March 2018- The Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

Photo Mar 27, 6 12 59 PMThanks Angela for making a tasty dinner for us (so THATS what an oven is used for…… ah ha! ) You are too kind!   Your home is lovely – as are your kids and kitties! Welcome new member Susan Gatehouse!

Our March read was The Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly.  Click HERE for author bio and click HERE for Book summary.  

We were super happy to have our Sherry join us from Chattanooga! Sherry and I started early to chat at our very own ‘secret’ speakeasy The Duck Club for pre-book club cocktails and catch up! Miss you soooo much Sherry -sooooo good to see you!

We completely loved The Lilac Girls.  Each chapter intertwines the lives of these very different women living through Hitler’s horrific madness.  As events happen the knot tightens pulling these women together in a loop you’ll never forget.  This is Martha Hall Kelly’s first book which landed on the NY Times best seller list!   Ms Kelly writes in historic fiction based on real people living through the growing panic in WWII.  Ms. Kelly researched for years finally producing a wonderful story that captured our hearts and minds.

See you next month as we begin The Hidden Light of Northern Fires by Daren Wang

Happy reading ladies! See you next month if not before! Cheers! #HCPBookClub

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Feb 2018 -The Suitcases by Anne Hall Whitt

Photo Feb 22, 6 40 01 PMA wonderful evening indeed girls!  For those who could not attend you were missed! Thank you SO MUCH Amy for hosting this eclectic group of ladies! I’m COMPLETELY smitten with Finn the wonder-pug-piggie-!  Your home is lovely!

Let me fill you in on how the book came to our attention.  Jenny’s Auntie retrieved it in her Little Free Library that sits in front of her home.  She gave it to Jenny to read and Jen said we must read this for book club!  And so it began.

True life account of Anne Hall Whitt and her two sisters during the Great Depression being moved through orphanages and foster care system after her mother passes away.  Many questions indeed being that other family members could have taken in the three siblings.  An easy read although the story is not easy to handle.  Major pulls to heart strings fyi.   Anne’s path is changed when directed to Crossnore School which is still in existence today.   A boarding school set in the lovely Winston Salem NC.    *Plot twist here!  Dr & Dr Sloop who began Crossnore —  I have a friend who I met whose name is Julie Sloop (Rhodenizer now) —  Sloop is such an unusual name! I PM’d her on FB and asked if any relation and holy mackerel it’s her great uncle Dr Sloop who indeed started Crossnore!  What a small world we live in!  FYI – Julie is one of the loveliest people I’ve ever met – both inside and out.  An enchanting human being!

In talking about The Suicases — Georgia Baptist Children’s home and The Childrens Village at Christian city came to mind.  Georgia Baptist begin in the late l800’s moved from Hapeville and now sits in Palmetto Ga near Serenbe.   We all have known siblings who lived at Georgia Baptist when their parents died.   What a great testimony to both organizations – to care and love children when in strife.   THEN came the idea someone remembers hearing from Atlanta’s very own Clark Howard (we all adore Clark!) about providing suitcases with blankets and things a child would need toiletries toys etc to give to foster care for these children in need.  I’m on it!!!  Great idea girls!!

For author bio click HERE – Anne Hall Whitt 

I look forward to next month’s selection The Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly.  Thanks for offering to host our newest member Angela!  Will get date to you soon!

*** If you love books and following the wackadoodle gals in Historic College Park make sure you follow our website! To books!!! Cheers!

 

Jan 2018 – The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

Photo Jan 23, 7 01 28 PMWe all love meeting in Julie’s home – it’s an I Spy sort of evening.  I’ve sat there many a time as something catches my eye that I must go investigate!  Her cottage is adorable — as is Julie!  Thank you Julie for hosting – it was a great evening of conversation, sharing and discussion.   It’s actually a meeting just as this that makes me realize how very important book club is to me.  We gathered, we discussed a book that most of us liked (except a few who found it a bit predictable and contrived) and splintered off into other subjects personal to us.  And THAT my friends and readers…. is WHAT book club is ALL ABOUT!  It’s gathering.  We made the effort to attend, read the book and VOILA!  Gave birth to newfound discovery of who we are and learned more of each other.   DARE to BARE your soul at book club.  That sounds pretty darn good to me.  Thanks to everyone who shared and bared that night.  It’s endearing to each of us – I think.  :::smiling:::::

The question was asked if we personally knew anyone who has adopted a Chinese baby – which most of us know Steph’s adorable Charlie – and his little friend Penelope – both precious children who are fiercely loved in the US adopted from China.  Knowing just a bit of their backgrounds and the little history they know – cements for us the love Li-yan of her baby girl in The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane.

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane: A Novel Hardcover – March 21, 2017. Find all the books, read about the author, and more. A thrilling new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa See explores the lives of a Chinese mother and her daughter who has been adopted by an American couple.

For author bio on Lisa See click HERE   

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Lisa See is also the author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan – which is a favorite of many.   She was born in Paris but grew up in LA.  The author of many novels.

For book club discussion questions click HERE 

Thank you Sylvia & Julie for buying tea cakes for the group.  Sylvia’s was quite large and Julie’s were dainty little mounds wrapped in pairs.  Syliva — hope you’re over the flu! You were missed!

Our book for next month is The Suitcases and will be at Amy’s house.

Make sure you follow our blog so that you don’t miss a book!

