At first, the struggles of the home front are all the club members have in common, but over time, the books they choose become more than an escape from the hardships of life and the fear of the U-boat battles that rage just past their shores. As the women face personal challenges and band together in the face of danger, they find they have more in common than they think. But when their growing friendships are tested by secrets of the past and present, they must decide whether depending on each other is worth the cost.
The Blackout Book Club by Amy Lynn Green gives us a look at life on the home front during World War II. A diverse group of people come together to discuss books when Avis dreams up the book club to save the library from closing. The book club turns out to be so much more. As they meet, they begin to know each other. Friendships are formed that turn into lasting bonds. This is a heartwarming story. I enjoyed getting to know the characters. I liked seeing the characters grow as they got to know each other. The cast of characters is diverse. I also thought the characters were realistic. The story is told from several points of view which I found challenging in the beginning. It became easier as I got further into the story. The book is full of history and literature. You can tell the author did her research. I especially enjoyed the references to Mrs. Miniver (love that movie). I liked that the group did not just read novels. They enjoyed poetry, how to books, Shakespeare, fiction, and much more.
The notes from each meeting were entertaining. I especially enjoyed them when Ginny wrote them. Ginny is a lively character who has spunk. We get to see how it was at home for different types of people during the war. Avis is a young married woman who does not want her husband to go off fighting. Avis is not a reader, but she agreed to take her brother’s librarian job while he is off fighting. She promised him she would do her best to keep the library open. Louise is a spinster and the richest woman in town. Louise owns the library. She has kept herself apart from others because she is afraid that they will discover her secret. Ginny is working at the foundry (which is dirty, hot work). She would rather be out on a boat, but the war department requisitioned the family island. Martina is married with two kids. She also works at the foundry. Martina hopes her no-good husband will not find her. I was sorry when The Blackout Book Club ended. Those who love books, will enjoy reading this story. The Blackout Book Club is a poignant tale with a large library, daycare center conundrum, blackout curtains, war rationing, a sly spouse, lively talks, and enduring friendships.
The Avid Reader
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