Book Discussion Group Title List 2018

October 2018

Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

by Lisa See

 

In their remote mountain village, Li-yan and her family align their lives around the seasons and the farming of tea. For the Akha people, ensconced in ritual and routine, life goes on as it has for generations—until a stranger appears at the village gate in a jeep, the first automobile any of the villagers has ever seen. The stranger’s arrival marks the first entrance of the modern world in the lives of the Akha people.
 

September 2018

No One Can Pronounce My Name

by Rakesh Satyal

 

A humorous multigenerational story of trying to find one’s place in a new society.

August 2018

On Chesil Beach

by Ian McEwan

It is 1962, and Florence and Edward are celebrating their wedding in a hotel on the Dorset coast. Yet as they dine, the expectation of their marital duties become overwhelming. Unbeknownst to them both, the decisions they make this night will resonate throughout their lives.

July 2018

Finding Jake

by Bryan Reardon

 

While his successful wife goes off to her law office each day, Simon Connolly takes care of their kids, Jake and Laney. Now that they are in high school, the angst-ridden father should feel more relaxed, but he doesn't. He's seen the statistics, read the headlines. And now, his darkest fear is coming true. There has been a shooting at school.

Simon races to the rendezvous point, where he's forced to wait. Do they know who did it? How many victims were there? Why did this happen? One by one, parents are led out of the room to reunite with their children. Their numbers dwindle, until Simon is alone.

As his worst nightmare unfolds, and Jake is the only child missing, Simon begins to obsess over the past, searching for answers, for hope, for the memory of the boy he raised, for mistakes he must have made, for the reason everything came to this. Where is Jake? What happened in those final moments? Is it possible he doesn't really know his son? Or he knows him better than he thought?

June 2018

Widow

by Fiona Barton

Jean Taylor's life was blissfully ordinary. Nice house, nice husband. Glen was all she ever wanted: her Prince Charming. But then everything changed. The newspapers found a new name for Glen: MONSTER, they shrieked. Jean was married to a man accused of the unimaginable. And as the years ticked by, with no sign of the little girl he had been suspected of taking, their lives were constantly splashed across the front pages. But now Glen is dead, and Jean is alone for the first time - free to tell her own story on her own terms.

May 2018

Man Called Ove

by Fredrick Backman

Behind the cranky exterior of Ove there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

March 2018

I’m the One Who Got Away

by Andrea Jarrell

Fugitives from a man as alluring as he is violent, Andrea Jarrell and her mother develop a powerful, unusual bond. Once grown, Jarrell thinks she’s put that chapter of her life behind her―until a woman she knows is murdered, and she suddenly sees that it’s her mother’s choices she’s been trying to escape all along. Without preaching or prescribing, I’m the One Who Got Away is a life-affirming story of having the courage to become both safe enough and vulnerable enough to love and be loved.

February 2018

The Group

by Mary McCarthy

This novel follows the lives of eight Vassar graduates, known simply to their classmates as The Group. An eclectic mix of personalities and upbringings, they meet a week after graduation to watch Kay Strong get married. After the ceremony, the women begin their adult lives; traveling to Europe, tackling the worlds of nursing and publishing, and finding love and heartbreak in the streets of New York City. Through the years, some of the friends grow apart and some become entangled in each other's affairs, but all vow not to become like their mothers and fathers. It is only when one of them passes away that they all come back together again to mourn the loss of a friend, a confidante, and most importantly, a member of the group.

January 2018

Everything I Never Told You

by Celeste Ng

A teenage girl goes missing and is later found to have drowned in a nearby lake, and suddenly a once tight-knit family unravels in unexpected ways. As the daughter of a college professor and his stay-at-home wife in a small Ohio town in the 1970s, Lydia Lee is already unwittingly part of the greater societal changes going on all around her. But Lydia suffers from pressure that has nothing to do with tuning out and turning on. Her father is an American born of first-generation Chinese immigrants, and his ethnicity, and hers, make them conspicuous in any setting. Her mother is white, and their interracial marriage raises eyebrows and some intrusive charges of miscegenation. More troubling, however, is her mother’s frustration at having given up medical school for motherhood, and how she blindly and selfishly insists that Lydia follow her road not taken. The cracks in Lydia’s perfect-daughter foundation grow slowly but erupt suddenly and tragically, and her death threatens to destroy her parents and deeply scar her siblings.