Sunday

the New Year January Book Choice 2019

We started 2019 reading year with The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Below is a part of the NPR 2013 book review:

He's a socially inept scientist who's tone deaf to irony. She's an edgy young woman whose fallback mode is sarcasm. Put them together, and hilarity ensues in Australian IT consultant Graeme Simsion's first novel, The Rosie Project. It's an utterly winning screwball comedy about a brilliant, emotionally challenged geneticist who's determined to find a suitable wife with the help of a carefully designed questionnaire, and the patently unsuitable woman who keeps distracting him from his search. If you're looking for sparkling entertainment along the lines of Where'd You Go Bernadette and When Harry Met Sally, The Rosie Project is this season's fix. 

The book wouldn't work, of course, if we couldn't see the sweetness and charm beneath Don Tillman's geekiness. But Simsion's hyper-efficient, fastidious 39-year-old narrator endears us from the moment he starts explaining his Wife Problem, which of course is directly related to his People Problem. Like Christopher Boone, the 15-year-old narrator of Mark Haddon's 2003 novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, he's appealing not just despite his eccentricities but because of them.
The Rosie Project - A Novel ebook by Graeme Simsion
Don isn't stupid, and he knows he has problems with intimacy. But he finds it hard to understand why people have trouble with his time-saving Standardized Meal System (which reduces "cognitive load" by rotating seven hilariously elaborate dishes on a strict weekly schedule), or why his impermeable, clearly superior Gore-Tex jacket won't do at a posh restaurant where jackets are required. Over their first dinner together, he tells Rosie that she seems "quite intelligent for a barmaid." "The compliments just keep on coming," Rosie responds tartly — at which point Don reflects that "It seemed I was doing well, and I allowed myself a moment of satisfaction, which I shared with Rosie."

Sharp dialogue, terrific pacing, physical hijinks, slapstick, a couple to root for, and more twists than a pack of Twizzlers — it's no surprise that The Rosie Project is bound for the big screen. But read it first.

Molly hosted our first gather of 2019 at her lovely home. 

November December 2018 Book Choice and Cookie Exchange

We wrapped up the Beehive year with the fiction based on fact book:
Before we were yours by Lisa Wingate
Here is part of the Huffington Post 2017 book review:

The book is written from two viewpoints, The first takes place in the present and centers on Avery Stafford. She is the daughter of a politician and has been raised to be obedient to the family’s needs and wishes. Her father is embroiled in a re-election campaign and so she has headed home to South Carolina to work with him. She is also there to be groomed as his successor. 

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While there she meets a woman named May Crandall, an elderly lady who somehow has a link to Avery’s grandmother Judy. Her curiosity is piqued so she asks her grandmother about the relationship. Judy however is suffering from Alzheimer’s and can’t respond clearly to the questions. Therefore Avery decides to look into her grandmother’s past and when she does secrets become unlocked. They lead to a murky situation concerning orphans and their adoptive parents. 


The other viewpoint belongs to a twelve year old girl named Rill. The time is 1939 and the place is Memphis, Tennessee. Rill lives in a boat on the river and helps take care of her four younger siblings. Her parents do the best they can for their children but life is hard. When Rill’s mother and father are at the hospital awaiting the birth of a new baby, Rill and her sisters and brother are gathered up by the “authorities” and taken to an orphanage of sorts. 

It is a rarity for an author to create a book with two central stories told side by side and not have one overshadow the other. Lisa Wingate has the talent to present this brutal tale tenderly. She is able to get readers into the heads of both Avery and Rill and make their goals crystal clear. Lisa Wingate has the talent to present this brutal tale tenderly. She is able to get readers into the heads of both Avery and Rill and make their goals crystal clear. 

Betsy hosted the dinner and sweet treat exchange at her lovely vila. 

