Book Club

Book Club 2019 Book Selections


Jan 23, 2019:  Facilitator needed

Contact: Activity Chairperson

Glass Houses (Chief Inspector Gamache Series #13) by Louise Penny.

When a mysterious figure appears in Three Pines one cold November day, Armand Gamache and the rest of the villagers are at first curious.  Then wary.  Through rain and sleet, the figure stands unmoving, staring ahead.  From the moment its shadow falls over the village, Gamache, now Chief Superintendent of the Sûreté du Québec, suspects the creature has deep roots and a dark purpose.  Yet he does nothing.  What can he do?  Only watch and wait.  And hope his mounting fears are not realized.  But when the figure vanishes overnight, and a body is discovered, it falls to Gamache to discover if a debt has been paid or levied.  Months later, on a steamy July day as the trial for the accused begins in Montréal, Chief Superintendent Gamache continues to struggle with actions he set in motion that bitter November, from which there is no going back.  More than the accused is on trial.  Gamache’s own conscience is standing in judgment.

     Note:  Louise Penny will speak at the Lenoir Rhyne Visiting Writers Series on March 7, 2019


March 27, 2019 Facilitator: Betty Schwartz

Garbage Bag Suitcase by Shenandoah Chefalo.

Garbage Bag Suitcase is the true story of Shenandoah Chefalo’s wholly dysfunctional journey through a childhood with neglectful, drug-and alcohol-addicted parents.  She endured numerous moves in the middle of the night with just minutes to pack, multiple changes in schools, hunger, cruelty, and loneliness. Overcoming her many adversities, Shen became part of the 3% of all foster care children who get into college, and the 1% who graduate. She became a successful businesswoman, got married, and had a daughter. Despite her numerous achievements in life though, she still suffers from the long-term effects of neglect, and the coping skills that she adapted in her childhood are not always productive in her adult life.


May 22, 2019 Facilitators: Peggy Barton and Mary Bucy

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn.

This story takes place in two different time eras; 1947, during the chaotic aftermath of WW ll and 1915, a year into WW l.  It is about the women’s spy network that Britain used against the Germans.


July 24, 2019 Facilitator: Barb Beck

This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel.

In her novel, Laurie Frankel takes real-life experiences of people who have transgender children and puts them into a story of a family.  Penn and Rosie are a close, loving couple, living in Madison, Wisconsin with their five boys.  But it becomes evident before long that their youngest, Claude, feels like he should have been born a girl.  So how do these strong, supportive parents go about helping their son live as the person he wants to be?  The nuances and unforeseen pitfalls of trying to protect your child from fear and hate while nurturing a sense of acceptance is daunting.  What is private and what is a secret, and what is, really, nobody’s business?  Sometimes secrets have a way of materializing in the blink of an eye or the span of an innocuous question, and this novel is about the lengths we will go, as parents and siblings, to protect each other.  The novel is an incredible read that speaks to the heart of what it means to love and be loved by family.


September 25, 2019 Facilitator needed

A Spark of Life by Jodi Picoult.

The warm fall day starts like any other at the Center—a women’s reproductive health services clinic—its staff offering care to anyone who passes through its doors.  Then, in late morning, a desperate and distraught gunman bursts in and opens fire, taking all inside hostage.  After rushing to the scene, Hugh McElroy, a police hostage negotiator, sets up a perimeter and begins making a plan to communicate with the gunman.  As his phone vibrates with incoming text messages he glances at it and, to his horror, finds out that his fifteen-year-old daughter, Wren, is inside the clinic.  But Wren is not alone.  She will share the next and most tense few hours of her young life with a cast of unforgettable characters: A nurse who calms her own panic in order to save the life of a wounded woman.  A doctor who does his work not in spite of his faith but because of it, and who will find that faith tested as never before.  A pro-life protester, disguised as a patient, who now stands in the cross-hairs of the same rage she herself has felt.  A young woman who has come to terminate her pregnancy.  And the disturbed individual himself, vowing to be heard.


November 20, 2019 Facilitator: Karen Mills

Southernmost by Silas House.

In the aftermath of a flood that washes away much of a small Tennessee town, evangelical preacher Asher Sharp offers shelter to two gay men.  In doing so, he starts to see his life anew-and risks losing everything: his wife, locked into her religious prejudices; his congregation, which shuns Asher after he delivers a passionate sermon in defense of tolerance; and his young son, Justin caught in the middle of what turns into a bitter custody battle.  With no way out but ahead, Asher takes Justin and flees to Key West where he hopes to find his brother, Luke, whom he’d turned against years ago after Luke came out.  And it is there, at the southernmost point in the country, that Asher and Justin discover a new way of thinking about the world, and a new way of understanding love.


Book Club meets every other month on the 4th Wednesday of the month at the Women’s Resource Center.  Coordinators are Mary Bucy ( and Donna McDermott (

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