“There was a good taste of sibling relationships and platonic friendships as well as romantic relationships…”
Review by Mary P.
In 1942, 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 have more in common 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.
Release Date: 11/15/2022
Genre: Historical Fiction | Christian
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review courtesy of the publisher through Interviews & Reviews. A positive review was not required.
The Blackout Book Club gives readers a warm welcome into a gathering of bookish people of varying ages and walks of life, delighting the reader as they explore love, loss, friendship, and togetherness against the backdrop of a world in war. I so enjoyed getting to know these characters, from brusque Louise to strong Martina to longing Avis and the other memorable people within the pages. The witty banter between Ginny and Freddy was perhaps my favorite side of the book, and I loved how sweet and understated their friendship was, especially in the time of need. I also loved seeing the characters grow and learn how to rely on and carry one another’s burdens. There was a good taste of sibling relationships and platonic friendships as well as romantic relationships brought to life within these pages. Anthony’s letters to his sister were such fun to read, including bits like “I’m late in responding, but you can blame the army for that” and longer excerpts from his letters such as: If I didn’t know better, it sounds like you’re actually starting to like reading. I should be offended that twenty-five years of being related to me didn’t do the trick, but I’ll rest content in the knowledge that you’ve finally agreed to my motto: ‘He was fond of books, for they are cool and sure friends.’ (That’s Les Misérables. It’s an undertaking— the French like their prose the way they like their baguettes: very long— but you’ve got to take a crack at it. Maybe during the winter when everything is frozen, and you can stay in with tea and wool socks and voluminous great novels.) Ah, don’t you wish you knew him? I do. Not all the characters were favorites – Russell with his selfishness and grumpiness when he didn’t get what he wanted and the ways he took advantage of his wife, for instance. But for the most part, the characters had solid goals and relatable flaws. This book was an experience I savored, filled with many glad moments. I’m looking forward to the author’s next book.
Action & Gore:
2. Very mild action (mentions common injuries, without gruesome details).
Romance & Spice:
2. Mild content (holding hands and mild kissing).
Cursing & Vulgarity:
1. Infrequent substitute cursing (less than 10 "craps" etc. and/or book-specific curse words).
Other Trigger/Content Notices:
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