Maya’s Notebook by Isabel Allende

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Comments:
• I liked the book. I really enjoyed her writing style and her character development. – Steph
• I enjoy Allende’s writing – the subtle humor, the characters. I liked the family closeness in the characters and the descriptions of life on the island. – Kerry
• As I began this book, I was reminded of how much I adore Allende’s language. Although I didn’t think this was her best story, I find her writing style to be far and away above other authors. – Marlo
• This was an easy read. The characters were well developed. I especially enjoyed as she looked back over her life. – Carrie
• I loved the writing and most of the book. I could have done without a few of the extraneous story points but on a whole, I liked it. – Danica

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

Unknown3 Loved It
4 Liked It
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Comments:
• I thought the story with the grandmother and her story was the best part. I had trouble connecting with the Sage character. – Kerry
• I really enjoyed the book. At times, it was hard to read and I wanted to cry, but I got through it. Minka’s tale of survival was inspirational. – Rachelle
• I have reservation about holocaust-related fiction and some aspects of the story seemed a little too Jodi Picoult rather than part of the narrative but it was an interesting subject with interesting characters. – Shannon
• I really enjoyed reading the book. It was very interesting hearing about the Holocaust and how the story came together. It was a really good storyline. – Tami
• Parts of the story felt disjointed. At the start of the book it was really focused on Sage and Joseph’s story which was interesting. The the story was completely taken over by Minka’s story. I think the author shouldn’t have left the story from the original perspective. – Sarah
• I really enjoyed the book. Several times I cried and was in shock of what happened. It kept my attention. – Nikki
• I enjoyed the book as fiction, but it was a little too far fetched for me as a Holocaust novel. It took bits and pieces from all the big Holocaust memoirs which made it even more unrealistic to me. I did like the concept of hearing the story from both sides. – Carrie
• There were bits that I really enjoyed and then others that were unrealistic and disjointed. I also was left feeling unsatisfied by its predictability and how much did end up tiring together too perfectly. – Danica
• I did not like this book. I had to put it down as soon as the FBI guy said one of the ways to prosecute was to have a witness. I have read Picoult before and I do not like the way she writes. I did not care about the characters and thought the story was contrived. – Steph
• Although I found points of the story nightmare-inducing, its important that these stories are known. However, even only halfway through, I’m not thoroughly engrossed in the plot. – Marlo

The Underground Girls of Kabul by Jenny Nordberg

undergroundGirlsOfKabulInSearchOfAHiddenResistanceInAfghanistanThe_422710 Loved It
5 Liked It
1 Neutral
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Comments:
• I haven’t finished the book but it’s so interesting and brings up many topics surrounding gender. I’m sure we’ll have a good discussion! – Steph
• I actually finished it! It was interesting. I really enjoyed learning about it. – Tami
• It was pretty good. I really liked the topic and it was easy to read. It was really interesting. – Sarah
• I enjoyed learning about the culture and practices of the hidden girls. I could do without the sociological study – made it feel like a book I would’ve read in college. – Carrie
• I enjoyed learning about Afghan society and this book made me think about gender and culture, even weeks after finishing it. – Danica

The Healing by Jonathan Odell

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Comments:
• I liked the different angles of the story. It was a unique story set on a plantation. – Kerry
• I liked parts of this story. It was entertaining and quick. – Sarah
• I enjoyed this especially in concert with just having watched “12 Years a Slave” and was also able to relate it to My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass. – Danica

December’s Book Club

13 years!!! As has been the tradition, we had our annual holiday/birthday party in lieu of an actual book club discussion, complete with gift exchange and our annual photo, this time at Royal Delhi Palace. Thanks ladies for making it another great year!

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

cover150x2501 Loved It
5 Liked It
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Comments:
• I enjoyed reading about the different characters and their stories. – Kerry
• I couldn’t stop reading it because I wanted to know what happened, but I didn’t really like the characters and, in the end, I didn’t really like the story. – Steph
• I don’t finish many books, but I got pulled into this one. I was very interested, and really enjoyed reading about how the character were all connected. – Tami
• I didn’t like any of the characters nor did I care for their stories. Yes they were flawed but I found them very annoying. The best part was the prologue which had me thinking a few days later. – Danica
• I enjoyed reading about the three women and their lives. Lots of characters. – Vicki
• Fast read. Liked the Tess storyline but not so much the others. I have mixed feelings about the ending. – Sarah
• Fast read, engaging storyline. Liked how it all got intertwined. Didn’t love all the individual endings or wrap up. – Carrie
• I liked reading the book and couldn’t turn the pages fast enough not sure I liked the ending. Poor Cecilia. – Nikki

The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez

51pATEiEJnL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_1 Loved It
4 Liked It
2 Neutral
1 Disliked It
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Comments:
• Interesting story idea but the characters were very similar and the end seemed a bit sudden. – Shannon
• I liked this book. I almost felt like a nosy neighbor. The stories were interesting/frustrating/depressing. I only wish we could have had a chapter of Maribel’s point of view. – Steph
• I thought it interesting to read this book right after Orphan Train as they both touch upon the immigrant experience during different periods in history. Other than that, I had trouble with the characters feeling flat. – Danica
• I started it, but like others, I did not have time to finish. I am really enjoying it. – Tami
• This was a really interesting and engaging read. I truly cared about the characters and was so sad at the outcome. However, I do appreciate the author giving us a sad ending, rather than taking the easier route of “all is well.” – Marlo
• I think the extra characters detracted from the story. I liked that it took place in Delaware, for a different perspective than the big-city. – Kerry
• I liked this book, but don’t think it needed all the extra short chapters. Relatable characters and an easy read. – Carrie

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

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Comments:
• I really enjoyed the book. Well written and a good story. The characters were good, but I wish Molly was more developed. – Steph
• I loved the historical parts of this book, particularly Vivian’s story. I could have done without the modern story and it felt like merely a vehicle to get to the historical one. – Danica
• The story was interesting from a historical perspective but it ended very abruptly. I felt it did not have an ending and could have used an epilogue. – Sarah
• I especially enjoyed Vivian’s story, fascinating to learn about the trains. The book was an easy read and enjoyable. – Steph
• I found myself completely immersed and drawn to this story. This was the first I learned that orphaned children were sent to the Midwest and given away like stray kittens. It is so sad to think of some of these experiences. Yet, I really enjoyed the story, moving back and forth in time. – Marlo
• I really learned a lot from this historical fiction story. It was a fun, interesting story. – Vicki
• The story kept me interested. – Kerry

The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine

51LjBCjcWuL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_2 Loved It
5 Liked It
2 Neutral
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0 Hated It

Comments:
• The subject matter was fascinating and entirely new to me (I never knew what happened after the Little Rock 9), but I had a hard time with the writing level. It was indeed written for children and not one of those books where it can work on many levels. I kept getting annoyed by it and then remembering for whom it was written. – Danica
• Although this book initially felt  predictable and overdone, as I made my way through I enjoyed the layers that were built in. Fun and thoughtful read. – Marlo
• This was a fast, easy, but enjoyable read. – Carrie
• I really like the characters attitudes, it makes me feel like I’m in the book. – Olivia
• I really liked the story and the characters. Good read and makes you consider many layers of life. – Steph
• It was definitely written for pre-teens. Some of the story seemed really unbelievable. I also had to keep reminding myself that it is written for young adults in order to lower my expectations. – Sarah

Conclusion: Super fun book club led by on one our member’s 10 year old daughter.

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