Discussions take place at 12pm in the Library Conference Room (in Library Administration) unless otherwise noted. Tea and refreshments are served, and participants are welcome to bring a lunch. For reminders and updates about Book Club events, follow the Library on Facebook or Google+.
From Louisa May Alcott's beloved classic Little Women, Geraldine Brooks has animated the character of the absent father, Robert March, and crafted a powerful love story set against the backdrop of the Civil War. Brooks follows March as he leaves behind his family to aid the Union cause. His experiences will utterly change his marriage and challenge his most ardently held beliefs.
Eight years ago Anne Elliot bowed to pressure from her family and made the decision not to marry the man she loved, Captain Wentworth. Now circumstances have conspired to bring him back into her social circle and Anne finds her old feelings for him reignited. When they meet again, however, Wentworth behaves as if they are strangers and seems more interested in her friend Louisa. In this, her final novel, Jane Austen tells the story of a love that endures the tests of time and society with humor, insight, and tenderness.
Patrick O’Brian has been called “the greatest historical novelist of all time” by the Times of London and “Jane Austen on a ship of war” by NPR. Like Austen, his favorite author, Patrick O’Brian uses fiction to explore character. In The Far Side of the World, you will sail with H. M. S. Surprise from Gibraltar to Brazil, around Cape Horn, up to the Galapagos Islands, and on to Polynesia in pursuit of U. S. S. Norfolk. There’s adventure aplenty, but what sticks in your memory long after finishing the novel is the courage, endurance, and camaraderie of the Surprise crew, all set down with O'Brian's profound humanity and eye for the humor in life.
Catherine Sloper is heiress to a fortune and the social eminence associated with Washington Square. She attracts the attention of a good-looking but penniless young man, Morris Townsend. His suit is encouraged by Catherine's romantically-minded aunt, Mrs Penniman, but her father is convinced that the young man’s motives are merely mercenary. He will not consent to the marriage, regardless of the cost to his daughter. Out of this classic confrontation Henry James fashioned one of his most deftly searching shorter fictions.
Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, Beloved transforms history into fiction as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio. Eighteen years later, she is still not free; she has too many memories of Sweet Home, the Kentucky farm where she witnessed so many hideous things. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with poetry and suspense, Beloved is regarded by many readers as Morrison's finest work.
From Israeli author Meir Shalev comes a novel of two love stories, separated by half a century but connected by one enchanting act of devotion. During the 1948 War of Independence--when pigeons were still used to deliver battlefield messages--a young pigeon handler is mortally wounded. In the moments before his death, he dispatches one last pigeon. The bird is carrying a gift to the girl he has loved since adolescence. Intertwined with this story is the contemporary tale of Yair Mendelsohn, a middle-aged tour guide specializing in bird-watching trips, who falls in love again with a childhood girlfriend. His growing passion for her, along with a gift from his mother on her deathbed, becomes the key to a life he thought no longer possible.
Thomas Hardy's impassioned tale of courtship in rural life. Independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene has come to Weatherbury to take up her position as a farmer on the largest estate in the area. Her bold presence draws three very different suitors: the gentleman-farmer Boldwood, the soldier-seducer Sergeant Troy, and the devoted shepherd Gabriel Oak. Far from the Madding Crowd was Thomas Hardy's first major literary success and remains one of his most popular works. Set against the backdrop of the unchanging natural cycle of the year, the novel is permeated with classical and Biblical allusions.