October 2018 Book Group Selection

October's Book Choice was the Haunting: Radium Girls by Kate Moore

Here is a brief bit of the NPR Book Review April 2017:

The Radium GirlsThe book, infuriating for necessary reasons, traces the women at two dial-making factories — the USRC in New Jersey, and Radiant Dial in Illinois. And Radium Girls spares us nothing of their suffering; though at times the foreshadowing reads more like a true-crime story, Moore is intent on making the reader viscerally understand the pain in which these young women were living, and through which they had to fight in order to get their problems recognized.

The history of business is a history of violence. The worst descriptions of disease (and I'll be surprised if you don't run your tongue across your teeth at least once) can't match the fatal callousness of the companies that knew the dangers of radium long before they ever admitted them. There's a reason Moore repeatedly notes the girls' phosphorescence as ghostly; the companies knew they were doomed. (Radiant Dial tested its girls and never gave them their results, even as internal correspondence was sorting them by radiation levels to see who'd be first to die.)

Radium Girls is frighteningly easily to set in a wider context. The story of real women at the mercy of businesses who see them only as a potential risk to the bottom line is haunting precisely because of how little has changed; the glowing ghosts of the radium girls haunt us still.


September 2018 Book Choice

Early Fall we read: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Here is part of the Guardian Book Review May 2017:

From pop-star crushes to meals for one, the life of an outsider is vividly captured in this joyful debut, discovered through a writing competition and sold for huge sums worldwide...

And what a joy it is. The central character of Eleanor feels instantly and insistently real, as if she had been patiently waiting in the wings for her cue all along. Most workplaces have an Eleanor: the slightly odd, plastic bag- clutching person who scuttles away from all communal enterprises; who rarely says a word that isn’t about the matter in hand; whose home life can only be speculated about, not always kindly. Eleanor’s entire existence is clear, orderly – and completely empty. She works all week, goes home on a Friday night, heats up a Tesco pizza, drinks two bottles of vodka and speaks to nobody until Monday morning comes round again.

There are many reasons for Eleanor’s isolation. These are gradually unpicked as the novel unfolds; as well as the mystery of whether there is actually something wrong with her, or whether it is just that without social interaction, our ability to understand what is appropriate behaviour in the world simply withers away.

It feels like a cross between RJ Palacio’s Wonder and Brian Moore’s Judith Hearne, but funnier. Characters aren’t goodies, baddies or plot devices, they just feel like people. The overwhelming emotion is kindness. If you don’t cry the first time Eleanor goes to a hair salon and thanks the blowsy Laura for “making her shiny”, you haven’t a heart. This is a narrative full of quiet warmth and deep and unspoken sadness. It makes you want to throw a party and invite everyone you know and give them a hug, even that person at work everyone thinks is a bit weird.

Dinner is Served at Kim's lovely home:
    


                                                   



Summer 2018 Born a Crime

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Summer Read: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Here is a brief part of the NYTimes review 2016:

By turns alarming, sad and funny, his book provides a harrowing look, through the prism of Mr. Noah’s family, at life in South Africa under apartheid and the country’s lurching entry into a post-apartheid era in the 1990s. Some stories will be familiar to fans who have followed the author’s stand-up act. But his accounts here are less the polished anecdotes of a comedian underscoring the absurdities of life under apartheid, than raw, deeply personal reminiscences about being “half-white, half-black” in a country where his birth “violated any number of laws, statutes and regulations.”
“Born a Crime” is not just an unnerving account of growing up in South Africa under apartheid, but a love letter to the author’s remarkable mother, who grew up in a hut with 14 cousins, and determined that her son would not grow up paying what she called “the black tax” — black families having to “spend all of their time trying to fix the problems of the past,” using their skills and education to bring their relatives “back up to zero,” because “the generations who came before you have been pillaged.”

