February meeting is this Saturday – Feb 16 – 10:30 a.m.

which, we hope, will be a different situation than this past Saturday.  Hope everyone got through the storm with minimal hassles and that being housebound you got some good reading.  Join us on Saturday to talk about it.

 

One thought on “February meeting is this Saturday – Feb 16 – 10:30 a.m.

  1. AND HERE IS WHAT WE READ IN FEBRUARY

    Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand – Helen Simonson – In the small village of Edgecombe St. Mary in the English countryside lives Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired), the unlikely hero of Helen Simonson’s wondrous debut. Wry, courtly, opinionated, and completely endearing, the Major leads a quiet life valuing the proper things that Englishmen have lived by for generations: honor, duty, decorum, and a properly brewed cup of tea. But then his brother’s death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village. Drawn together by their shared love of literature and the loss of their spouses, the Major and Mrs. Ali soon find their friendship blossoming into something more. But village society insists on embracing him as the quintessential local and regarding her as the permanent foreigner. Can their relationship survive the risks one takes when pursuing happiness in the face of culture and tradition?

    Let’s Take the Long Way Home – Gail Caldwell – They met over their dogs. Gail Caldwell and Caroline Knapp (author of Drinking: A Love Story) became best friends, talking about everything from their love of books and their shared history of a struggle with alcohol to their relationships with men. Walking the woods of New England and rowing on the Charles River, these two private, self-reliant women created an attachment more profound than either of them could ever have foreseen. Then, several years into this remarkable connection, Knapp was diagnosed with cancer. With her signature exquisite prose, Caldwell mines the deepest levels of devotion, and courage in this gorgeous memoir about treasuring a best friend, and coming of age in midlife.

    The Eye of Love – Margery Sharp – They met at the Chelsea Arts Ball: he went as a paper parcel and she as a Spanish dancer. Only the eye of love could have transformed plain Miss Dolores Diver into an exotic Spanish Rose. Fat Harry Gibson saw only beauty in her dark hair and sallow features. And Dolores, for her part, thought Harry the man of her dreams. For ten years, their slightly ridiculous bliss is complete until Mr Gibson decides he’ll have to marry the hopelessly unprepossessing daughter of his colleague in order to save his ailing business. Miss Diver is cut off without a penny and is forced to take in a lodger, Mr Philips, who mistakenly takes Dolores for a much richer woman than she is… (also mentioned – The Nutmeg Tree)

    The French Gardener – Santa Montifiore – Dee and David move out of London into a beautiful country house with a magical garden.  But Dee insists on tottering across the wet lawn in kitten heels, David is never there, and the children won’t tear themselves away from the telly. Then an enigmatic Frenchman arrives.  With the wisdom of nature he slowly begins to heal the past and the present.   But who is he?  His secret lies in the deepest recesses of the garden, for a garden, like love itself, can restore the human spirit not just season after season, but generation after generation.

    Benny and Shrimp – Katarina Mazetti – An international sensation, this addictively readable tale asks the question: Why is it so impossible to get a relationship between two middle-aged misfits to work? The answer lies in the story of Shrimp, a young widowed librarian with a sharp intellect and a home so tidy that her jam jars are in alphabetical order; Benny, a gentle, overworked milk farmer who fears becoming the village’s Old Bachelor; and an unlikely love that should not be as complicated as it seems. Reminiscent of the works of Carol Shields, this quirky, humorous, beautifully told novel breathes new life into the age-old conundrum that is love.

    Welcome to the World Baby Girl – Fanny Flagg – Once again, Flagg’s humor and respect and affection for her characters shine forth. Many inhabit small-town or suburban America. But this time, her heroine is urban: a brainy, beautiful, and ambitious rising star of 1970s television. Dena Nordstrom, pride of the network, is a woman whose future is full of promise, her present rich with complications, and her past marked by mystery.

