Carmel Valley Library

Book Reviews

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‘Freshwater for Flowers’ by Valerie Perrin

(Translated from the French by Hildegarde Serle) This is a beautifully written book, full of tender storylines… and unexpected revelations. The book was a massive hit in France where Perrin won numerous awards for her first novel Les Oubliés du Dimanche. This is her English debut. Violette Toussaint is a caretaker in a cemetery in a small town in Burgundy. Despite the unusual location this is by no means a morbid book. Violette’s husband has vanished and her days are taken up with tending graves, the comings and goings of mourners and grave diggers, visits from the local priest, and various cats and dogs. One day a local police chief arrives on the scene insisting on scattering his mother’s ashes on the gravesite of a complete stranger…. totally heartwarming, sometimes heartbreaking, and hard to put down.

‘The Umbrian Thursday Night Supper Club’ by Marlena de Blasi

These are not cozy, warm times. We all are suffering. If you read ‘The Umbrian Thursday Night Supper Club’ by Marlena de Blasi you will find some reprieve. A group of women gather to cook and eat and in the process the reader discovers their intimate stories. The women become fast and loyal friends who trust and grow with each other. This is a real treat to read. Enjoy!

‘A Gentleman In Moscow’ by Amor Towles

The author is unique and interesting on his own merit, but his novel (recommended and lead by Joyce) broke all rating records from our group. Set during the Bolshevik revolution around 1920, our hero, the Count, is under house arrest in the finest hotel in Russia at that time- the Metropol. He is truly a genius, very well educated and extremely well read. He has many trials and tribulations to conquer but never falls from his gentlemanly demeanor. Written with beautiful language and great philosophic passages this book can easily be read more than once. (Linda’s comment) Jam-packed with many facts and trivia all woven into a tense adventure, with even some romance thrown in. There you have the recipe for our book group to be thrilled.

At the end of our very animated discussion we always rate our reads from one to ten. Wow! This book went off the charts. Three of us gave a rating of twelve and the rest gave a ten plus. This was record breaking for us.

Now most future books will have a hard time measuring up to our standards.

The 2nd Monday Book Club meets on the second Monday each month. Members make book recommendations, and for each book selected by the group, the recommending member will research the author and lead the discussion of the book. “We take turns hosting in our homes and have limited our membership in recent years in order to make sure all can participate. We often get our books from the library, sometimes using the Book Club to Go.”

For information on Book Clubs and Book Club to Go Click Here.