Friday

June 2018 Book Club Choice

The Rules of Magic was the June book choice, here is brief review from the NY Times

   Hoffman’s latest offering, “The Rules of Magic,” is likely to attract particular attention because it’s a prequel to her 1995 novel, “Practical Magic,” perhaps the best-known work of her career and the basis for the 1998 film starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman as the sisters Sally and Gillian Owens, born into a Massachusetts family whose founding matriarch escaped Salem’s gallows by magicking herself out of her noose. 
  Hoffman has now returned to fill out their portraits, providing a back story that thoroughly upends what we thought we knew about them. The Owens sisters had a baby brother! The only male Owens in centuries was the third child of Susanna, an Owens who skedaddled out of Massachusetts as soon as she could, desperate to remove herself from the stigma clinging to her family name.

   It’s tough to top a dead body in a car, the event that drove the plot in “Practical Magic,” and Hoffman doesn’t try. Instead she goes for historical sweep, setting the Owens siblings’ saga against the backdrop of real events like the Vietnam War, San Francisco’s Summer of Love and the Stonewall riots. But this is a novel that begins with the words, “Once upon a time,” and its strength is a Hoffman hallmark: the commingling of fairy-tale promise with real-life struggle. The Owens children can’t escape who they are. Like the rest of us, they have to figure out the best way to put their powers to use.

Monday

May 2018 Book Selection

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng was the May Beehive book choice. Here is a brief selection of what NY Times book reviewer Eleanor Henderson thought of this novel (2017) 


"Readers of Celeste Ng’s second novel, “Little Fires Everywhere,” will recognize a few elements from her acclaimed debut, “Everything I Never Told You.” There are the simmering racial tensions and incendiary family dynamics beneath the surface of a quiet Ohio town. There are the appeal and impossibility of assimilation, the all-consuming force of motherhood and the secret lives of teenagers and their parents, each unknowable to the other.

Image result for little fires everywhereAnd there’s a familiar frame, too: At each novel’s opening, we know at least part of the tragedy that will befall the characters — the mystery lies in figuring out how they got there. In “Little Fires Everywhere,” we begin not with a death but a house fire, and new questions: Who set it, and why?

The house belongs to Elena and Bill Richardson, a wealthy white couple who epitomize success in picture-perfect, late-’90s Shaker Heights, and their four teenage children, including girl-next-door Lexie and the troubled prankster Izzy, who is suspected of arson. 

It’s Mia and Pearl’s arrival in town 11 months earlier that ignites the story. Mia is an alluring Hester Prynne, a misfit nomad whose scarlet A might stand for Artist. She and Pearl have traveled the country in their VW Rabbit with little more than Mia’s camera, living in dozens of towns before settling in Shaker Heights, where Mia promises her daughter they will stay.

The magic of this novel lies in its power to implicate all of its characters — and likely many of its readers — in that innocent delusion. Who set the little fires everywhere? We keep reading to find out, even as we suspect that it could be us with ash on our hands." 

the Beehive Book Group Dinner was hosted by: 

April 2018 Book Choice

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead was the April beehive book choice. This rich, complex, magical realism approach to American History was fresh and heartbreaking. Here is brief selection of what NY Times book review Juan Gabriel Vasquez had to say/write in Aug 2016.

Image result for underground railroad novel"Colson Whitehead’s novels are rebellious creatures: Each one of them goes to great lengths to break free of the last one, of its structure and language, of its areas of interest. At the same time, they all have one thing in common — the will to work within a recognizable tract of popular culture, taking advantage of conventions while subverting them for the novel’s own purposes. “The Intuitionist,” with its dystopian concerns and futuristic mood, gave way to the folkloric past of “John Henry Days”; “Zone One,” Whitehead’s contribution to the unquenchable American thirst for zombies, was his departure from “Sag Harbor,” with its coming-of-age feeling and concessions to nostalgia. His new novel, “The Underground Railroad,” is as different as can be from the zombie book. It touches on the historical novel and the slave story, but what it does with those genres is striking and imaginative. Like its predecessors, it is carefully built and stunningly daring; it is also, both in expected and unexpected ways, dense, substantial and important.

