Genre: Book Club Kit

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

“Inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, this…novel reveals an incredible story of love, redemption, and terrible secrets that were hidden for decades…”– Provided by publisher.
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Genre: Book Club Kit, L

House Broken by Sonja Yoerg

“In this compelling and poignant debut novel, a woman skilled at caring for animals must learn to mend the broken relationships in her family. For veterinarian Geneva Novak, animals can be easier to understand than people. They’re also easier to forgive. But when her mother, Helen, is injured in a vodka-fueled accident, it’s up to Geneva to give her the care she needs. Since her teens, Geneva has kept her self-destructive mother at arm’s length. Now, with two slippery teenagers of her own at home, the last thing she wants is to add Helen to the mix. But Geneva’s husband convinces her that letting Helen live with them could be her golden chance to repair their relationship. Geneva isn’t expecting her mother to change anytime soon, but she may finally get answers to the questions she’s been asking for so long. As the truth about her family unfolds, however, Geneva may find secrets too painful to bear and too terrible to forgive.”– Provided by publisher.
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Genre: Book Club Kit, H

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

In Holt, Colorado, widower Louis Waters is initially thrown when the widowed Addie Moore suggests that they spend time together, in bed, to stave off loneliness. “No, not sex,” she clarifies. “I’m talking about getting through the night. And lying warm in bed, companionably.” Her husband died years ago, as did his wife, and in such a small town they naturally have known of each other for decades; in fact, Addie was quite fond of Louis’s wife. His daughter lives hours away in Colorado Springs, her son even farther away in Grand Junction, and Addie and Louis have long been living alone in houses now empty of family, the nights so terribly lonely, especially with no one to talk with.

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Genre: Book Club Kit, O

Tree Grows in Brooklyn, A by Betty Smith

Serene was a word you could put to Brooklyn, New York. Especially in the summer of 1912. Somber, as a word, was better. But it did not apply to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Prairie was lovely and Shenandoah had a beautiful sound, but you couldn’t fit those words into Brooklyn. Serene was the only word for it; especially on a Saturday afternoon in summer. Late in the afternoon the sun slanted down into the mossy yard belonging to Francie Nolan’s house, and warmed the worn wooden fence. Looking at the shafted sun, Francie had that same fine feeling that came when she recalled the poem they recited in school. This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks, Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight, Stand like Druids of eld. The one tree in Francie’s yard was neither a pine nor a hemlock. It had pointed leaves which grew along green switches which radiated from the bough and made a tree which looked like a lot of opened green umbrellas. Some people called it the Tree of Heaven. No matter where its seed fell, it made a tree which struggled to reach the sky. It grew in boarded-up lots and out of neglected rubbish heaps and it was the only tree that grew out of cement. It grew lushly, but only in the tenements districts

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Genre: Book Club Kit, T

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger

 Looking back at a tragic event that occurred during his thirteenth year, Frank Drum explores how a complicated web of secrets, adultery, and betrayal shattered his Methodist family and their small 1961 Minnesota community.
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Genre: Book Club Kit, O

Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, The by Phaedra Patrick

Sixty-nine-year-old Arthur Pepper lives a simple life. He gets out of bed at precisely 7:30 a.m., just as he did when his wife, Miriam, was alive. He dresses in the same gray slacks and mustard sweater-vest, waters his fern, Frederica, and heads out to his garden. But on the one-year anniversary of Miriam’s death, something changes. Sorting through Miriam’s possessions, Arthur finds an exquisite gold charm bracelet he’s never seen before. What follows is a surprising and unforgettable odyssey that takes Arthur from London to Paris and as far as India in an epic quest to find out the truth about his wife’s secret life before they met– a journey that leads him to find hope, healing, and self-discovery in the most unexpected places

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Genre: Book Club Kit, C

Beach Glass & Other Broken Things by Amanda Linsmeier

Beach Glass & Other Broken Things is a collection of twenty-three stories about girls and women on the cusp of self-realization. It highlights the complexities of characters becoming who they really are, from a girl who tracks down her absent father, only to discover he’s made a whole new life without her; to an eighty-four-year-old grandmother falling in love for the first time; to a woman who finds comfort with an unlikely life coach while grieving over her husband’s suicide. Beach Glass & Other Broken Things delves into unimaginable fragility, and unbreakable hope. It celebrates women who are happy or broken, and the ones who save themselves or allow themselves to be saved.

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Genre: B, Book Club Kit

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance

J.D.’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. Vance piercingly shows how he himself still carries around the demons of their chaotic family history.A deeply moving memoir with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.

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Genre: Book Club Kit, H

Face On the Milk Carton, The by Caroline B. Cooney

The picture of a missing child printed on a milk carton attracts the attention of 15-year-old Jane Johnson. A glimpse of the girl’s polka-dot dress causes memories to surface, and Jane begins to review her past and question her true identity. It is nearly impossible for Jane to perceive her loving parents as kidnappers; the task of gathering evidence and drawing conclusions proves less difficult than confronting the undeniable truth.

Discussion Questions

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Genre: Book Club Kit, F

Christmas Town, The by Donna VanLiere

Lauren Gabriel has spent many years of her life in foster homes. Now twenty-years-old, she still longs for a place that she can truly call home. Her work as a cashier is unfulfilling, and at Christmas it’s unbearable with the songs and carols and chatter of Christmas that she hears throughout the day. On a drive to clear her head, she witnesses an accident and suddenly finds herself being pulled into the town of Grandon, first as a witness but then as a volunteer for the annual fundraiser for Glory’s Place. Could this town and its people be the home she has always longed for?

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Genre: Book Club Kit, C
Manitowoc Public Library © 2016
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