Book Discussion Group
A book discussion group meets the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the East Lyme Room. Copies of the current month’s book are available at the library.
No registration necessary.
May 14, 2019: Lost Roses by Martha Kelly
"It is 1914 and the world has been on the brink of war so many times, many New Yorker's treat the subject with only passing interest. Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling to St. Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanov's. The two met years ago one summer in Paris and became close confidantes. Now Eliza embarks on the trip of a lifetime, home with Sofya to see the splendors of Russia. But when Austria declares war on Serbia and Russia's Imperial dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes back to America, while Sofya and her family flee to their country estate. In need of domestic help, they hire the local fortuneteller's daughter, Varinka, unknowingly bringing intense danger into their household. On the other side of the Atlantic, Eliza is doing her part to help the White Russian families find safety as they escape the revolution. But when Sofya's letters suddenly stop coming she fears the worst for her best friend.
From the turbulent streets of St. Petersburg to the avenues of Paris and the society of fallen Russian emigre's who live there, the lives of Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka will intersect in profound ways, taking readers on a breathtaking ride through a momentous time in history."
June 11, 2019: The World According to Fannie Davis by Bridgett Davis
“The World According to Fannie Davis is Bridgett Davis's unforgettable coming of age in a family with a secret. The upper middle class splendor in which she and her siblings so happily lived was made possible by her mother's business in the Numbers, the informal lottery that powered African American communities across the United States. A poignant and revealing examination of how one family lifted itself out of poverty and into a completely different life, for good and bad, The World According to Fannie Davis introduces us to an unforgettable matriarch, and her daughter, whose ways of understanding still resonate today.
Offering a daughter's perspective on her larger-than-life mother, Bridgett Davis traces her family's story as part of the Great Migration, showing how her mother and father arrived in Detroit from Tennessee carrying with them not just their own hopes but also those of their families. A child gifted with extraordinary powers of perception and understanding, Davis breaks the code of secrecy around her mother's business and in so doing reveals both her mothers' extraordinary sacrifices as well as her seemingly endless generosity. We come to understand just how keenly Fannie Davis believed in the power of money, and family, to make the world right.”
July 9, 2019: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Hoffman
“No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.
Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.
But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.
Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . .
The only way to survive is to open your heart.”
August 13, 2019: Summer of ‘69 by Elin Hilderbrand
“Welcome to the most tumultuous summer of the twentieth century! It's 1969, and for the Levin family, the times they are a-changing. Every year the children have looked forward to spending the summer at their grandmother's historic home in downtown Nantucket: but this year Blair, the oldest sister, is marooned in Boston, pregnant with twins and unable to travel. Middle sister Kirby, a nursing student, is caught up in the thrilling vortex of civil rights protests, a passion which takes her to Martha's Vineyard with her best friend, Mary Jo Kopechne. Only son Tiger is an infantry soldier, recently deployed to Vietnam. Thirteen-year-old Jessie suddenly feels like an only child, marooned in the house with her out-of-touch grandmother who is hiding some secrets of her own. As the summer heats up, Teddy Kennedy sinks a car in Chappaquiddick, a man flies to the moon, and Jessie experiences some sinking and flying herself, as she grows into her own body and mind.”
Mystery Book Discussion Group
This book discussion group meets on the last Thursday of each month at 11:00 a.m. in the East Lyme Room. Copies of the current month’s book are available at the library.
No registration necessary.
April 25, 2019: The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey
“Bombay, 1921: Perveen Mistry, the daughter of a respected Zoroastrian family, has just joined her father's law firm, becoming one of the first female lawyers in India. Armed with a legal education from Oxford, Perveen also has a tragic personal history that makes her especially devoted to championing and protecting women's rights.
Mistry Law is handling the will of Mr. Omar Farid, a wealthy Muslim mill owner who has left three widows behind. But as Perveen goes through the papers, she notices something strange: all three have signed over their inheritance to a charity. What will they live on if they forefeit what their husband left them? Perveen is suspicious.
