Books clubs can be an enjoyable way to connect with friends over lively conversations about good books. Here are some reads recommended by several area book clubs. The synopses were provided by author/publisher websites, GoodReads.com, Wikipedia or Amazon.com. If you participate in a book group and would like to share your group’s selection, please contact Kia Ware and firstname.lastname@example.org
The Creekside Readers
The Creekside Readers is a Westmoreland County book club founded in 2007 by three friends. The club, whose motto is to provide entertainment, education, and group therapy through reading and discussion, has now grown to 23 active members. The Creekside Readers also donate new children’s books each Christmas to one of the Northern Neck charities serving the needs of local children.
Crossing to Safety – Wallace Stegner
Called a “magnificently crafted story . . . brimming with wisdom” by Howard Frank Mosher in “The Washington Post Book World,” “Crossing to Safety” has, since its publication in 1987, established itself as one of the greatest and most cherished American novels of the twentieth century. Tracing the lives, loves, and aspirations of two couples who move between Vermont and Wisconsin, it is a work of quiet majesty, deep compassion, and powerful insight into the alchemy of friendship and marriage.
River Rising – Athol Dickson
Welcome to Pilotville, Louisiana, 1927, isolated outpost on the Mississippi River—a stilt village bounded by swampland to the horizon, accessible only by boat, an island of brotherly love in a sea of racism. Meet Hale Poser, a stranger with a bad hip who’s come looking for his roots--a humble man, a righteous man, a miracle man. In the swamp beyond the cypress and the tupelo and veiled by Spanish moss lies a lingering evil. For years it slept in dreadful isolation. Now comes Hale Poser, and it will sleep no more. It will rain down on Pilotville, it will rise up like a river, and nothing but a miracle can stop this awful flood.
Reading Between the Wines
Reading Between the Wines is a group of women from Essex County and the Northern Neck who love good books, good friends, good food and good wine!
My Name is Mary Sutter – Robin Oliveira
In this stunning first novel, Mary Sutter is a brilliant, head¬strong midwife from Albany, New York, who dreams of becoming a surgeon. Determined to overcome the prejudices against women in medicine-and eager to run away from her recent heartbreak, Mary leaves home and travels to Washington, D.C. to help tend the legions of Civil War wounded. Under the guidance of William Stipp and James Blevens - two surgeons who fall unwittingly in love with Mary’s courage, will, and stubbornness in the face of suffering-and resisting her mother’s pleas to return home to help with the birth of her twin sister’s baby, Mary pursues her medical career in the desperately overwhelmed hospitals of the capital.
Like Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain and Robert Hicks’s The Widow of the South, My Name Is Mary Sutter powerfully evokes the atmosphere of the period. Rich with historical detail (including marvelous depictions of Lincoln, Dorothea Dix, General McClellan, and John Hay among others), and full of the tragedies and challenges of wartime, My Name Is Mary Sutter is an exceptional novel. And in Mary herself, Robin Oliveira has created a truly unforgettable heroine whose unwavering determination and vulnerability will resonate with readers everywhere
The Low Stress Book Club
The Low Stress Book Club is a group of friends who are also busy moms. They meet once a month
with the understanding that although not everyone may have had time to read the book selection,
getting together for adult time is just as important!
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls – Anton DiSclafani
It is 1930, the midst of the Great Depression. After her mysterious role in a family tragedy, passionate, strong-willed Thea Atwell, age fifteen, has been cast out of her Florida home, exiled to an equestrienne boarding school for Southern debutantes. High in the Blue Ridge Mountains, with its complex social strata ordered by money, beauty, and girls’ friendships, the Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls is far removed from the free-roaming, dreamlike childhood Thea shared with her twin brother on their family’s citrus farm—a world now partially shattered. As Thea grapples with her responsibility for the events of the past year that led her here, she finds herself enmeshed in a new order, one that will change her sense of what is possible for herself, her family, her country.
Weaving provocatively between home and school, the narrative powerfully unfurls the true story behind Thea’s expulsion from her family, but it isn’t long before the mystery of her past is rivaled by the question of how it will shape her future. Part scandalous love story, part heartbreaking family drama, The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls is an immersive, transporting page-turner—a vivid, propulsive novel about sex, love, family, money, class, home, and horses, all set against the ominous threat of the Depression—and the major debut of an important new writer.