Tag Archives: Mother-Daughter Relationships

Review: The Book That Matters Most

The Book That Matters Most

The Book That Matters Most
By Ann Hood
W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393354096, August 2017, 384pp.

The Short of It:

Surprisingly enjoyable.

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.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

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Review: Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere
By Celeste Ng
Penguin Press, Hardcover, 9780735224292, September 12, 2017, 352pp.

The Short of It:

The essence of motherhood can be shown in so many ways, a photograph of a mother holding a child, a mother gazing through a window at a child who is no longer hers, a mother’s contempt for her own daughter. All these things come together in this beautifully told story.

The Rest of It:

The story opens with Izzy burning down her house. From the moment of conception, Mrs. Richardson knew that this child would be different from her other children and as Izzy grows into a young woman, Mrs. Richardson wonders if she will ever have a relationship with her that isn’t wrought with frustration and worry.

Izzy doesn’t get along with anyone in her family but does get along with Mia and her daughter, Pearl. Mia and Pearl are renters of a little apartment owned by Izzy’s family. Although they are renters, Pearl is more a part of the family than Izzy is, always hanging out at the main house with the other kids. Mia, a photographer by trade, makes ends meet by taking odd jobs and eating leftover takeout but she has a way with Izzy and even Izzy is surprised by this.

There are many stories within this novel as each character finds his or her way but ultimately, it’s a story about motherhood and what it means to be a family. As these characters interact with each other and their story lines begin to cross, secrets are revealed and they are forced to look closely at themselves in the mirror. We find out why Izzy burns the house down and somehow we can relate.

I really loved this beautifully written novel and it will most definitely be on my list of faves at the end of the year. Everything came together so beautifully. Not perfectly tied-up with a bow but realistically and with hope. I plowed through those final pages and then read the last page over and over again.

Have you read it? If not, I highly recommend it.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.