Book Club Discussion: Perennials

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for Perennials by Julie Cantrell. Below is a list of discussion questions to get the conversation started. We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Feel free to answer all the questions, or pick and choose a few questions to discuss!

  • When newcomer Blaire Dayton arrives in her fancy dress, Bitsy crumbles. Why do you think Bitsy was affected so significantly by Blair’s critical comment? How have you reacted to criticism in your life?
  • Throughout the book we witness sibling rivalry between Lovey and Bitsy, some of it particularly cruel. Do you believe Bitsy loves her sister? How healthy are your sibling relationships?
  • The book explores family relationships, including that of Chief and Mother, a happily married couple celebrating fifty years of matrimony. Do you know any couples who have achieved such a harmonious partnership in real ly? What do Lovey and Bitsy learn about love and marriage from their parents?
  • How does each woman in Perennials try to stay young? What does it mean to be young of heart?

Questions from back of book. Author Interview.

Not a Hello Book Lover subscriber? Subscribe today on our website!

 

 

 

 

Book Club Discussion: The Keeper of Lost Things

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for The Keeper of Lost Things: A Novel By Ruth Hogan. Below is a list of discussion questions to get the conversation started. We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Feel free to answer all the questions, or pick and choose a few questions to discuss!

  • How would you describe Laura? Why has intimacy been such a problem for her? How does owning Peardew’s house affect her? In what way does she become an agent of change and redemption?
  • Talk about the tragedy for Anthrony Peardew of losing his beloved Theressa and the effect it has had on his life. What is the impetus for his compulsion to collect lost things?
  • Which of his imagined stories about lost items do you find most engaging—the blue jigsaw or the white umbrella, perhaps?
  • How does the story of Eunice and Bomber relate to Laura and Anthony’s story? Did you find the two plot strands difficult to juggle, perhaps too distracting? Or do the two tales enhance one another?

Questions from Litlovers.

Not a Hello Book Lover subscriber? Subscribe today on our website!

 

 

Book Reveal: The Last Painting of Sara de Vos

The second book choice for the May “Canvas + Color” box is The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith!

In 1631, Sara de Vos is admitted as a master painter to the Guild of St. Luke’s in Holland, the first woman to be so recognized. Three hundred years later, only one work attributed to de Vos is known to remain–a haunting winter scene, At the Edge of a Wood, which hangs over the bed of a wealthy descendant of the original owner. An Australian grad student, Ellie Shipley, struggling to stay afloat in New York, agrees to paint a forgery of the landscape, a decision that will haunt her. Because now, half a century later, she’s curating an exhibit of female Dutch painters, and both versions threaten to arrive. As the three threads intersect, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos mesmerizes while it grapples with the demands of the artistic life, showing how the deceits of the past can forge the present.

Book Reveal: The Paris Secret

The first book choice for the May “Canvas + Color” box is The Paris Secretby Karen Swan!

When high-powered fine art agent Flora Sykes is called in to assess objets d’art in a Paris apartment that has been abandoned since WWII, she is skeptical at first—until she discovers that the treasure trove of paintings is myriad . . . and priceless. The powerful Vermeil family to whom they belong is eager to learn more and asks Flora to trace the history of each painting.

Despite a shocking announcement that has left her own family reeling, Flora finds herself thrown into the glamorous world of the Vermeils. But she soon realizes there is more to this project than first appears. As she researches the provenance of their prize Renoir, she uncovers a scandal surrounding the painting—and a secret that goes to the very heart of the family. The fallout will place Flora in the eye of a storm that carries her from London to Vienna to the glittering coast of Provence.

Xavier Vermeil, the brusque scion of the family, is determined to separate Flora from his family’s affairs in spite of their powerful attraction to each other. Just what are the secrets he is desperately trying to hide? And what price is Flora willing to pay to uncover the devastating truth . . . ?
.

Book Club Discussion: The Last Days of Night

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore. Below is a list of discussion questions to get the conversation started. We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Feel free to answer all the questions, or pick and choose a few questions to discuss!

  • Talk about the role of the lightbulb, that small pear-shaped device, in changing the face of civilization. Can you imagine life without it?
  • What do you think about the two great giants of American science and manufacturing: Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse? Are you surprised at the manner in which Moore portrays Edison, an American icon? How do the two men differ?
  • Does Graham Moore do a credible job in breaking down the science of electricity, especially the differences between AC and DC current?
  • Do you think it possible/probable in real life that Edison might have made an attempt on Tesla’s life? Or did Graham add that plot point to build fictional suspense?
  • In the end, is it possible to actually say who invented the light bulb? What role did each of the three men—Edison, Tesla, and Westinghouse—play in its development?

Questions from Litlovers

Not a Hello Book Lover subscriber? Subscribe today on our website!

Book Club Discussion: The Dollhouse

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis. Below is a list of discussion questions to get the conversation started. We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Feel free to answer all the questions, or pick and choose a few questions to discuss!

 

  • Why was Darby attracted to Esme as a friend? What characteristics did Esme espouse that Darby de- sired? Is Esme a foil for Darby? If so, then what does Stella represent? Which one of these three characters would you rather be in the story and why?
  • What did you think of young Stella’s plan to nd the wealthiest, handsomest man she could? Do you think it was a mark of codependence or independence? Why or why not? Did your impression of Stella change from the 1950s to 2016? If so, how and why?
  • What did you think about how The Dollhouse portrays the darker, seedy underbelly of the New York City jazz scene in the 1950s? Does it still retain its glamour? Why or why not?
  • Do you think Rose is justi ed in her skewering description of the modern startup workplace and startup CEO? Do you think it accurately re ects the modern culture of these workplaces?