The central conceit of the novel is as simple as it is bold. The underground railroad is not, in Whitehead’s novel, the secret network of passageways and safe houses used by runaway slaves to reach the free North from their slaveholding states. Or rather it is that, but it is something else, too: You open a trap door in the safe house or find the entrance to a hidden cave, and you reach an actual railroad, with actual locomotives and boxcars and conductors, sometimes complete with benches on the platform. “Two steel rails ran the visible length of the tunnel,” Whitehead writes, “pinned into the dirt by wooden crossties. The steel ran south and north presumably, springing from some inconceivable source and shooting toward a miraculous terminus.” The trains pass at unpredictable times and go to unpredictable places, but that is obviously good enough for those wanting to flee the misery and violence of slavery: its sheer inhumanity, a word that in Whitehead’s unflinching explorations seems to fill up with new meanings." 

February/March 2018 Book Choice

Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan was the selection for February/March. Here is a brief overview by Erika Swyler/ Washington Independent Review 2017


Image result for keeper of lost things"Ruth Hogan’s debut novel, The Keeper of Lost Things, asks readers to imagine a world in which the “lost things” are, in fact, people. The book’s message is that with great care and assistance, all might eventually find their place. It’s a charming notion and one which Hogan tackles gamely, if not always believably.
The author approaches the story as a dual narrative spanning 40 years. In the modern day, the novel centers around Anthony, an aging man who has spent his life collecting lost things and mourning his long-deceased fiancée; and Laura, his secretary-turned-housekeeper, a middle-aged woman recovering from a bad divorce. In the 1970s, we follow Eunice, secretary and lifelong best friend of affable publisher Bomber, who can never return her romantic interest.
Anthony bequeaths to Laura all his worldly possessions and his aptly named mansion, Padua, with one directive: that she continue his work of collecting discarded objects and do her best to return those items to their original owners. What follows is Laura’s journey through grief over Anthony and her failed marriage to a place of self-discovery." 

The Book Group dinner party was hosted by: 

January 2018 Book selection and gathering

The New Year starts with a Horror Novel Slade House by David Mitchell here is the NPR book reviewer Jason Sheehan/2015 :

"This is Slade House, the newest novel from David Mitchell — who wrote the beautifully twisty Cloud Atlas and The Bone Clocks. He's a stylist, a seemingly effortless imaginer of weirded-up nonsense and navigator extraordinaire of the multiple POV school of plots and schemery. As a matter of fact, "beautifully twisty" is pretty much Mitchell's trademark these days. And Slade House does nothing to tarnish his rep.

It's a horror novel. A ghost story. A haunted house book through and through (which is something you just don't see that much anymore), that covers the years 1979 to 2015 with check-ins every nine years and a different main character with each revolution.

Image result for slade house bookWhy nine years? Because every nine years the Ghosty McGuffin's Magical Nonsense Generator operating in the spooky house's attic must be recharged with fresh soul energy. Because every nine years a new "engifted" person must be lured through the magical doorway to Slade House (which, also, only appears every nine years because MAGIC!) to be tricked, drugged and devoured by the creepy, bickering, wise-ass twins who "live" there in order to keep them immortal for another almost-decade.

The story is told through the repeating mechanic of a dozen-some disappearances over 36 years. That reporter mentioned up top? She's trying to find her sister — who disappeared nine years before her own fateful night in that pub near Slade Alley and Slade House — and she spends forty-odd pages making (internal) fun of the crazy old man telling her stories about astral projection and immortal vampires.

The less you know about that going in the better, because all the joy in Slade House is in the discovery. It's in seeing different people make the same mistakes over and over again — in seeing the same story play out, the same weaknesses be preyed upon, the same arrogance of the twins who have been doing this for decades. It's in thinking that you'd be smarter, of course. That you'd see through all this B-movie schlock (like creepy portraits, sad ghosts and stairways that go nowhere), find the secret door, and escape." 

