The Book That Matters Most

The Book That Matters Most

Book - 2016
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"Ava's twenty-five-year marriage has fallen apart, and her two grown children are pursuing their own lives outside of the country. Ava joins a book group, not only for her love of reading but also out of sheer desperation for companionship. The group's goal throughout the year is for each member to present the book that matters most to them. Ava rediscovers a mysterious book from her childhood--one that helped her through the traumas of the untimely deaths of her sister and mother. Alternating with Ava's story is that of her troubled daughter Maggie, who, living in Paris, descends into a destructive relationship with an older man. Ava's mission to find that book and its enigmatic author takes her on a quest that unravels the secrets of her past and offers her and Maggie the chance to remake their lives."--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, W.W. Norton & Company,, [2016]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780393241655
0393241653
9780393354096
Characteristics: 358 pages ; 23 cm

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maipenrai
Feb 01, 2019

I really enjoyed this book until the end which I thought was contrived and "hokey". Kristi & Abby Tabby

Ava is a middle-aged woman whose content, suburban life has quietly come apart. Her husband has left her for another woman; she suspects her troubled daughter Maggie is making poor decisions while studying in Florence; and her son is far away in Africa. When Ava’s best friend Cate convinces her to join the library’s book club, Ava is dubious about how much it will help. Of course, the power of books is not to be underestimated, especially when the book club’s yearly theme is revealed: each month, a member will choose the book that mattered most to him/her in their life.

Not just a comforting book about books; this book has surprising depth. The characters are flawed and more human than I expected, and there were quite a few layers to the plot. I especially liked the different perspectives of Ava and Maggie. The loose ends were all tied up a bit too neatly and prettily (and improbably, in a few cases) but that’s what makes a comforting read comforting. A totally enjoyable read, perfect for a snowy, relaxing day off! (Submitted by Veronica).

l
lovemybranch
Oct 29, 2018

I quit after about 50 pages, despite my tendency to finish books. It felt artificial and predictable. How boring that all the other books for the year were from the canon of white literature.

e
Evelyn3
Jul 23, 2018

I loved this book.. especially the question ' what book matters most '...to you? Have you thought about and answered the question prior to reading a book? Did you reflect on why it mattered most?

This made me think about these things and sometimes that is simply enough. Books are written to be enjoyed and pondered and sometimes not... Tell me, did you not reflect, even for a moment ...on the book that matters most...to you...after reading or even while reading this book?

f
firebird770
May 10, 2018

In discussion about this book , the members felt that it was a book with no substance. All the characters were dysfunctional and there really was no point to the book.

b
becker
Oct 19, 2017

A broken marriage has left the members of a family struggling to find a new normal, This story is told primarily from the mother and daughter's perspective. The mother turns to her love of reading and the new friendship she finds in a book club. The daughter attends school in Europe and slides into a dangerous life style. I really enjoyed the way this story was woven together and liked the individual characters and the roles they played in the story. My only criticism is that I felt like the end wrapped up too quickly. Complicated emotional issues were resolved too easily and too quickly but it didn't stop me from really enjoying the book. It is a quick and comforting sort of book that still offers some substance to the plot.

c
cknightkc
Mar 20, 2017

For lovers of books, book clubs, and family drama, THE BOOK THAT MATTERS MOST was a pleasant enough read if one overlooked its shortcomings, namely a contrived plot, some underdeveloped/frustrating characters, and a sudden ending that relied too heavily on coincidence. The theme of this novel, people’s personal connections to literature, was intriguing, and author Ann Hood’s prose was easy to follow. I came away with a whole new appreciation for the “classics” as well as some titles to add to my “for later shelf”. Although THE BOOK THAT MATTERS MOST didn’t quite live up to my expectations, I could think of worse ways to spend one’s time.

coloradobuck Feb 05, 2017

To summarize this book in one comment: adultery has lasting consequences. Even though I did greatly enjoy this book, I did figure out what the "twist" would be by about the middle of the book - then found myself having to read to the end to see if my theories were correct. An interesting look at grief - and how it affects people throughout their lives.

p
pktab
Jan 08, 2017

I almost gave up on this one, however, something compelled me to finish it. It's an "ok" book but not a "page turner" by any means.

r
Rubicat
Nov 15, 2016

I had high hopes for this novel but it felt, from the 1st page, like a romance novel. And all the way through every situation seemed contrived so that a happy ending could be served up. I read it in 1 day and it felt like eating whipped cream does - not filling, too sweet and making me slightly sick from it all. I've never read any others of Hood's book, but I don't think I will - the world if filled with good books and great literature. No reason to read ones that don't grab me.

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cknightkc
Mar 20, 2017

“When you read a book, and who you are when you read it, makes it matter or not.”

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