The Book That Matters Most

The Book That Matters Most

Book - 2016
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"Ava's twenty-five-year marriage has fallen apart, and her two grown children are pursuing their own lives outside of the country. Ava joins a book group, not only for her love of reading but also out of sheer desperation for companionship. The group's goal throughout the year is for each member to present the book that matters most to them. Ava rediscovers a mysterious book from her childhood--one that helped her through the traumas of the untimely deaths of her sister and mother. Alternating with Ava's story is that of her troubled daughter Maggie, who, living in Paris, descends into a destructive relationship with an older man. Ava's mission to find that book and its enigmatic author takes her on a quest that unravels the secrets of her past and offers her and Maggie the chance to remake their lives."--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, [2016]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 0393241653 (hardcover)
9780393241655 (hardcover)
Branch Call Number: FIC HOOD
Characteristics: 358 pages ; 23 cm

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b
becker
Oct 19, 2017

A broken marriage has left the members of a family struggling to find a new normal, This story is told primarily from the mother and daughter's perspective. The mother turns to her love of reading and the new friendship she finds in a book club. The daughter attends school in Europe and slides into a dangerous life style. I really enjoyed the way this story was woven together and liked the individual characters and the roles they played in the story. My only criticism is that I felt like the end wrapped up too quickly. Complicated emotional issues were resolved too easily and too quickly but it didn't stop me from really enjoying the book. It is a quick and comforting sort of book that still offers some substance to the plot.

c
cknightkc
Mar 20, 2017

For lovers of books, book clubs, and family drama, THE BOOK THAT MATTERS MOST was a pleasant enough read if one overlooked its shortcomings, namely a contrived plot, some underdeveloped/frustrating characters, and a sudden ending that relied too heavily on coincidence. The theme of this novel, people’s personal connections to literature, was intriguing, and author Ann Hood’s prose was easy to follow. I came away with a whole new appreciation for the “classics” as well as some titles to add to my “for later shelf”. Although THE BOOK THAT MATTERS MOST didn’t quite live up to my expectations, I could think of worse ways to spend one’s time.

coloradobuck Feb 05, 2017

To summarize this book in one comment: adultery has lasting consequences. Even though I did greatly enjoy this book, I did figure out what the "twist" would be by about the middle of the book - then found myself having to read to the end to see if my theories were correct. An interesting look at grief - and how it affects people throughout their lives.

p
pktab
Jan 08, 2017

I almost gave up on this one, however, something compelled me to finish it. It's an "ok" book but not a "page turner" by any means.

r
Rubicat
Nov 15, 2016

I had high hopes for this novel but it felt, from the 1st page, like a romance novel. And all the way through every situation seemed contrived so that a happy ending could be served up. I read it in 1 day and it felt like eating whipped cream does - not filling, too sweet and making me slightly sick from it all. I've never read any others of Hood's book, but I don't think I will - the world if filled with good books and great literature. No reason to read ones that don't grab me.

t
TheresaAJ
Sep 21, 2016

Hood's latest novel is a love poem to books and those that fall under their spell. When Ava joins a book club run by her friend Cate, each participant is asked to select the book that matters most to him or her for next year's meetings. Ava selects From Clare to Here, a book that got her through the summers when her sister Lily and mother Charlotte died. When she brashly announces to the group that the author will come to their November meeting, her quest to locate Rosalind Arden begins. The year long journey brings her face-to-face with her divorce, her drug-addicted daughter, and the mystery behind her family's dissolution after Lily's death. Although the book was slow to start, I did reach a point where I stayed up late to finish it.

EscapesToBooks Sep 20, 2016

Ann Hood tells a good story. There were moments of real clarity in this book. I did think everyone's problems resolved a bit too neatly at the end, but it was satisfying nonetheless.

I was intrigued by Ava's quest to find the author of the book she chose, and also found myself doing a bit of reflection. How do you choose a book that matters most? If you choose one, do you really want to explain why you chose it? And what makes a book matter most? Definitely an interesting idea, and a good book.

s
SaturdayLibrarian
Aug 12, 2016

Fantastic from start to finish! I could not put it down.

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cknightkc
Mar 20, 2017

“When you read a book, and who you are when you read it, makes it matter or not.”

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