Wine and friends are two undeniable pleasures of a good book club, but a book that inspires passion and debate is the true heart of the occasion. Whether you’re looking to discuss family or politics, diversity or coming-of-age, these emotionally rich and thought provoking books, courtesy of our sister company Simon & Schuster, are sure to keep your book club engaged in lively conversation.
By Chris Cleave
After losing her home and family to Nigeria’s geopolitical violence, Little Bee has no identification papers and nowhere to turn. Possessing only the address of a British magazine editor she once met, Little Bee flees to London. But when the system catches up with her, both women must face a devastating and dangerous choice. Little Bee not only inspires dialogue about the plight of asylum seekers, political and economic violence, and the legacy of British colonialism, but also puts a human face on the worldwide refugee crisis.
For Fans Of: Ishmael Beah or Ann Patchett
The Kitchen House
By Kathleen Grissom
Orphaned during her passage from Ireland, Lavinia, a seven-year-old indentured servant, lives and works amongst the slaves on a Williamsburg tobacco plantation. Gradually accepted by the members of the big house, her eventual marriage to the master’s son upsets the plantation’s delicate social balance – and a dark secret threatens to expose the best of worst of everyone tied to the estate. Spanning from 1790-1810, The Kitchen House is a heartbreaking, but ultimately hopeful, story of class, race, and familial bonds.
For Fans Of: The Last Runaway or The House Girl
By Colm Tóibín
An inviting and engaging novel, Brooklyn captures the immigrant experience of the early 1950s. Fleeing the miserable Irish economy for new start in America, Eilis Lacey works at a department store, pursues her studies, and ultimately, finds love. But just as she begins to consider what this means, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her new life. Brooklyn captures New York City in flux where eager young hearts must navigate the struggles of modern life.
For Fans Of: The Gathering or At Weddings and Wakes
The Forgotten Garden
By Kate Morton
Transporting readers from the poverty-stricken alleys of Edwardian London to the shores of colonial Australia and back to Cornwall’s windswept coast, The Forgotten Garden is an intricately plotted tale of physical and emotional journeys. Nell’s world is shattered when she learns that she was adopted a young child, when she was discovered abandoned on an Australian wharf in 1913. Determined to unravel the mystery of her identity, she travels to Britain to investigate the only clue to her past – the rare book of fairytales found in her possession long ago.
For Fans Of: The Thirteenth Tale or The Secret Keeper
The Gravity of Birds
By Tracy Guzeman
Featuring beautiful writing and emotional depth, The Gravity of Birds offers an inside look at the art world. Thomas Bayber, a famous and reclusive artist, is determined to sell an unknown early work–The Kessler Sisters–and find the women who, four decades earlier, modeled for the disturbing and provocative portrait. But Alice and Natalie Kessler, along with their devastating secrets, disappeared long ago. The Gravity of Birds explores the way families tear themselves apart–and the legacy of memories that refuse to stay buried.
For Fans Of: The Language of Flowers or The Memory Keeper’s Daughter
A House in the Sky
By Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett
A wrenching testament to the capacity of the human spirit, A House in the Sky is an astonishing portrait of the fifteen months that Amanda Lindhout spent in captivity in Somalia. After leaving home at eighteen to backpack the world, Lindhout began her fledgling journalism career in the world’s most dangerous war zones. She was abducted in 2008 in Mogadishu, Somalia where she was kept in chains, starved, and subjected to unthinkable abuse. Lindhout finds hope in the strength of her own mind, but ultimately, it is the astonishing power of her compassion and forgiveness that proves to be the key to her survival.
For Fans Of: The Glass Castle, Wild, or A Stolen Life