Friday, March 16, 2012

March 2012 Book Club Meeting

Summary: Cadence didn't sit down one night and decide that downing two bottles of wine was a brilliant idea.

Her drinking snuck up on her - as a way to sleep, to help her relax after a long day, to relieve some of the stress of the painful divorce that's left her struggling to make ends meet with her five-year old son, Charlie.

It wasn't always like this. Just a few years ago, Cadence seemed to have it all—a successful husband, an adorable son, and a promising career as a freelance journalist. But with the demise of her marriage, her carefully constructed life begins to spiral out of control. Suddenly she is all alone trying to juggle the demands of work and motherhood.

Logically, Cadence knows that she is drinking too much, and every day begins with renewed promises to herself that she will stop. But within a few hours, driven by something she doesn't understand, she is reaching for the bottle - even when it means not playing with her son because she is too tired, or dropping him off at preschool late, again. And even when one calamitous night it means leaving him alone to pick up more wine at the grocery store. It's only when her ex-husband shows up at her door to take Charlie away that Cadence realizes her best kept secret has been discovered….

Heartbreaking, haunting, and ultimately life-affirming,
Best Kept Secret is more than just the story of Cadence—it's a story of how the secrets we hold closest are the ones that can most tear us apart. -- Washington Square Press

A few nights ago, my book club met to discuss BEST KEPT SECRET by Amy Hatvany. I absolutely loved this novel and I thought it was a perfect book club pick. I couldn't wait to hear everyone's reaction to this story of an alcoholic mother. Unfortunately, I was the only one who felt this way (and maybe one other woman.) The others thought the book was just okay and it didn't really resonate with them. (Does that make me sound like an alcoholic or a potential one?)

Because we were all on different pages about this novel, it did make for an interesting discussion. In fact, I'm glad that everyone didn't love it like I did because I don't know that we would have had as much to talk about. I'm still sticking to my initial thoughts that BEST KEPT SECRET is a great pick for book clubs... and especially ones filled with mothers.

Next month we will be reading HOME FRONT by Kristin Hannah. It's another selection that I've already read  -- you can read my review here; and I think this one will be popular with my group. Some of the women have already read HOME FRONT and they were deeply affected by the story. It's hard not to be!

Summary: In her bestselling novels Kristin Hannah has plumbed the depths of friendship, the loyalty of sisters, and the secrets mothers keep. Now, in her most emotionally powerful story yet, she explores the intimate landscape of a troubled marriage with this provocative and timely portrait of a husband and wife, in love and at war.

All marriages have a breaking point. All families have wounds. All wars have a cost. . . .

Like many couples, Michael and Jolene Zarkades have to face the pressures of everyday life---children, careers, bills, chores---even as their twelve-year marriage is falling apart. Then an unexpected deployment sends Jolene deep into harm’s way and leaves defense attorney Michael at home, unaccustomed to being a single parent to their two girls. As a mother, it agonizes Jolene to leave her family, but as a solider she has always understood the true meaning of duty. In her letters home, she paints a rose-colored version of her life on the front lines, shielding her family from the truth. But war will change Jolene in ways that none of them could have foreseen. When tragedy strikes, Michael must face his darkest fear and fight a battle of his own---for everything that matters to his family.

At once a profoundly honest look at modern marriage and a dramatic exploration of the toll war takes on an ordinary American family, Home Front is a story of love, loss, heroism, honor, and ultimately, hope.  -- St. Martin's Press


bermudaonion said...

I do agree that mixed reactions often make the best book club selections. I have a feeling I'll like Best Kept Secret too.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

There have been quite a few books in our book club where no one felt the way I did! I hate that, especially since my blog posts are recommendations in a way!

Serena said...

Sounds like it was a good book for discussion...glad you enjoyed it