About the Book
An impulsive promise to her brother before he goes off to the European Front puts Avis Montgomery in the unlikely position of head librarian in small-town Maine. Though she has never been much of a reader, when wartime needs threaten to close the library, she invents a book club to keep its doors open. The women she convinces to attend the first meeting couldn’t be more different–a wealthy spinster determined to aid the war effort, an exhausted mother looking for a fresh start, and a determined young war worker.
At first, the struggles of the home front are all the club members have in common, but over time, the books they choose become more than an escape from the hardships of life and the fear of the U-boat battles that rage just past their shores. As the women face personal challenges and band together in the face of danger, they find they share more in common with each other than they think. But when their growing friendships are tested by secrets of the past and present, they must decide whether depending on each other is worth the cost.
Librarian Laura’s Review of The Blackout Book Club
Though Avis Montgomery isn’t much of a reader, she agrees to serve as librarian when her brother, the actual librarian, goes away to fight in the war. Little does she know, agreeing to take on the role of librarian in her small town in Maine will change the course of her future forever. As World War II rages on, certain needs are threatening to close the small library. As such, Avis creatively invents a book club, titled The Blackout Book Club, to keep the doors open and drum up some interest in literary things. The group she convinces to attend the first meeting are quite a different bunch – an older spinster determined to aid in the war effort, an exhausted mother looking for a new start, and a determined young war worker who isn’t afraid to speak her mind. As the members spend more time together and get to know one another with each new meeting and book they read, it’s clear to Avis that friendship and personal connections are important now more than ever before. The story is sprinkled through with notes from the book club meetings, which are at times very comical. Though it takes place during hardship and war, this book is uplifting to the spirit, and it’s a sweet story of the power of literature and friendship to bring people together for the common good.
Thank you to Baker Book Bloggers for the complimentary review copy of this novel in exchange for my honest feedback.