 

Questions from publisher’s website.

 

Not a Hello Book Lover subscriber? Subscribe today on our website!

 

Book Reveal: The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

The second book choice for the April “Garden Party” box is The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan!

Anthony Peardew is the keeper of lost things. Forty years ago, he carelessly lost a keepsake from his beloved fiancée, Therese. That very same day, she died unexpectedly. Brokenhearted, Anthony sought consolation in rescuing lost objects—the things others have dropped, misplaced, or accidently left behind—and writing stories about them. Now, in the twilight of his life, Anthony worries that he has not fully discharged his duty to reconcile all the lost things with their owners. As the end nears, he bequeaths his secret life’s mission to his unsuspecting assistant, Laura, leaving her his house and and all its lost treasures, including an irritable ghost.

Recovering from a bad divorce, Laura, in some ways, is one of Anthony’s lost things. But when the lonely woman moves into his mansion, her life begins to change. She finds a new friend in the neighbor’s quirky daughter, Sunshine, and a welcome distraction in Freddy, the rugged gardener. As the dark cloud engulfing her lifts, Laura, accompanied by her new companions, sets out to realize Anthony’s last wish: reuniting his cherished lost objects with their owners.

Long ago, Eunice found a trinket on the London pavement and kept it through the years. Now, with her own end drawing near, she has lost something precious—a tragic twist of fate that forces her to break a promise she once made.

As the Keeper of Lost Objects, Laura holds the key to Anthony and Eunice’s redemption. But can she unlock the past and make the connections that will lay their spirits to rest?

Subscribe to get your box!

Book Reveal: Perennials by Julie Cantrell

The first book choice for the April “Garden Party” box is Perennials by Judy Cantrell!

When two estranged sisters reunite for their parents’ 50th anniversary, a family tragedy brings unexpected lessons of hope and healing amid the flowers of their mother’s perennial garden.

Eva Sutherland—known to all as Lovey—grew up safe and secure in Oxford, Mississippi, surrounded by a rich literary history and her mother’s stunning flower gardens. But a shed fire, and the injuries it caused, changed everything. Her older sister, Bitsy, blamed Lovey for the irreparable damage. Bitsy became the homecoming queen and the perfect Southern belle who could do no wrong. All the while, Lovey served as the family scapegoat, always bearing the brunt when Bitsy threw blame her way.

At eighteen, suffocating in her sister’s shadow, Lovey turned down a marriage proposal and fled to Arizona. Free from Bitsy’s vicious lies, she became a successful advertising executive and a weekend yoga instructor, carving a satisfying life for herself. But at forty-five, Lovey is feeling more alone than ever and questioning the choices that led her here.
When her father calls insisting she come home three weeks early for her parents’ 50th anniversary, Lovey is at her wits’ end. She’s about to close the biggest contract of her career, and there’s a lot on the line. But despite the risks, her father’s words, “Family First,” draw her back to the red-dirt roads of Mississippi.

Lovey is drawn in to a secret project—a memory garden her father has planned as an anniversary surprise. As she helps create this sacred space, Lovey begins to rediscover her roots, learning how to live perennially in spite of life’s many trials and tragedies.

Years ago, Lovey chose to leave her family and the South far behind. But now that she’s returned, she’s realizing things at home were not always what they seemed.

Sign up to get your box today! 

Book Club Discussion: Along the Infinite Sea

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for Along the Infinite Sea By Beatriz Williams. Below is a list of discussion questions to get the conversation started. We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Feel free to answer all the questions, or pick and choose a few questions to discuss!

  • The novel alternates between Pepper’s story in 1960s America and Annabelle’s story in 1930s Europe in the days leading up to World War II. Did one woman’s story resonate more strongly with you?
  • Discuss Pepper’s relationship with her family in comparison to Annabelle’s relationship to her family. How do these familiar relationships impact each woman’s understanding of romantic love?
  • Each character in Along the Infinite Sea hides a major secret. Discuss how the presence of a secret radically shifts each character’s life. In your opinion, which secrets should have been revealed? Which should remain hidden?
  • Throughout the novel, the author keeps her own secret—the identity of the man with whom Annabelle escaped to America. Were you surprised by the reveal? Why do you think the coda is told from Stefan’s point of view?
  • How does Annabelle’s character change over the course of the novel? How does her evolution compare to Pepper’s? What role do you think Annabelle will continue to play in Pepper’s life?

Questions from publisher’s website.

Not a Hello Book Lover subscriber? Subscribe today on our website!

Book Club Discussion: My Not So Perfect Life

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella. Below is a list of discussion questions to get the conversation started. We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Feel free to answer all the questions, or pick and choose a few questions to discuss!

  • Describe Katie Brenner. Are there aspects of her life you relate to…as someone unsure in her job…or worried about social acceptance…or dissatisfied with the path her life has taken?
  • What does the title suggest in terms of one of the book’s central themes. How is life never quite so perfect as we would wish? Whose life is not so perfect in the novel?
  • Describe Demeter. What do you think of her? Does she remind you, say, of Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada? Is she overly stereotyped, or have you known people like her?
  • Consider the “big-sister” talk that Katie has with Coco. What do both Coco and Hal learn about their mother. What, in fact, does Katie learn about Demeter?
  • Ultimately, what does Katie learn about herself and the things that matter most in life?

Questions from Litlovers.

Not a Hello Book Lover subscriber? Subscribe today on our website!