Dinner was hosted by:


Sunday

November December 2017 Book Choice

Our last book for 2017 is  I Am America (and so can you) by Stephen Colbert

“I Am America” describes “heroes” as “people who did not skip ahead” to that speech “but read the book from start to finish as intended.” Heroism aside, to experience the speech in print is to understand what “I Am America” is missing.Mr. Colbert and his staff write for a particular character with impeccable, deadpan delivery, and there is no book-worthy equivalent of what happens when the real McCoy gets near a microphone. The printed speech falls surprisingly flat. Neither this chapter nor the rest of “I Am America” is helped by little red annotations in the margins, though these, too, mimic a tactic that happens to be funny on TV.
Image result for i am america and so can youmong the funnier sections is the “Higher Education” chapter. It includes what purports to be Mr. Colbert’s college application essay, featuring ripe malapropisms, overuse of a thesaurus (“the apex, pinnacle, acme, vertex, and zenith of my life’s experience”) and the lying claim that his great-great-uncle’s name is on a building at Dartmouth. There are also fake course selections with student annotations, among them “Ethnic Stereotypes and the Humor of Cruelty” (“A professor will tell you a bunch of hilarious jokes, and you’re not allowed to laugh”) and “Dance for Men.” (“Go ahead. Break your mother’s heart.”) Heterosexuality that protests too much is a big part of the official Colbert attitude...If “I Am America (And So Can You!)” had nothing but its title, its Colbert cover portrait and 230 blank pages instead of printed ones, it would make a cherished keepsake just the same."

2007 NY Times book review



Betsy will once again host the Holiday Cookie Exchange end of the year party.



October November 2017 Book Choice

Our late fall book choice is A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

"If a Japanese-American writer who is also a Zen Buddhist priest wrote a post-Japanese tsunami novel, what themes might you imagine she would address? Biculturalism, water, death, memory, the female predicament, conscience, the nature of time and tide? Tick. All there. Throw in the second world war, the reader-writer relationship, depression, ecological collapse, suicide, origami, a 105-year-old anarchist nun and a schoolgirl's soiled knickers, and you have Ruth Ozeki's third novel, A Tale for the Time Being.


Image result for a tale for the time being reviewOzeki's meditative, era-flipping story starts with a chance discovery by a Japanese-American novelist called Ruth. Ruth lives on an island in British Columbia. Walking on the beach she stumbles on a barnacle-studded wad of plastic bags protecting a Hello Kitty lunchbox. Inside are some old letters and the diary of 16-year-old Nao (pronounced "now") Yasutani, who describes herself as "a little wave person. Floating about on the stormy sea of life"...
Seen from space, or from the vantage point of those conversant with Zen principles, A Tale for the Time Being is probably a deep and illuminating piece of work, with thoughtful things to say about the slipperiness of time. But for those positioned lower in the planet's stratosphere, Ozeki's novel often feels more like the great Pacific gyre it frequently evokes: a vast, churning basin of mental flotsam in which Schrödinger's cat, quantum mechanics, Japanese funeral rituals, crow species, fetish cafes, the anatomy of barnacles, 163 footnotes and six appendices all jostle for attention. It's an impressive amount of stuff." 

The Guardian Book Review March 2013

Kim hosted the Dinner Party


September October 2017 Book Choice

Our September October book choice is Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

"In the most vivid chapter of Ann Patchett’s rich and engrossing new novel, “Commonwealth,” it is 1971 and six step ­siblings ranging in age from 6 to 12 years old have been left to their own devices. Their blended family is on a car trip, staying in a motel near a lake, and the parents — the beautiful, overwhelmed mother of two of the girls and the affably selfish father of two more girls and two boys — have left a note that reads We’re sleeping late. Do not knock. Thus the children eat breakfast at a diner, then gather supplies, including soda, candy bars, a gun and a fifth of gin, and hike to the lake, where they spend several hours swimming and leaping from a high rock.

Image result for commonwealth bookPatchett wisely underplays the drama — the chapter is a masterly example of showing rather than telling — and the increasingly shocking details speak for themselves.

