Monday Evening Book Club | September Selection

Five Wives by Joan Thomas

“Book club only” print copies are available at the downtown location of the Library. To pick up a copy, visit the Information Desk on the 2nd floor.

Register here to discuss this riveting, wrenching account of evangelism and its legacy.

The Monday Evening Book Club meets on the second Monday of the month at 7:00 PM via Zoom.

In the tradition of The Poisonwood Bible and State of Wonder, a novel set in the rainforest of Ecuador about five women left behind when their missionary husbands are killed. Based on the shocking real-life events

In 1956, a small group of evangelical Christian missionaries and their families journeyed to the rainforest in Ecuador intending to convert the Waorani, a people who had never had contact with the outside world. The plan was known as Operation Auca. After spending days dropping gifts from an aircraft, the five men in the party rashly entered the “intangible zone.” They were all killed, leaving their wives and children to fend for themselves.

Five Wives is the fictionalized account of the real-life women who were left behind, and their struggles – with grief, with doubt, and with each other – as they continued to pursue their evangelical mission in the face of the explosion of fame that followed their husbands’ deaths.

Five Wives is a riveting, often wrenching story of evangelism and its legacy, teeming with atmosphere and compelling characters and rich in emotional impact.

Further reading

Interview: Why Joan Thomas wrote about the wives of missionaries killed trying to convert Ecuador’s Waorani people | CBC Books

Interview: The Chat with Governor General’s Literary Award Winner Joan Thomas | 49th Shelf

Review: Left Behind: A novel look at an evangelical mission | Literary Review of Canada

Review: Into the wild: Novelist’s latest offering a riveting fictional account of missionaries’ plight | Winnipeg Free Press

An Uncommon Victory for an Indigenous Tribe in the Amazon| The New Yorker

Watch & Listen

Interview: The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers – Nov. 30, 2019: Joan Thomas on Five Wives

Interview: Author! Author! with Joan Thomas and Jane Urqhart | Kingston WritersFest

Tuesday Afternoon Drop-In Book Club | January Selection

Mr. Dickens and His Carol
by Samantha Silva

This title is only available in print. Click here to place a hold.

The Tuesday Afternoon Book Club meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 2:00 PM via Zoom.

Register here to drop in and discuss Silva’s creative re-imagining of Dickens’ inspiration for his holiday classic.

Laced with humor, rich historical detail from Charles Dickens’ life, and clever winks to his work, Samantha Silva’s Mr. Dickens and His Carol is an irresistible new take on a cherished classic.

Charles Dickens is not feeling the Christmas spirit. His newest book is an utter flop, the critics have turned against him, relatives near and far hound him for money. While his wife plans a lavish holiday party for their ever-expanding family and circle of friends, Dickens has visions of the poor house. But when his publishers try to blackmail him into writing a Christmas book to save them all from financial ruin, he refuses. And a serious bout of writer’s block sets in.

Frazzled and filled with self-doubt, Dickens seeks solace in his great palace of thinking, the city of London itself. On one of his long night walks, in a once-beloved square, he meets the mysterious Eleanor Lovejoy, who might be just the muse he needs. As Dickens’ deadlines close in, Eleanor propels him on a Scrooge-like journey that tests everything he believes about generosity, friendship, ambition, and love. The story he writes will change Christmas forever.

Further reading

Author website

New York Time Review

Ceasefire Magazine Review

Washington Independent Review of Books

Los Angeles Public Library Interview

Discussion Questions

BBC Culture | How did A Christmas Carol come to be?

Watch & LISTEN

Dialogue on PBS | Samantha Silva on Mr. Dickens and His Carol

Literary Hub Interview

Monday Evening Book Club November Selection

dictionary-of-mutual-understandingThe Monday Evening Book Club will meet in Forsyth Hall on November 14 at 7 pm. This month we’re discussing A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding by Jackie Copleton.

About the book

When Amaterasu Takahashi opens the door of her Philadelphia home to a badly scarred man claiming to be her grandson, she doesn’t believe him. Her grandson and her daughter, Yuko, perished nearly forty years ago during the bombing of Nagasaki. But the man carries with him a collection of sealed private letters that open a Pandora’s Box of family secrets Ama had sworn to leave behind when she fled Japan. She is forced to confront her memories of the years before the war: of the daughter she tried too hard to protect and the love affair that would drive them apart, and even further back, to the long, sake-pouring nights at a hostess bar where Ama first learned that a soft heart was a dangerous thing. Will Ama allow herself to believe in a miracle?

About Jackie Copleton

Living in Nagasaki

A Richard and Judy Interview

A Youtube version of the interview

A Reading Guide

Reviews

The bombing of Nagasaki

After the A-bomb: then and now (photographs)

NY Times article about Obama visit to Hiroshima