. While often this story seemed to be tragic, we felt that the book as a whole was more of a love story. As former teachers, we gave it an "A" and highly recommend it to any group considering reading it.

Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
Room

Our club of retired teachers was somewhat divided on this book. While we all found it an interesting read and a great book for discussion, there were some things that bothered us about it. While we understood the reasoning behind the way Jack spoke, it was hard to believe that with a tv and his mother to listen to that his speech would be the way it was. We found it sometimes hard to read because of this. However I would not wish to discourage anyone from reading "Room". The author does a good job of creating a "world within a room" and makes readers think of what happens when you are taken from the only environment you have ever known and thrown into the "real" world.

 
Interesting, Poorly Written, Informative
An Object of Beauty

Sadly though I felt this book was very well written and I learned a lot about the world of art, I can't recommend it. I couldn't get invested in the main character so really didn't care what she did or what happened to her. I also was waiting for something to happen and when it did, I found it very anticlimactic.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Insightful
In the Garden of the Beasts

We found this a very well researched narrative of the time. It was well written and easy to read.

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Fun, Insightful
The Weird Sisters

I loved this book. Reading about the relationships between the sisters will definitely get you to reflect on your own family dynamics. The ending gives us all hope that it's never too late to make changes in our lives.

State of Wonder: A Novel by Ann Patchett
 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Interesting, Dramatic
State of Wonder

While our club enjoyed reading the book, we did have some issues with the story. We found that the author did not entirely convince us that the story was taking place in the jungle. We also felt that the author had trouble transitioning from one part of the story to another. It left us wondering if we had forgotten to read a paragraph when we picked up the book to continue reading. Overall the idea for the story was interesting and despite our problems with some of the writing, we enjoyed it and would recommend it to others.

The Dovekeeper by Alice Hoffman
 
Book Club Recommended
Beautiful, Epic, Informative
The Dovekeepers

By far this is the best book we have read since we started our book club. It was extremely well researched and beautifully written. It was amazing how the author was able to tell the inspiring stories of four strong women and keep the story moving forward. This book will stay with me for a long time!

Defending Jacob: A Novel by William Landay
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
Defending Jacob

Our book club thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was very interesting to see how far the parents were willing to go for their son. Also interesting was how the mother and father were not necessarily on the same page when deciding the guilt or innocence of their child. Lots of twists and turns - some expected, some not, made for a very good read.

The Shoemaker's Wife: A Novel by Adriana Trigiani
 
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Beautiful, Inspiring
The Shoemaker's Wife

Our club thought this book was just okay. The Italian setting was beautiful and the characters llikeable, but we didn't think it was as well written as some of our previous choices. This was the story of how the author's grandparents met and while it was lovely, some parts seemed a bit contrived. It was a good story but just not one of our favorotes.

 
Book Club Recommended
Beautiful, Interesting, Brilliant
NIght Circus

I'm not sure what to say about this book. I think I really, really liked it but was a bit confused initially. At times I wanted to throw it out the window. The story revolves around two young illusionists being trained to take part in a competition. The setting is the night circus that suddenly appears and then just as suddenly disappears. A quirky yet interesting group of
characters make up the entertainers and developers of the circus. You can't help but to be drawn to each and every one of them. The imagery was amazing. I was transported to another time and place where I almost felt like I was part of the story. I wanted to be there experiencing what it was like to travel on the paths, enter the tents, and be part of the magic. I was thoroughly entertained. My advice - Don't throw it out the window!!!!

Fly Away by Kristin Hannah
 
Inspiring, Dramatic, Addictive
Fly Away

While we agreed we loved the prequel to this book, we found this to be too predictable. Maybe if we hadn't read the first one, we would have liked this one better. It was okay but not what I expect from Kristin Hannah.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dark, Slow, Interesting
Goldfinch

While many may think this book is too long, I enjoyed every word! Donna Ttart has created an amazing cast of characters that you as the reader become invested in from the moment you start reading. While I have never been to New York, I believe I have been there now. That is how amazing she is in creating the different locations you will visit in this story. This may not be the book for every one , but it was the perfect one for me. It will stay with me for a long time.

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