The Book That Matters Most; Ann Hood
W.W. Norton Co - 2016
Ann Hood's latest novel was an enjoyable story about mothers, daughters and the ups and downs of life.
Ava Tucker is a 40-something French professor in Providence, Rhode Island. Her 25 year marriage has fallen apart and, for the first time in decades she finds herself alone. Her grown son is in Africa and daughter Maggie is studying abroad in Florence, Italy (so Ava thinks), however, Maggie's life abroad is in turmoil.
To help deal with her loneliness, Ava's friend Cate encourages her to join her book group. For the coming year each of the (12) participates selects the one "book that mattered most" to them. Ava's choice is a relatively unknown, out of print selection about a grieving mother who has lost a child. Ava lost both her mother and a younger sister when she was a child.
Without giving away too much of the story, I'll just say I really enjoyed this story and the way the author drew me in early on. I loved that the story started out in RI, a place where the streets and references were familiar to me. The story then travels to Italy and Paris which was also a treat to read about. I liked most of the characters that she introduced and the fact the story has a bit of a mystery going on as well. Readers who want to settle into an easy flowing story about life, love, loss and family should enjoy this one. I think this book would be a great book club discussion choice as well.