Winter is the perfect time to hibernate and curl up with a good book. We have three very different books – an incredible memoir, a WWII espionage story with a female lead character, and a family drama. We think you’ll enjoy these!
Educated – An Extraordinary Memoir and Perfect for Book Clubs
I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed this book. Our book reviewer Beth Goering had mentioned it a while back, but I finally got around to reading it. It’s won major awards and much deserved accolades. It’s a compelling, shocking, and incredibly well written story of how she was born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, kept out of school, left her family and earned a PhD from Cambridge University. An amazing accomplishment, especially considering her background.
She was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.
This is a story that will stay with you for a long, long time and is perfect for book clubs because you are definitely going to want to discuss this one. Get the book.
Transcription – A story of WWII espionage, betrayal and loyalty
Now that I have discovered the best-selling British novelist Kate Atkinson, I will be reading her many other books. She is a witty writer who knows how to weave a story that will keep you turning the pages.
You’ll love her main character, Juliet Armstrong who is recruited into espionage (M15) at the age of 18, tasked with monitoring the comings and goings of British Fascist sympathizers, she discovers the work to be by turns both tedious and terrifying. But after the war has ended, she presumes the events of those years have been relegated to the past forever. Ten years later, now a radio producer at the BBC, Juliet is unexpectedly confronted by figures from her past.
The story weaves back and forth in time, with several unexpected turns. Get the book.
The Lost Family – A bittersweet novel that spans three decades
The story starts in the mid-60s and handsome and charming Peter Rashkin, proprietor and chef of one of NYC’s most popular restaurants, is also one of the city’s most chased after bachelors. But Peter, a survivor of Auschwitz, carries with him the horror and grief of having lost his wife and twin daughters as well, and his relationships are fleeting. And then the beautiful and vibrant June Bouquet, 20 years his junior, captures his heart. They marry and have a daughter. But life is not a fairy tale. Peter’s lost family lives within him leaving little room for his wife or his daughter.
The novel takes us through their marriage, uncovering Peter’s past, his inability to fully love his wife, and the ultimate the toll it takes on their daughter. An engaging read. Get the book.