Today’s feature is a recent release from a favorite author. The Book That Matters Most, by Ann Hood, is an enthralling novel about love, loss, secrets, friendship, and the healing power of literature, by the bestselling author of The Knitting Circle.
Intro: (Part One – December – Ava)
Ava saw it as soon as she turned the corner. She stopped, squinting as if that would change what she was looking at. It was a week before Christmas on Weybosset Street in downtown Providence. The Christmas lights already shone, even at five o’clock, because the day was so dark and gray. The air had that festive holiday feeling that came from people bustling about with oversized shopping bags, cold air, tired decorations, a guy selling Christmas trees on the corner.
But Ava felt anything but festive.
She stood staring at the Providence Performing Arts Center marquee. She knew it was backlit in white with black letters announcing The Lion King, because she’d come here just last night, the tickets given to her by a colleague from the French department trying to cheer her up. But she couldn’t actually see the marquee. No. The marquee was covered in red and green cable knit yarn, almost like it was wearing a sweater. Except Ava knew that it wasn’t wearing a sweater. The PPAC marquee had been yarn bombed.
Teaser: (Paris – Maggie)
Of course, he was married.
Although she didn’t learn it that first night, it became clear soon enough. The apartment on rue Saint-Antoine was a second flat, the one that Julien kept for his work, which involved art installations. (p. 66).
Synopsis: Ava’s twenty-five-year marriage has fallen apart, and her two grown children are pursuing their own lives outside of the country. Ava joins a book group, not only for her love of reading but also out of sheer desperation for companionship. The group’s goal throughout the year is for each member to present the book that matters most to them. Ava rediscovers a mysterious book from her childhood—one that helped her through the traumas of the untimely deaths of her sister and mother. Alternating with Ava’s story is that of her troubled daughter Maggie, who, living in Paris, descends into a destructive relationship with an older man. Ava’s mission to find that book and its enigmatic author takes her on a quest that unravels the secrets of her past and offers her and Maggie the chance to remake their lives.
I love books about bookish things, so this one appeals to me. What do you think? Would you keep reading, curious about the book club members meeting their goal of finding the book that matters most to them?
I also enjoy alternating storylines, so I’m eager to keep going.