Happy reading! Cheers! #HCPBookClub

Dec 2017 – Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe – by Jenny Colgan

Photo Dec 19, 5 54 39 PMCan you believe 2017 is coming to a close….already?  Well bring it on 2018!  It was wonderful to see such a lively group! Everyone meandered down about 25 mins South of Historic College Park to the farmhouse (Magpie Blue Manor) for our end of year December meeting!  Which has previously been hosted by Linda & Georgie – they needed a break so it’s now nested at the farmhouse.

As everyone began to filter in, nibbles were opened and wine was poured!  Our White Elephant gifts were sat aside to later rip open and steal! Bwhahahah!

For a summary of the book:

For fans of Jojo Moyes (Me Before You) and Sophie Kinsella (the Shopaholic series) comes the perfect holiday story—a moving, funny, utterly delightful novel about love, loss, and baking.

How many times can your life change?

Once upon a time, Issy Randall was the girl nobody wanted. But when she opened the Cupcake Café, her life changed—and now Issy is happy, confident, and in love with a wonderful man raising his young brother after the death of their parents.

Is life about to change again? With the holidays approaching, cracks show in Issy’s perfect world. Her boyfriend Austin has been scouted for a possible move to New York City. Her colleagues at the Cupcake Café are suffering heartbreak. And as Christmas looms ever closer, Issy finds forced to decide what she holds most dear.

From an author whose work Sophie Kinsella describes as ‘sheer indulgence’, and featuring delicious holiday recipes, Christmas at the Cupcake Café is a novel that will make you laugh, cry, and long for sugar. (HarperCollins.com)

Jenny Colgan is know as a ‘Chick-Lit’ author — and she does it well! For author bio please click HERE 

After we sat and discussed Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe, nibbled refreshments we moved to the parlor for White Elephant Gift exchange!  Georgie attended for Linda because she was off flying the friendly skies!   We had some fun steals and many a squeal and giggle escape all of us.  As we sat chatting and admiring our gifts we continued to hear a strange pounding from the other room… which we completely ignored.  Well.  It turned out to be Eileen stuck in the bathroom!  It’s a 100 year old house!  Things stick every now and then! LOL

A very merry meeting as everyone gathered their goodies and headed out into the dark night…. the tree glimmered and scotties were licking guests goodbye.  A very fun meeting gals. Jenny and I were lucky enough to have a sleepover! Scotties and all!  Thanks to Anda Panda for taking so many wonderful photos!

For 2018 check our website and give any suggestions we might add for 2018! We have a few spots left!

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We hope the spirit of the season is happy and magical.   Have a very merry holiday and a joyful New Year!

Nov 2017 – A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams

Photo Nov 27, 6 43 15 PM*Make sure you follow our blog so that you don’t miss the ladies of Historic College Park’s Book Club meetings! Even though you aren’t present you can be there in spirit by reading our blog! To books and the discussion of such (among other things!) – Cheers! 

Thanks so much Laura Lee Gentry for hosting our November meeting! LOVE the renovations!

On a chilly wintry night in Georgia (Historic College Park to be exact…..) we gathered to discuss A Certain Age – by Beatriz Williams.    A novel set in the roaring 1920’s amid the privileged upper class of New York, flappers, lots of sex (no drugs or rock at roll at this point) and a GREAT plot twist mid way.

The bestselling author of A Hundred Summers brings the Roaring Twenties brilliantly to life in this enchanting and compulsively readable tale of intrigue, romance, and scandal in New York Society, brimming with lush atmosphere, striking characters, and irresistible charm.

As the freedom of the Jazz Age transforms New York City, the iridescent Mrs. Theresa Marshall of Fifth Avenue and Southampton, Long Island, has done the unthinkable: she’s fallen in love with her young paramour, Captain Octavian Rofrano, a handsome aviator and hero of the Great War. An intense and deeply honorable man, Octavian is devoted to the beautiful socialite of a certain age and wants to marry her. While times are changing and she does adore the Boy, divorce for a woman of Theresa’s wealth and social standing is out of the question, and there is no need; she has an understanding with Sylvo, her generous and well-respected philanderer husband.

But their relationship subtly shifts when her bachelor brother, Ox, decides to tie the knot with the sweet younger daughter of a newly wealthy inventor. Engaging a longstanding family tradition, Theresa enlists the Boy to act as her brother’s cavalier, presenting the family’s diamond rose ring to Ox’s intended, Miss Sophie Fortescue—and to check into the background of the little-known Fortescue family. When Octavian meets Sophie, he falls under the spell of the pretty ingénue, even as he uncovers a shocking family secret. As the love triangle of Theresa, Octavian, and Sophie progresses, it transforms into a saga of divided loyalties, dangerous revelations, and surprising twists that will lead to a shocking transgression . . . and eventually force Theresa to make a bittersweet choice.

Full of the glamour, wit and delicious twists that are the hallmarks of Beatriz Williams’ fiction and alternating between Sophie’s spirited voice and Theresa’s vibrant timbre, A Certain Age is a beguiling reinterpretation of Richard Strauss’s comic opera Der Rosenkavalier, set against the sweeping decadence of Gatsby’s New York.

For author bio click HERE 

We discussed the freedom many women were experience at this time in the roaring 1920’s —  the open marriage arrangement Teresa had with her husband and the love she felt for Boyo in letting him go.  The plot twist of the murder house that both Octavian and Sophie lived in and what brought them together was a fabulous act!

Hope you enjoyed the book as much as we did.

To books! And discussing them at book club!

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