    A Spanish Lover – Joanna Trollope – Lizzie and Frances, identical twins nearing forty, have hardly marked a parallel progress together through life. Lizzie is confident and effusive, the mother of a large, vibrant brood, a successful gallery owner, and a consummate homemaker. Frances, on the other hand, is as elusive as Lizzie is accessible: She lives alone, operates a modestly successful travel agency, and has never had a serious attachment to a man. It seems, to her loving family, as if Frances is destined to move through life anchorless. But all that changes one Christmas when Frances makes an impulsive trip to Spain. There she falls in love—and not with just any man but with a wealthy, handsome Spaniard who is both Catholic and married. As Frances blossoms with newfound independence and relishes her engrossing affair, Lizzie becomes detached from her home life, which ultimately threatens her marriage. Though Lizzie’s was once the enviable life, now Frances has come into her own, and the twins must reexamine their roles—in their individual lives and in the special, shared world of sisterhood.

    The Bridal Wreath – Kristin Lavransdatter – The acknowledged masterpiece of the Nobel Prize-winning Norwegian novelist Sigrid Undset, Kristin Lavransdatter has never been out of print in this country since its first publication in 1927. Its story of a woman’s life in fourteenth-century Norway has kept its hold on generations of readers, and the heroine, Kristin—beautiful, strong-willed, and passionate—stands with the world’s great literary figures. Volume 1, The Bridal Wreath, describes young Kristin’s stormy romance with the dashing Erlend Nikulausson, a young man perhaps overly fond of women, of whom her father strongly disapproves.

    Eleanor and Abel: a romance – Annette Sanford – From an award-winning writer, an utterly charming, delightfully fractured fairy tale of a romance between two people old enough to know better. When a storm tears a hole in Miss Eleanor Bannister’s roof, the itinerant carpenter who volunteers to repair it is so capable and charming that he remodels Miss Eleanor’s life. A retired schoolteacher in the town where she’s always lived, Eleanor, at age sixty-nine, finds the sudden presence of Abel Brown in her life unnerving and unsettling –and after a time, irresistible. He shakes up her fixed ideas of who she is and starts her wanting something she never imagined for herself. Amid many complications, Eleanor and Abel proceed on the fractious course of their courtship, in a novel that is never less than captivating, witty, and pointedly clear-eyed.

    Me Before You – JoJo Moyes – Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is. Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

    The House I Loved – Tatiana de Rosnay – Paris, France: 1860s. Hundreds of houses are being razed, whole neighborhoods reduced to ashes. By order of Emperor Napoleon III, Baron Haussmann has set into motion a series of large-scale renovations that will permanently alter the face of old Paris, molding it into a “modern city.” The reforms will erase generations of history—and in the midst of the tumult, one woman will take a stand. Rose Bazelet is determined to fight against the destruction of her family home until the very end.  As others flee, she stakes her claim in the basement of the old house on rue Childebert, ignoring the sounds of change that come closer and closer each day. Attempting to overcome the loneliness of her daily life, she begins to write letters to Armand, her beloved late husband. And as she delves into the ritual of remembering, Rose is forced to come to terms with a secret that has been buried deep in her heart for thirty years.

    Caught In the Light – Robert Goddard – When photographer Ian Jarrett, on assignment in snowy Vienna, meets and falls in love with a mysterious woman named Marian Esguard, the sex is terrific and their future back in England looks happy. Jarrett walks out on his wife and 15-year-old daughter and goes off to await his new lover. But she doesn’t show up, and Jarrett decides to track her down. In the process he unearths an out-of-this-world mystery: Marian may well be a ghost from the past (and a ghost with a grudge). That would certainly explain why none of the pictures of Marian come out. During the 19th century, a woman of the same name claimed to have discovered the techniques of modern photography, but she never received the credit for it.

    Snow White Must Die – Nele Neuhaus – On a rainy November day police detectives Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein are summoned to a mysterious traffic accident: A woman has fallen from a pedestrian bridge onto a car driving underneath. According to a witness, the woman may have been pushed. The investigation leads Pia and Oliver to a small village, and the home of the victim, Rita Cramer. On a September evening eleven years earlier, two seventeen-year-old girls vanished from the village without a trace. In a trial based only on circumstantial evidence, twenty-year-old Tobias Sartorius, Rita Cramer’s son, was sentenced to ten years in prison. Bodenstein and Kirchhoff discover that Tobias, after serving his sentence, has now returned to his home town. Did the attack on his mother have something to do with his return? In the village, Pia and Oliver encounter a wall of silence. When another young girl disappears, the events of the past seem to be repeating themselves in a disastrous manner. The investigation turns into a race against time, because for the villagers it is soon clear who the perpetrator is—and this time they are determined to take matters into their own hands.