Her observations about people and life are insightful; and her underlying tone is one of compassion and amusement. If “Commonwealth” lacks the foreign intrigue of “Bel Canto” or “State of Wonder,” both of which took place in South America and contained more suspense, this novel, much of which unfolds in American suburbs, recognizes that the passage of time is actually the ultimate plot. As anyone who has attended a high school reunion knows, people themselves don’t need to have been doing anything particularly interesting in order for their lives to generate interest, so long as you run into them at infrequent enough intervals. Patchett also skillfully illustrates the way that seemingly minor, even arbitrary deci­sions can have long-lasting conse­quences and the way that we often fear the wrong things." 

NY times book review September 2016


Michele hosted the Dinner Party 



Monday

August September 2017 Book Choice

Late summer book choice was A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
(we also read another book by him - My Grandmother asked me to tell you she's sorry)
Here is a NYTimes 2016 review

Fredrik Backman got tepid responses when he sent out the manuscript for his debut novel, “A Man Called Ove.” Most publishers ignored him, and several turned it down.
After a few months and a few more rejections, he began to think perhaps there wasn’t a market for a story about a cranky 59-year-old Swedish widower who tries and fails to kill himself.
Image result for a man called ove“It was rejected by one publisher with the line, ‘We like your novel, we think your writing has potential, but we see no commercial potential,” said Mr. Backman, 35, who lives outside Stockholm with his wife and two children. “That note I kept.”
In hindsight, that critique seems wildly, comically off base. Four years later, “A Man Called Ove” has sold more than 2.8 million copies worldwide, making the book one of Sweden’s most popular literary exports since Stieg Larsson’s thriller “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”
The novel’s protagonist, Ove, is a lonely curmudgeon who screams at his neighbors for parking in the wrong place and punches a hospital clown whose magic tricks annoy him. Six months after his wife’s death, he’s planning to commit suicide and has turned off his radiators, canceled his newspaper subscription and anchored a hook into the ceiling to hang himself. But he keeps getting interrupted by his clueless, prying neighbors. He strikes up a friendship with an Iranian immigrant and her two young daughters, who find Ove’s grumpiness endearing.

Peter Borland, who acquired United States rights to “Ove” for Atria, said he was struck by the book’s pathos and humor.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPoaN2XROk8

Molly Hosted the Dinner Party: 

June/July 2017 Book choice

Our first summer read was a historic foodie book Thomas Jefferson's Creme Brulee by Thomas J. Craughwell 

Here is a brief overview by Goodreads:

Image result for thomas jefferson and creme bruleeThis culinary biography recounts the 1784 deal that Thomas Jefferson struck with his slaves, James Hemings. The founding father was traveling to Paris and wanted to bring James along “for a particular purpose”— to master the art of French cooking. In exchange for James’s cooperation, Jefferson would grant his freedom. 

Thus began one of the strangest partnerships in United States history. As Hemings apprenticed under master French chefs, Jefferson studied the cultivation of French crops (especially grapes for winemaking) so the might be replicated in American agriculture. The two men returned home with such marvels as pasta, French fries, Champagne, macaroni and cheese, crème brûlée, and a host of other treats. This narrative history tells the story of their remarkable adventure—and even includes a few of their favorite recipes! 


Sally hosted the dinner party 




May 2017 Book Choice

Our May 2017 book choice was The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer
Here is part of the 2015 book review from the Guardian writer Celeste Ng 

Image result for girl in the red coatKate Hamer’s debut novel has the trappings of a thriller. Sensitive eight-year-old Carmel –the red-coated girl of the title – is spirited away by a man who claims to be her estranged grandfather. As Beth, her mother, desperately searches for her, Carmel realises that her kidnapper has not taken her at random: he believes she has a special gift. Told in the alternating perspectives of the grieving mother and the missing daughter, it keeps the reader turning pages at a frantic clip.
Image result for girl in the red coat
It’s no accident that the title calls to mind Little Red Riding Hood, the ultimate story of a young girl captured by a predator. Carmel is abducted from a storytelling festival, and both she and her mother make frequent reference to the fairytale nature of what’s happened. Beth wishes she’d kept her daughter “shut away in a fortress or a tower. Locked with a golden key that I would swallow.” Spotting her shadow on the wall beside her captor’s, Carmel muses: “We both look like the paper puppets … and I wonder what story we’d be telling if we were.” She steels herself by thinking: “Sometimes, it’s easier to think of things as stories … If I made these things into stories I could float away from them, and look at them sideways, or like they were happening inside a snow globe.”

