A novel in the form of a diary, this story tells of Caroline Spencer, a 76-year-old retired schoolteacher who has suffered a heart attack and been deposited by relatives in an old people's home. Subjected to subtle humiliations and petty cruelties, she fights back with all she has, and in a powerful climax wins a terrible victory. Join us!
Tragedy strikes the New York-based Cardinal family when their car is involved in a terrible accident. Twelve-year-old Lou and seven-year-old Oz survive, but the crash leaves their father dead and their mother in a coma. It would seem their world has been shattered forever until their great-grandmother, Louisa Mae, agrees to raise the children on her Virginia mountain farm. Join us!
Sister Carrie is a novel by Theodore Dreiser about a young country girl who moves to the big city where she starts realizing her own American Dream, first as a mistress to men that she perceives as superior, and later becoming a famous actress. Join us!
Exciting and elegantly written, Dissolution is an utterly compelling first novel and a riveting portrayal of Tudor England. The year is 1537, and the country is divided between those faithful to the Catholic Church and those loyal to the king and the newly established Church of England.
The life of Harry S. Truman is one of the greatest of American stories, filled with vivid characters -- Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bess Wallace Truman, George Marshall, Joe McCarthy, and Dean Acheson -- and dramatic events. In this riveting biography, acclaimed historian David McCullough not only captures the man -- a more complex, informed, and determined man than ever before imagined -- but also the turbulent times in which he rose, boldly, to meet unprecedented challenges. Join us!
The Shadow Catcher dramatically inhabits the space where past and present intersect, seamlessly interweaving narratives from two different eras: the first fraught passion between turn-of-the-twentieth-century icon Edward Curtis (1868-1952) and his muse-wife, Clara; and a twenty-first-century journey of redemption. Join us!
Oysters were once plentiful on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, but their numbers have fallen dramatically over the last century, due to overfishing, pollution and disease.
Scientists and watermen are working to bring them back, and the partnership has led to a unique course at the University of Virginia – one taught, in part, by a man who has no PhD but could easily write a dissertation on his beloved bivalves.
While the pretext of “Little Bee” initially seems contrived — two strangers, a British woman and a Nigerian girl, meet on a lonely African beach and become inextricably bound through the horror imprinted on their encounter — its impact is hardly shallow. Rather than focusing on postcolonial guilt or African angst, Cleave uses his emotionally charged narrative to challenge his readers’ conceptions of civility, of ethical choice. Join us!
Our April book is Tracy Chevalier's "Remarkable Creatures" (2009) which is based on the life of a remarkable young British woman credited with discovering important dinosaur skeletons near Lyme Regis, a village on the southern coast of England. Poor and uneducated, Mary develops an unlikely friendship with Elizabeth Philpot, an older woman of a higher social class who shares her passion for fossils. The novel fleshes out their unusual relationship and the rich social, literary, and scientific history of 19th century Dorset. Our discussion leader will be Ellen Aiken, Coordinator for the Book Club, who has traveled to Lyme Regis.
Late one night, a teenage couple drives up to the big white clapboard home on the Blessing estate and leaves a box. In that instant, the lives of those who live and work there are changed forever. Skip Cuddy, the caretaker, finds a baby girl asleep in that box and decides he wants to keep the child . . .