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Interesting, Romantic, Beautiful
A story of the Canadian North.

A very popular choice. The book reads like butter. We enjoyed it as much as Crow Lake. Lawson is a master of characterization. She captures time and place with specificity and also with universality.

 
Insightful, Informative, Interesting
An autistic boy sets out to solve a crime and reveals so much more.

We loved this book. It was a delightful twist on the unreliable narrator. Indeed, this narrator was absolutely, literally reliable. Much discussion of autism resulted from reading this book. Everyone enjoyed it and was glad that we had selected it.

Unless: A Novel by Carol Shields
 
The book surrounds the mystery of a daughter who chooses homelessness.

This book spun off many discussion topics - particularly relating to family life. The central mystery was engaging and the solution of the mystery was surprising and interesting.

 
Dramatic, Insightful, Graphic
A family of children struggles to survive in the Canadian north.

We loved this book. The characters were realistic and multi-faceted. The treatment of time and place were marvelous. Many were unable to put the book down!

 
Insightful, Dramatic, Brilliant
The lives of two Afghani boys are chronicled in this engaging novel.

This book was tied for the favorite book of the year in our book club! Everyone enjoyed it and felt enriched in understanding for having read it.

Human Stain by Philip Roth
 
Dark, Pointless, Unconvincing
The life of an university professor comes unravelled because of a long-standing secret.

Tied for our book club's favorite book of the year, this novel was stark and unflinching in its look at the lives of its complex characters. Our discussion was lively and varied!

Clara Callan: A Novel by Richard B. Wright
 
Dark, Interesting
The life of a small town teacher and her sister are entwined in this surprising and realistic novel.

We loved this book and our discussion of the characters in it. We were surprised that such a realistic depiction of the lives of women could be depicted with such clarity by a male author.

 
Interesting, Dramatic, Epic
The life of a physical hermaphrodite forms only one aspect of this complex novel.

This book won our "best of the year" award! It contained so many issues and aspects that discussion continued for hours! It is ultimately a book of survival and compassion.

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
 
Interesting, Brilliant, Insightful
A story of struggle against prejudice and injustice.

Although this book is beautifully written our book club was resistant to its aspects of magical realism. Some of our members absolutely loved the book while others struggled with both style and content.

One True Thing: A Novel by Anna Quindlen
 
Insightful, Dramatic, Beautiful
A mother and daughter face mother's terminal cancer.

Although this book is well-written, many of our members are facing their own battles with cancer consequently the book was too difficult for them to read and/or discuss. I would suggest that book clubs proceed with caution.

The Last Crossing by Guy Vanderhaeghe
 
A mystery of the early West reveals many aspects of the lives of its characters.

Although some loved this book, others found it a struggle. Some felt that it would be of more interest to men. The discussion was lively with both points of view holding their ground!

An Unpardonable Crime by Andrew Taylor
 
A Dickensian mystery steeped in nineteenth century complexity.

This book didn't engage many of our readers. They felt that it was too complex and convoluted and that the characters didn't engage or sustain their interest.

 
This book compellingly imagines the journals of Jesephine Bonaparte.

Although all members enjoyed these books, some felt that they were rather light. The time period was beautifully depicted and the characters were compelling, but the books didn't address many underlying issues for discussion.

Saturday by Ian McEwan
 
Slow, Brilliant, Epic
A day in the life of a neurosurgeon.

Most members loved this book. Many chose it to be the best of the books we read this year. It takes an ordinary day and makes it extraordinary in many ways. The characters are realistic and engaging. The action results from characterization. A very neat and tidy read!

Amsterdam: A Novel by Ian McEwan
 
Brilliant
A suicide pact between friends twists and turns.

This book is about a neat plot. The main characters are unlovely which makes the plot fun rather than tragic. Some members found that they weren't able to attach to the plot because they weren't able to like the characters. Others found it a knee-slapping good twisty, dark journey into irony.

 
Dramatic, Insightful, Interesting
A possible story behind this famous painting sheds light on Dutch history.

Although everyone enjoyed reading this book, we didn't have many issues to discuss at our meeting. It is a time and place beautifully depicted with many interesting aspects of the struggles and restrictions of the lives of the characters. Some reservation was expressed about how much of the story was based in truth, how much was based in reality, and how much was merely a fictional filling in of the blanks.

Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky
 
Dark, Confusing, Difficult
A group of people leave Paris at the start of WWII.

This is a fabulous book. We enjoyed the balanced, poetic, capable depiction of people and events surrounding this moment in history. Great fodder for discussion. We recommend this book highly to any book club or any reader. Exquisite!

 
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Fun, Insightful
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

Major Pettigrew would feel at home in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. This is a book that warms the heart with its generous spirit and gentle warmth.

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