Book Club: Summer of ‘69

Before I dive into my review of this month’s book club book, I just want to say that I love this book club. Even if I am the only person reading the book, I love it anyway.  I have been an avid reader my whole life.  I LOVE books of all kinds!  However, life seems to always get in the way and prevents me from reading as much as I would like.  This book club holds me accountable.  It forces me to make time in my schedule to read.  Knowing that I have to give my review each month and select a new book motivates me to find that 20 minutes here and there to read more.  That alone is enough reason for me to keep choosing books each month. My hope is that there are some of you that read along with me, but I’m totally cool with it if it’s just little old me reading because it gives me so much joy.  Now, if you are like me and you love to read but find yourself with never enough hours in the day and want to be held accountable, send me a message.  I will start an email group where I send you reminders each week to keep you on track.  I will be your accountability partner.    All you have to do is ask (and send me your email).

Moving on! Here are my thoughts on this month’s book, Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand.  Side note: I sort of geeked out when Elin Hilderbrand commented on my Instagram post when I announced her book as my pick for July. How freaking cool is that? Anyway, I have to say that I really enjoyed this book.  It is the perfect summer read.  It was an easy read and had all of the elements of a great book.  This historical fiction novel revolves around the Nichols-Foley-Levin family in the summer of 1969: a time of war, self-discovery, gender equality, and civil rights.  It includes hints of suicide, love affairs, first love, getting high, and scandal.  Elin Hilderbrand expertly tells the story of 4 siblings and their journey through the events of that time period including the first walk on the moon, Woodstock, and the Vietnam War.  Blair, the oldest of the siblings, struggles through her pregnancy with the belief that her work-a-holic husband has been cheating on her while he also suffers from mental illness.  Kirby, the outcast of the family, sets out on a journey of rediscovery away from her family as she struggles to overcome her past while navigating the stigma of an interracial relationship.  The only male of the siblings, Tiger, is drafted and sent off to the war in Vietnam, and the whole family struggles to deal with his absence. The baby of the bunch, Jessie, begins her teen years that summer while feeling her first hints of love, becoming a woman, and learning the truth of her family’s history. Their mother, Kate, has her own struggles through that summer as she lives with what she calls her “punishment” for the events that led to the death of her first husband and father to her oldest 3 children.  The one thing that was clear throughout the story was that despite everything going on with each of them individually, they truly loved each other at the core of their being and that is what ultimately holds them all together. The story and character development of this story was done beautifully. I always love stories that make me feel like I am right there in that time period with them. Elin Hilderbrand did a great job depicting the historical events of that time and weaved them into the storyline in a way that was believable. I really did enjoy this book and hope that those of you that read it along with me did as well. Let me know your thoughts.

My pick for August (I can’t believe August is almost here!) is a book that keeps finding its way into my recommended reads.  I have looked at it several times as a possible choice for my book club but always pushed it to the side.   I have finally decided that is’s time to give it a go.  I like to try to mix it up with my choices so that I can appeal to everyone.   This month’s pick is a suspenseful thriller.  I have chosen The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides.  It is a New York Times Best Seller.  Entertainment Weekly calls it “An unforgettable—and Hollywood-bound—new thriller…A mix of Hitchcockian suspense, Agatha Christie plotting, and Greek tragedy.” I don’t think I have picked a thriller yet, so this should be a change of pace for us.  I am excited to dive in to see where this story takes us.  Here is what Apple Books had to say about this novel.

“In this confident debut, Alex Michaelides mixes the meticulous packing of an Agatha Christie thriller with the dark tragedy of Greek myth. The Silent Patient starts with an unforgettable image: Artist Alicia Brenson stands in her living room soaked in her husband’s blood after apparently riddling him with bullets. After that, Alicia goes mute for years—until psychotherapist Theo Faber finds his way to the institution that houses her, armed with unconventional ideas about unlocking her past. Michaelides has crafted a binge-worthy, slow-burn psychological thriller that explodes in one final twist.”

Will you join me? Can I help you to be accountable for reading and doing something that brings you joy? There is nothing like diving into a great book and fully immersing yourself in the journey of someone else. Happy reading everyone!

Anchored in a Good Book,

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