Jeannie hosted the dinner party 






April 2017 Book post

The April 2017 book selection is Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman.
Here is a brief review from Goodreads:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Dovekeepers and The Museum of Extraordinary Things: a forbidden love story set on the tropical island of St. Thomas about the extraordinary woman who gave birth to painter Camille Pissarro; the Father of Impressionism.

Growing up on idyllic St. Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris. Rachel's mother, a pillar of their small refugee community of Jews who escaped the Inquisition, has never forgiven her daughter for being a difficult girl who refuses to live by the rules. Growing up, Rachel's salvation is their maid Adelle's belief in her strengths, and her deep, life-long friendship with Jestine, Adelle's daughter. But Rachel's life is not her own. She is married off to a widower with three children to save her father's business. When her husband dies suddenly and his handsome, much younger nephew, Fréderick, arrives from France to settle the estate, Rachel seizes her own life story, beginning a defiant, passionate love affair that sparks a scandal that affects all of her family, including her favorite son, who will become one of the greatest artists of France.

Image result for marriage of oppositesBuilding on the triumphs of The Dovekeepers and The Museum of Extraordinary Things, set in a world of almost unimaginable beauty, The Marriage of Opposites showcases the beloved, bestselling Alice Hoffman at the height of her considerable powers. Once forgotten to history, the marriage of Rachel and Fréderick is a story that is as unforgettable as it is remarkable.





Kitty Hosted the Event:

Books of 2016 Looking Back


The Books of 2016 Looking back...


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February 2016

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March April 2016


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May 2016

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June 2016

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August 2016 
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September 2016 
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October 2016 
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November December 2016




Saturday

March 2017 Book!


The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Our next meeting is March 10th and our book is The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.

Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly's wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.
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Tuesday

October 2015 Book Choice

The Magician's Lie by Greer Macallister was the October 2015 Beehive book choice here are a few reviews:

At the pinnacle of her career, an early 20th-century magician known as the Amazing Arden astonishes the world by sawing a man in half onstage — or at least appearing to do so. “Who is this Amazing Arden?” the headlines ask.

Greer Macallister’s atmospheric novel tells the story of this fictional magician, whose talents make her one of the world’s most famous female masters of illusion. It’s a tale as spellbinding as any of Arden’s performances, with plenty of smoke and mirrors to confound and misdirect the reader.

“The Magician’s Lie” opens in 1905. Arden is preparing to dazzle an audience in Waterloo, Iowa, with her “Halved Man” trick. She will saw a man in half, blood will spurt from the wooden box in which he lies, and she will put him back together again. But this time she switches out the saw for an ax. “Tonight, I will escape my torturer, once and for all time. Tonight, I will kill him,” she confesses to the reader. (Her tormentor isn’t named, but who he is and what he has done to her are horrifying when finally revealed.)

Later that night, a man’s body, an ax buried in his chest, is found under the stage. The police’s prime suspect in the death is, not surprisingly, the Amazing Arden. The victim is said to be her husband. Arden flees Waterloo but is soon captured by a police officer.

‘The Magician’s Lie’ by Greer Macallister is a spellbinding tale...Washington Post 2015 

"Macallister is as much of a magician as her subject, misdirecting and enchanting while ultimately leaving her audience satisfied with a grand finale." -- Columbus Dispatch

"Greer Macallister's haunting first novel is a compelling mystery.... [her] painstaking descriptions of the costumes, technique and trickery involved in Ada’s work as an illusionist are unparalleled." -- BookPage review


"And for its next trick, the novel 'The Magician’s Lie' by Greer Macallister just might become a hit." -- The Christian Science Monitor