Stella Bain

Anita Shreve, 2013

Anita Shreve explores the effect of WWI post- traumatic stress on the body and the soul.  A woman wakes up in a hospital tent in France in 1916 with cuts and bruises and no identity.  She calls herself Stella Bain even though that might not be her real name.  Intuitively, she believes that someone can help her unravel the past. Alone in London, she is found ill by Lily Bridge and her husband, Dr. August Bridge who nurse Stella back to health.  During her convalescence, Dr. Bridge, helps her to piece together her past through nurturing her artistic spirit. This would make an excellent book club title. 

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BB

Everything I Never Told You

Celeste Ng, 2014

Ng’s debut novel is about a Chinese-American family living in Ohio in the 1970’s. This is a sensitive family portrait, exploring the divisions between cultures and the rifts within a family. The story exhibits the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.

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MC

The Children Act

Ian McEwan, 2014

British High Court judge, Fiona Maye, becomes personally involved in a  complex case involving a seventeen-year-old boy whose parents will not permit a lifesaving blood transfusion because of their religious beliefs. She must also deal with the disintegration of her own childless marriage.  McEwan has created a good read and a penetrating character study.

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MC

One Plus One

Jojo Moyers, 2014

How does a single parent of two cope in a 21st century world?   Moyes ‘ cast of skillfully crafted characters includes single-mom Jess,  her stepson, Nicky ,  his  gifted sister Tanzie and Ed Nicholls, a technology millionaire.  Each person's story flows on its own, yet they all meld together into an uncommonly good story about family, trust, and love.  I hated the book to end!

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MC

The Alchemist

Paul Coehlo,1993, 2006

An Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. The obstacles Santiago encounter along the way become the teachings for his discovery of the treasures found within.  This is a simply written book about lessons that we all know in our hearts, and we forget as we get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of our material lives. Lessons are revealed about living in the moment, the transient nature of possessions and the illusion that we can even "possess" something. 

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DL

By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

Paulo Coelho, 1996, 1998, 2006

Pilar, an independent young woman, renews her relationship with a childhood friend who is now a maverick seminarian, and together they follow a spiritual path to true love.

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DL

Stoner

John Williams, 1965

Williams’ casts a window on 20th century university life.  He explores a young man’s development from farm boy to university student and follows him through his adult life – his destructive marriage, a love affair , university politics  and his overall love for learning.   The book has been called called  "the greatest American novel you've never heard of".  It was reissued in 2003

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MC