The Book That Matters Most
By Ann Hood
W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393354096, August 2017, 384pp.
The Short of It:
The Rest of It:
After Ava’s marriage falls apart, she finds herself desperate for companionship. So desperate, that at the suggestion of a close friend, she joins her book club. The club’s reading theme for the year is “the book that matters most”. The participants select books like The Great Gatsby or To Kill a Mockingbird but Ava selects a book from her childhood that many are not familiar with.
As Ava navigates life and tries to figure out where to go next, her daughter Maggie spends her days in Paris as a kept woman and spirals downward into the dark sea of addiction.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when this book was selected for my book club. Honestly, I felt like it would be too fluffy and dare I say it, too romantic and sappy but it was none of those things. The Book That Matters Most deals with some pretty deep topics. I found myself eagerly flipping the pages and because it centers around a book club, there is plenty of bookish talk which I always enjoy.
This book has been around for a little while but I don’t recall ever seeing it before it was selected for my club. I’m glad I read it. I felt like the daughter’s story was more developed than Ava’s but overall it was an enjoyable, page-turning read.
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21 thoughts on “Review: The Book That Matters Most”
I love this author and really enjoyed this one. I may be prejudiced by the fact many of her books take place in RI;)
Perhaps. In this book the story could really have been set anywhere.
So…which book from her childhood did she select?!?
A book that doesn’t exist in real life but has everything to do with her life. From Clare to Here. I believe it’s a song in real life.
I’ve heard nothing but great things about this book, but have yet to read it. I have it on my kindle, I just haven’t been in the mood. Sounds like it will be worth it though. Glad you enjoyed it so much 🙂 Like you, I thought it sounded rather fluffy, but I guess its a bit more heavy than I thought.
The way she portrays drug addiction is pretty realistic. I had a hard time putting it down. Someone in my club mentioned the drug addiction part before I had started it and I seriously thought they read the wrong book because no where did I see drugs mentioned when I looked the book up.
I like this one, too. My favorites by Hood are The Knitting Circle and The Red Thread if you ever want to read more by this author.
You know what’s funny? I have The Knitting Circle, I think.
I love Ann Hood’s work and I have seen this book around…I don’t think I read it…
I think you would like this one.
I enjoyed this one, too; Ann Hood is one of my “must read” authors, so I immersed myself in it and loved the journey. Thanks for sharing.
I’ve read a couple Ann Hood’s books and really don’t think of them as romantic books. I’ve got this one either on my Kindle or maybe the audio. Haven’t read it yet, but I’ve heard good reports. I really liked THE RED THREAD, which is about a group of potential parents who travel to China to meet their adopted daughters. I read it because we have two nieces, both grown now, that were adopted from China. I thought it was quite interesting and I think Ann Hood herself has an adopted daughter.
I’m not sure why I pegged her as a romance writer. Maybe the cover was too fluffy for me. I don’t know. I make no sense. I enjoyed the book though. I want to read another one by her.
I’ve seen the book a few times here and there but have never read this author. Maybe soon.
I enjoyed this book immensely, as I have many of Ann Hood’s other books. I am also listening to Nomadland – which is an eye opener to a whole population of “people” I never knew existed. It is scary because these people are the same age as I am.
I know a lot of young people are choosing to live this way too. Working remotely and wanting to travel I guess the houseless lifestyle could work for that but when you have to do it because you can’t make rent. That is terribly sad.
I feel like the title prepares the reader for a heavy book, but then it doesn’t sound too intense. I wonder what book I consider the “book that matters most”
For me, it would be the children’s book The Giving Tree. Choosing an adult read would be harder.
Hmm. I like novels about book subjects like a book club. Interesting. I’m glad you liked it. Maybe I’ll get to it too.
It’s funny because my book club mostly agreed that some of what goes on in the book isn’t all that realistic, but it was still enjoyable.
This sounds like a good read; I skipped reading this because I thought it would be too sappy.