Today is the official launch of the Bookclub-in-a-Box discussion guide for Khaled Hosseini’s latest novel, And the Mountains Echoed. Spanning decades, continents, and generations, this novel — from the author of Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns — is a powerfully woven story of the joys, sorrows, sacrifices, and betrayals that both bind and fracture families.
The Bookclub-in-a-Box discussion guide (60 pages) includes complete coverage of the characters, themes, symbols, and writing style, plus selected quotes from the novel and discussion questions to get your book club or classroom buzzing.
About the novel: And the Mountains Echoed reads much like a series of linked short stories, with each chapter focusing on a primary character who shares a connection, by blood or fate, to the novel’s central tragedy. It all begins in Afghanistan, when three-year-old Pari is separated from her beloved brother Abdullah and sold to a wealthy couple in Kabul. The consequences of this desperate act echo down through the generations, radiating from Afghanistan to France, Greece, and America.
Sue Monk Kidd’s touching novel The Invention of Wings, which debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list, is about self-discovery and a striving for freedom that overcomes heartbreak, rejection, and societal restrictions. It is based on the true story of nineteenth-century abolitionists and women’s rights activists Sarah and Angelina Grimké.
The Bookclub-in-a-Box discussion guide (51 pages) includes complete coverage of the characters, themes, symbols, historical background, and writing style, plus discussion questions to get your book club or classroom buzzing.
About the novel: Ten-year-old Hetty “Handful” Grimké is an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston. She is given to the Grimké’s daughter, Sarah, on Sarah’s eleventh birthday. Sarah, however, has a mind of her own and does not want to “own” another human being. She believes she is meant to do something big and important in life. When she tries to free Hetty, her parents intervene and the two girls become bonded in a relationship that will span thirty-five years. Sarah defies her parents and her society by becoming an abolitionist. In this, she is joined by her younger sister Angelina. Together they become pioneers in the abolitionist and human rights movements.
The story is based in part on the historic figure of Sarah Grimké. Kidd uses the character of Hetty and Hetty’s servitude in juxtaposition to Sarah’s liberal leanings. Hetty’s mother, Charlotte, is a fearless and cunning woman who records her family’s history on a quilt that she keeps hidden from her masters while her lover, Denmark Versey, a free black man, plans a slave uprising that ends in disaster.
This Sunday marks the first official day of summer, and we’re already stacking a lot of books up on our to-read pile. Marilyn Herbert, founder of Bookclub-in-a-Box, has put together this list of books you should read — including Harper Lee’s long-awaited followup to To Kill a Mockingbird — either to be enjoyed on your own or for a discussion with your closest book-loving friends.
A God in Ruins (Kate Atkinson)
A God In Ruins picks up the life of Ursula Todd’s young brother Teddy. We met Ursula in the mesmerizing Life After Life where she lived through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. We meet Teddy as a would-be poet, RAF bomber pilot, husband and father and as he navigates the perils and progress of the 20th century. For all Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge will be to face living in a future he never expected to have.
The Truth According to Us (Annie Barrows)
Evoking the same small town charm with the same great eye for character, the co-author of Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society finds her own voice in this debut novel about a young debutante working for the Federal Writer’s Project whose arrival in Macedonia, West Virginia changes the course of history for a prominent family who has been sitting on a secret for decades. The Romeyn family is a fixture in the town, their identity tied to its knotty history. Layla enters their lives and lights a match to the family veneer and a truth comes to light that will change each of their lives forever.