Women’s Association Book Group Selections
September: Song Yet Sung by James McBride (One City One Book)
October: Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian
November: Shelter Me by Juielette Fay
December: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Song yet Sung by James McBride (Nashua’s One city one book selection)
Nowhere has the drama of American slavery played itself out with more tension than in the dripping swamps of Maryland’s eastern shore, where abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman, born less than thirty miles apart, faced off against nefarious slave traders in a catch-me-if-you-can game that fueled fear and brought economic hardship to both white and black families. Trapped in the middle were the watermen, a group of America’s most original and colorful pioneers, poor oystermen who often found themselves caught between the needs of rich plantation owners and the roaring Chesapeake, which often claimed their lives. Filled with rich history-much of the story is drawn from historical events-and told in McBride’s signature lyrical storytelling style, Song Yet Sung brings into full view a world long misunderstood in American fiction: how slavery worked, and the haunting, moral choices that lived beneath the surface, pressing both whites and blacks to search for relief in a world where both seemed to lose their moral compass. This is a story of tragic triumph, violent decisions, and unexpected kindness.
Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjian
Skeletons at the Feast is a novel by author Chris Bohjian, published in 2008. It is the story of a journey in the waning months of World War Two concerning the Emmerich family, who flee their beloved home in Prussia and move west to avoid the advancing Russian troops. The family consists of one of the novel’s main protagonists, Anna; her mother, known affectionately as “Mutti”; her father, Rolf; her twin brother, Helmut; her younger brother, Theo; and the Scottish POW that once worked on the family’s farm, Callum Finella, who becomes Anna’s lover. Anna also has an older brother, Werner, who is off fighting in the war. Rolf and Helmut leave the family to aid in stopping the Russian advance and the rest continue on alone; on their westward journey they are joined by Uri Singer, an escaped Jew posing as a Nazi officer. Bohjalian said in an interview he was inspired to write the story after being persuaded to read a diary spanning from 1920 to 1945 belonging to Eva Henatsch, a German woman that embarked on a similar journey west across the Third Richt.
Shelter Me by Juielette Fay
“After Janie LaMarche’s husband, Robby, dies in a motorcycle accident, the 38-year-old Pelham, Mass., widow embarks on a year of transformations in Fay’s wise and inspirational debut. Going through the bewildering and painful cycle of grief and anger while trying to hold it together for her children-preschooler Dylan and toddler Carly-is no walk in the park. Enter Tug Malinowski, an attractive contractor Robby had hired to build a screened-in porch to surprise Janie. Tug is divorced, childless and attracted to Janie while she’s tempted by Fr. Jake Sweeney, who has “a secret life of misery” and fears casting aside his vow of celibacy. Fay’s mingling of Janie’s pithy journal excerpts with crisp traditional plotting adds a nice depth to Janie’s journey to emotional healing. The concerns of single motherhood after sudden tragedy come vividly to life, and as Janie learns to appreciate everyday miracles, readers will be charmed.
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER hailed by TIME magazine as the best nonfiction book of the year.
On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was clinging to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War. The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown. Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.
The book group meets on the third Sunday of the month, at 6:30 PM, in room 15 of the Walker Building. Contact Suzanne Regan, 882-1917 or [email protected], for more information.