The Farid widows live in purdah: strict seclusion, never leaving the women's quarters or speaking to any men. Are they being taken advantage of by an unscrupulous guardian? Perveen tries to investigate and realizes her instincts about the will were correct when tensions escalate to murder. It's her responsibility to figure out what really happened on Malabar Hill, and to ensure that nobody is in further danger.”
May 30, 2019: A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch
“On any given day in London, all Charles Lenox, Victorian gentleman and armchair explorer, wants to do is relax in his private study with a cup of tea, a roaring fire and a good book. But when his lifelong friend Lady Jane asks for his help, Lenox cannot resist another chance to unravel a mystery, even if it means trudging through the snow to her townhouse next door.
One of Jane's former servants, Prudence Smith, is dead -- an apparent suicide. But Lenox suspects something far more sinister: murder, by a rare and deadly poison. The house where the girl worked is full of suspects, and though Prudence dabbled with the hearts of more than a few men, Lenox is baffled by an elusive lack of motive in the girl's death.
When another body turns up during the London season's most fashionable ball, Lenox must untangle a web of loyalties and animosities. Was it jealousy that killed Prudence? Or was it something else entirely, something that Lenox alone can uncover before the killer strikes again -- disturbingly close to home?”
June 27, 2019: Inherit the Bones by Emily Littlejohn
“Secrets and lies can’t stay buried forever in Cedar Valley.
In the summer, hikers and campers pack the small Colorado town’s meadows and fields. And in the winter, skiers and snowboarders take over the mountains. Season by season, year after year, time passes and the lies, like the aspens and evergreens that surround the town, take root and spread deep.
Now, someone has uncovered the lies, and it is his murder that continues a chain of events that began almost forty years ago. Detective Gemma Monroe’s investigation takes her from the seedy grounds of a traveling circus to the powerful homes of those who would control Cedar Valley’s future.
Six-months pregnant, with a partner she can’t trust and colleagues who know more than they’re saying, Gemma tracks a killer who will stop at nothing to keep those secrets buried.”
July 25, 2019: Anatomy of Fear by Johnathan Santlofer
“Nate Rodriguez is a police sketch artist for the NYPD, and his success rate is high, with one out of three of his drawings leading to an arrest. But when he is faced with an unusually talented killer, he realizes that he may have met his match. For this killer is a man very much like himself–a man who sees and thinks in pictures. A killer who leaves drawings at the crime scenes depicting his murders in chilling, gory–and prescient–detail.
As Nate's portraits become more and more accurate images of the madman–the killer finds a way to steal Nate's portraits and then imitate Nate's own hand. The conflicting evidence leads the police to suspect that Nate himself could be the killer and pushes Nate into a frightening cat and mouse chase for his quarry. Life and death, art and artifice have never been so vividly bound together.”
August 29, 2019: The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan
“Despite their many differences, Detective Rachel Getty trusts her boss, Esa Khattak, implicitly. But she's still uneasy at Khattak's tight-lipped secrecy when he asks her to look into Christopher Drayton's death. Drayton's apparently accidental fall from a cliff doesn't seem to warrant a police investigation, particularly not from Rachel and Khattak's team, which handles minority-sensitive cases. But when she learns that Drayton may have been living under an assumed name, Rachel begins to understand why Khattak is tip-toeing around this case. It soon comes to light that Drayton may have been a war criminal with ties to the Srebrenica massacre of 1995.
If that's true, any number of people might have had reason to help Drayton to his death, and a murder investigation could have far-reaching ripples throughout the community. But as Rachel and Khattak dig deeper into the life and death of Christopher Drayton, every question seems to lead only to more questions, with no easy answers. Had the specters of Srebrenica returned to haunt Drayton at the end, or had he been keeping secrets of an entirely different nature? Or, after all, did a man just fall to his death from the Bluffs?”