    Wise Men – Stuart Nadler – Almost overnight, Arthur Wise has become one of the wealthiest and most powerful attorneys in America. His first big purchase is a simple beach house in a place called Bluepoint, a town on the far edge of the flexed arm of Cape Cod. It’s in Bluepoint, during the summer of 1952, that Arthur’s teenage son, Hilly, makes friends with Lem Dawson, a black man whose job it is to take care of the house but whose responsibilities quickly grow. When Hilly finds himself falling for Lem’s niece, Savannah, his affection for her collides with his father’s dark secrets. The results shatter his family, and hers. Years later, haunted by his memories of that summer, Hilly sets out to find Savannah, in an attempt to right the wrongs he helped set in motion. But can his guilt, and his good intentions, overcome the forces of history, family, and identity?

    Cascade – Maryanne O’Hara – During the 1930s in a small town fighting for its survival, a conflicted new wife seeks to reconcile her artistic ambitions with the binding promises she has made Fans of Richard Russo, Amor Towles, Sebastian Barry, and Paula McLain will devour this transporting novel about the eternal tug between our duties and our desires, set during in New York City and New England during the Depression and New Deal eras.            It’s 1935, and Desdemona Hart Spaulding has sacrificed her plans to work as an artist in New York to care for her bankrupt, ailing father in Cascade, Massachusetts. When he dies, Dez finds herself caught in a marriage of convenience, bound to the promise she made to save her father’s Shakespeare Theater, even as her town may be flooded to create a reservoir for Boston. When she falls for artist Jacob Solomon, she sees a chance to escape and realize her New York ambitions, but is it morally possible to set herself free?

    Great Expectations – Charles Dickens – Considered one of his most important works, Charles Dickens’ GREAT EXPECTATIONS is a classic coming-of-age story. The central character, Pip, is an orphan who unwillingly befriends an escaped criminal as a child in early 19th century England. As Pip grows older, Dickens’ uses Pip’s life as a backdrop for commentary on issues of the time such as crime, social class, empire and ambition. An ambitious Pip later learns that he has a mysterious benefactor (the criminal), the source of his “great expectations” as he hopes to climb the social ladder in Georgian and early Victorian England.

    Heloise and Abelard – Etienne Gilson – Every age retells the story of Heloise, the convent-bred girl, and Abelard, one of the great Catholic scholars of his age. Here, Etienne Gilson interprets the story for our time. He takes the point of view of the lovers themselves, and creates for us two very human people, caught between the demands of the flesh and the soul.

    Peyton Place – Grace Metalious – When Grace Metalious’s debut novel about the dark underside of a small, respectable New England town was published in 1956, it quickly soared to the top of the bestseller lists. A landmark in twentieth-century American popular culture, Peyton Place spawned a successful feature film and a long-running television series-the first prime-time soap opera.

    Forever Amber – Kathleen Winsor – Abandoned pregnant and penniless on the teeming streets of London, 16-year-old Amber St. Clare manages, by using her wits, beauty, and courage, to climb to the highest position a woman could achieve in Restoration England—that of favorite mistress of the Merry Monarch, Charles II. From whores and highwaymen to courtiers and noblemen, from events such as the Great Plague and the Fire of London to the intimate passions of ordinary—and extraordinary—men and women, Amber experiences it all. But throughout her trials and escapades, she remains, in her heart, true to the one man she really loves, the one man she can never have.

    Julie and Romeo – Jeanne Ray – Romeo Cacciamani and Julie Roseman are rival florists whose families have hated each other for as long as anyone can remember, yet no one can remember why. When the two meet at a small business owners’ seminar, an intense and unwavering attraction blooms between them. Unsure of what fate has in store, but deeply in love, Julie and Romeo are not about to let something as silly as a generations-long feud stand in their way. That is, until Romeo’s octogenarian mother, Julie’s meddling ex-husband, and a cast of grown Cacciamani and Roseman children begin to intervene with a passionate hatred that matches that of the Montagues and Capulets.

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