Heavens these months come round quick don’t they? After a Summer haitus we finally got together to discuss September’s bookclub choice, The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner last night, and though it was a quiet night for the bookclub with only a few of us attending, it was a lively discussion about a book we all agreed was very much a light, not particularly challenging read, but one with some really dark themes, feminist undertones and three likeable narrators telling a story in the most old-fashioned of the word, that spanned from the eighteenth century right up to the present day.
If you are a member of our free book club and didn’t get a chance to join us last night, please still feel free to add your thoughts to The Lost Apothecary thread here in the community, and if you aren’t please know you are welcome to join us at any time.
This Month’s Book Choices
As usual I am offering three books up for voting. Simply choose your favourite and add your vote on the dedicated voting thread in the Community, and I will announce the most popular book on Monday 4th October, so we will all have the best part of the month to read it ready for our online discussion on Wednesday 27th October…
Mrs. Martell by Elizabeth Eliot
From the Amazon blurb…
As far as I am concerned, Aunt Violet, I don’t want another penny of your money. I can go out and earn my bread’ and she saw a distinct picture of herself working her fingers to the bone and being seduced by goodness knows whom.
Obsessed with money and class and all the appearances of a sophisticated life, but coming herself from genteel poverty, Cathie Martell rarely loses her focus on getting what she wants, regardless of the feelings or happiness of those who get in her way. Her Aunt Violet, for example, who finances her education, or her first husband, or the man she’s set her sights on to be her second (not to mention that man’s current wife).
Elizabeth Eliot’s third novel, first published in 1953, follows an utterly self-absorbed, superficial woman from her teens to her second marriage. But if that sounds unsavoury, you clearly haven’t encountered Eliot’s giddy prose, as packed with clever insights and a sharp eye for detail as it is with humour.
Get it on Amazon.Com here ($2.99 on Kindle).
On Amazon.Co.UK here (£2.84 on Kindle).
Or read it on Scribd for free when you use my link to get your first two months absolutely free! Simply sign up and search for Mrs. Martell. Much of the Furrowed Brow catalogue is there, which if I do say so myself is a teeny bit wonderful!
The Love Story of Missy Carmicael by Beth Morry
From the Amazon blurb…
For readers of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and A Man Called Ove, a life-affirming, deeply moving “coming-of-old” story, a celebration of how ordinary days are made extraordinary through friendship, family, and the power of forgiving yourself–at any age.
“At a time when people are having to isolate, [this novel is] a balm, offering an expansive sense of love and possibility at a time when the main characters feel like those chances are gone.” —Christian Science Monitor
The world has changed around seventy-nine-year-old librarian Millicent Carmichael, aka Missy. Though quick to admit that she often found her roles as a housewife and mother less than satisfying, Missy once led a bustling life driven by two children, an accomplished and celebrated husband, and a Classics degree from Cambridge. Now her husband is gone, her daughter is estranged after a shattering argument, and her son has moved to his wife’s native Australia, taking Missy’s beloved only grandchild half-a-world away. She spends her days sipping sherry, avoiding people, and rattling around in her oversized, under-decorated house waiting for…what exactly?
The last thing Missy expects is for two perfect strangers and one spirited dog named Bob to break through her prickly exterior and show Missy just how much love she still has to give. In short order, Missy finds herself in the jarring embrace of an eclectic community that simply won’t take no for an answer–including a rambunctious mutt-on-loan whose unconditional love gives Missy a reason to re-enter the world one muddy paw print at a time.
Filled with wry laughter and deep insights, The Love Story of Missy Carmichael is a coming-of-old story that shows us it’s never too late to forgive yourself and, just as important, it’s never too late to love.
Get it on Amazon.Com here ($11.99 on Kindle).
On Amazon.Co.UK here (£4.49 on Kindle) – Published as Saving Missy in the UK, but it’s the same book.
Also available on Scribd in Audible form: again simply use my link to get your first two months absolutely free! Sign up and search for saving Missy and you will discover the audible version of the book there.
The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall
From the Amazon blurb…
This “moving portrait of love and friendship set against a backdrop of social change” (The New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice) traces two married couples whose lives become entangled when the husbands become copastors at a famed New York city congregation in the 1960s.
Charles and Lily, James and Nan. They meet in Greenwich Village in 1963 when Charles and James are jointly hired to steward the historic Third Presbyterian Church through turbulent times. Their personal differences however, threaten to tear them apart.
Charles is destined to succeed his father as an esteemed professor of history at Harvard, until an unorthodox lecture about faith leads him to ministry. How then, can he fall in love with Lily—fiercely intellectual, elegantly stern—after she tells him with certainty that she will never believe in God? And yet, how can he not?
James, the youngest son in a hardscrabble Chicago family, spent much of his youth angry at his alcoholic father and avoiding his anxious mother. Nan grew up in Mississippi, the devout and beloved daughter of a minister and a debutante. James’s escape from his desperate circumstances leads him to Nan and, despite his skepticism of hope in all its forms, her gentle, constant faith changes the course of his life.
In The Dearly Beloved, Cara wall reminds us of “the power of the novel in its simplest, richest form: bearing intimate witness to human beings grappling with their faith and falling in love,” (Entertainment Weekly, A-) as we follow these two couples through decades of love and friendship, jealousy and understanding, forgiveness and commitment. Against the backdrop of turbulent changes facing the city and the church’s congregation, Wall offers a poignant meditation on faith and reason, marriage and children, and the ways we find meaning in our lives. The Dearly Beloved is a gorgeous, wise, and provocative novel that is destined to become a classic.
Get it on Amazon.Com here ($12.99 on Kindle).
On Amazon.Co.UK here (£12.99 on Kindle)
Or read it on Scribd: simply use my link to get your first two months absolutely free! Sign up and search for The Dearly Beloved and you will discover the book there.
I can’t wait to see which you choose. Happy reading Housekeepers.