Book Discussions

Before We Were Yours Book Cover

Before We Were Yours
by Lisa Wingate

Thursday, October 4, 2018
11:00 a.m.
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Memphis, 1939.  Twelve –year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat.  But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force.  Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize the dark truth.  At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.
Aiken, South Carolina, present day.  Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancé, and a lavish wedding on the horizon.  But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long –hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.
Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals-in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.

TBA (Palm Beach County Reads Selection)
Thursday, November  1, 2018
11:00 a.m.
A Piece of the World Book Cover

A Piece of the World

by Christina Baker Kline
December 6, 2018
11:00 a.m.

A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline
To Christina Olson, the entire world is her family farm in the small town of Cushing, Maine.  The only daughter in a family of sons, Christina is tied to her home by health and circumstance, and seems destined for a small life.  Instead, she becomes Andrew Wyeth’s first great inspiration, and the subject of one of the best-known paintings of the twentieth century, Christina’s World.
As she did in her beloved bestseller, Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline interweaves fact and fiction to vividly reimagine a real moment in history.  A Piece of the World is a powerful story of the flesh and blood woman behind the portrait, her complicated relationship to her family and inheritance, and how artist and muse can come together to forge a new and timeless legacy.
Little Fires Everywhere Book Cover

Little Fires Everywhere

By Celeste Ng
Thursday, January 3, 2019
11:00 a.m.

Little Fires Everywhere By Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Ever Told You, a riveting novel that traces the fates of the picture perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.
In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead.  And no more embodies this spirit than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.
Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons.  Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair.  But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.
When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town—and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides.  Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past.  But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.
Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood – and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.

The Light Between Oceans

The Light between the Oceans
by M.L. Stedman

Thursday, February 7, 2019
11:00 am

The Light between the Oceans by M.L. Stedman
After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast.  To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young and loving wife, Isabel.  Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind.  A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.
Tom, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately.  But Isabel insists the baby is a “gift from God,” and against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy.  When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world.  Their choice has devastated one of them.

The Marriage of Opposites Book Cover

Marriage of Opposites
by Alice Hoffman

Thursday, March 7, 2019
11:00 a.m.

Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman
Growing up on idyllic St. Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris.  Rachel’s mother, a pillar of their small refugee community of Jews who escaped the inquisition, has never forgiven her daughter for being a difficult girl who refuses to live by the rules.  Growing up, Rachel’s salvation is their maid Adelle’s belief in her strengths, and her deep, life-long friendship with Jestine, Adelle’s daughter.  But Rachel’s life is not her own.  She is married off to a widower with three children to save her father’s business.  When her older husband dies suddenly and his handsome, much younger nephew, Frederick, arrives from France to settle the estate.  Rachel seizes her own life story, beginning a defiant, passionate love affair that sparks a scandal that affects all of her family, including her favorite son, who will become one of the greatest artists of France.
Once forgotten to history, the marriage of Rachel and Frederick “will only renew your commitment to Hoffman’s astonishing storytelling”. (USA TODAY)

Behold the Dreamers Book Cover

Behold the Dreamers
by Imbolo Mbue

Thursday, April 4, 2019
11:00 a.m.

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six year old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty- and Jende is eager to please.  Clark’s wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwards’s’ summer house in the Hamptons.  With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last gain a foothold in America and imagine a brighter future.
However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers’ facades.
When the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Jongas are desperate to keep Jende’s job-even as their marriage threatens to fall apart.  As all four lives are dramatically upended, Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice.