Book Club 2020-2021
Co-Chairs: Joyce Zemsky & Diane Benjamin
The Book Club meets each month at Twin Maples at 1pm to discuss the selected reading. We will also host the meetings over Zoom to accommodate those who wish to join remotely. Meetings are open to all Fortnightly Club members. Not a member? Come to our book club meeting and see what it’s all about!
September 24. ALL ADULTS HERE, Emma Straub
In All Adults Here, Emma Straub’s unique alchemy of wisdom, humor, and insight come together in a deeply satisfying story about adult siblings, aging parents, high school boyfriends, middle school mean girls, the lifelong effects of birth order, and all the other things that follow us into adulthood, whether we like them to or not.
October 22. Then She was Gone, Lesa Jewell
THEN She was fifteen, her mother’s golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her. And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone. NOW It’s been ten years since Ellie disappeared, but Laurel has never given up hope of finding her daughter. And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet. Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter. Poppy is precocious and pretty – and meeting her completely takes Laurel’s breath away. Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age. And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back. What happened to Ellie? Where did she go? Who still has secrets to hide?
DECEMBER 3. THE NIGHT WATCHMAN, LOUISE ERDRICH
Based on the extraordinary life of National Book Award-winning author Louise Erdrich’s grandfather who worked as a night watchman and carried the fight against Native dispossession from rural North Dakota all the way to Washington, D.C., this powerful novel explores themes of love and death with lightness and gravity and unfolds with the elegant prose, sly humor, and depth of feeling of a master craftsman.
January 28. MY DARK VANESSA, KATE ELIZABETH RUSSELL
Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an
extraordinary new writer.
February 25. THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO, TAYLOR JENKINS REID
Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life.
When she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism
community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of
the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has
chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.
Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.
March 25. THE VANISHING HALF, BRIT BENNETT
The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?
April 22. AMERICAN DIRT, JEANINE CUMMINS
También de este lado hay sueños. On this side, too, there are dreams. Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.
Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.
Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia— trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?
May 27. STILL ALICE, LISA GENOVA
Still Alice is a compelling debut novel about a 50-year-old woman’s sudden descent into early onset Alzheimer’s disease, written by first-time author Lisa Genova, who holds a Ph. D in neuroscience from
Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children and a house on the Cape, is a celebrated Harvard professor at the height of her career when she notices a forgetfulness creeping into her life. As confusion starts to cloud her thinking and her memory begins to fail her, she receives a devastating diagnosis: early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Fiercely independent, Alice struggles to maintain her lifestyle and live in the moment, even as her sense of self is being stripped away. In turns heartbreaking, inspiring and terrifying, Still Alice captures in remarkable detail what’s it’s like to literally lose your mind…
June 24. STILL ALICE, THE MOVIE
If it is safe, we’ll meet for brown bag lunch at noon, then watch the movie.
Still Alice is a 2014 American independent drama film written and directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland and based on Lisa Genova’s bestselling 2007 novel of the same name. The film stars Julianne Moore (ACADEMY AWARD WINNER BEST ACTRESS) as Alice Howland, a linguistics professor diagnosed with familial Alzheimer’s disease shortly after her 50th birthday. Alec Baldwin plays her husband, John, and Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth and Hunter Parrish play her children, Lydia, Anna and Tom.
At the film’s start, though, Alice has everything. It’s her 50th birthday, and she’s celebrating at a chic New York restaurant with her adoring family. Her husband, who’s also an academic, toasts her as the most beautiful, intelligent person he’s ever known. She’s stylish, accomplished, happy and financially secure. She radiates confidence and competence at all times. But soon, words–which have fascinated her throughout her life and provided the basis for her career–begin to elude her. She becomes disoriented on her daily jog around campus. She starts losing items around the house and forgetting scheduled events.