Need an excuse to add another book to your TBR pile? I’ll give you three reasons to read Amy Lynn Green’s The Blackout Book Club ASAP!
I receive free electronic advanced reader copies of these books through an arrangement between the publishers and NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion on NetGalley’s website. I only review books on my blog that I really love.
Three Reasons to Read This Book (as if Book Lovers Needed Reasons)
I have fond memories of a book club I joined in Reno, Nevada, back when our girls were young. We met once a month and read a wide range of books, ones I would never pick up and read on my own. So when I had a chance to read an ARC (electronic advanced reader copy) through NetGalley, I jumped at the chance. What book lover wouldn’t love to read a book about a blackout book club?
So, if you’re a history buff, you’ll love this book because of the historical details and little know facts about World War II in the United States. Reason two? Friendship. If you love a book full of community and unlikely characters finding friendship, you’ll love this book. Reason three? The Blackout Book Club might inspire you to start your own book club and invite an odd assortment of people. The more we get to know people who are different from ourselves, the more well-rounded we’ll become.
By Amy Lynn Green, Bethany House Publishers, November 15, 2022, 384 pages.
When her brother enlists to fight in World War II, Avis Montgomery agrees to hold his place as librarian in the town’s subscription library. Her reluctant decision stems from her feelings about books. She can’t remember the last book she read. Avis prefers practical advice from magazines on how to keep house and have a good relationship with her husband. As a newlywed, she needs all the help she can get.
The library’s taciturn owner, Miss Louise Cavendish, threatens to cut down on library hours due to the new blackout regulations. Avis offers to start a book club to help fulfill the mandate of the blackout orders—finding ways to keep people inside.
Avis wonders what she’s gotten herself into. She doesn’t read books, hates public speaking, and would rather exist on the sidelines where no one can judge her. Leading out in a book club feels like her worst nightmare.
Besides Avis, the first meeting brings only three other people—Miss Cavendish, an Italian American factory worker with two children, and Ginny—a young woman who’ll do anything to earn money. Avis wonders if it’s doomed to failure.
As the Blackout Book Club draws in new members, they start to form an unlikely community. Each woman has secrets or secret fears, and through the pages of the books the club chooses, they learn to stand up for themselves, face grief, and support each other.
But can they convince Miss Cavendish to keep the library open when she announces her plans to turn it into a childcare facility for the factory workers?
Why I Loved This Book
Green takes readers on a journey into a small coastal town in Maine during World War II. German U-Boats threaten the local fishermen and merchant ships, young men leave for war, and women, children, and old men struggle to keep the economy going.
Each book club member seems to carry a secret too painful to share. But as they read and discuss books, they find ways to reach out to each other and form stronger bonds steeped in honesty. Like the Velveteen Rabbit, they engage in the process of becoming real.
Green’s strong characterizations make the reader fall in love with each of the characters in the book club and sigh with nostalgia when the story ends. You’ll love this book if you love Jan Karon’s Mitford stories. Don’t miss Green’s epistolary novel Things We Didn’t Say.