I’m sharing a review of Amy Lynn Green’s latest historical novel, one with strong BOOKISH elements (much discussion of beloved literature): The Blackout Book Club.
An impulsive promise to her brother before he goes off to the European Front puts Avis Montgomery in the unlikely position of head librarian in small-town Maine. Though she has never been much of a reader, when wartime needs threaten to close the library, she invents a book club to keep its doors open. The women she convinces to attend the first meeting couldn’t be more different–a wealthy spinster determined to aid the war effort, an exhausted mother looking for a fresh start, and a determined young war worker.
At first, the struggles of the home front are all the club members have in common, but over time, the books they choose become more than an escape from the hardships of life and the fear of the U-boat battles that rage just past their shores. As the women face personal challenges and band together in the face of danger, they find they share more in common with each other than they think. But when their growing friendships are tested by secrets of the past and present, they must decide whether depending on each other is worth the cost.
The Blackout Book Club by Amy Lynn Green is a great story of friendship and community, all centered on a favorite thing: books! The coastal setting and WWII home front elements make for a very interesting backdrop.
This is a historical story with elements of women’s fiction and a little romance, with four main ladies and their POVs central to the story. I enjoy how they offer perspective and variety in class, profession, and personality yet all contribute to the story of enduring trials and joining together to support each other and the community. A small lending library happens to be the thing which brings them together, but they soon find common ground and develop strong friendships outside of their book club. One favorite element of the story is the continued “notebook” of notes from each book club meeting. They are often hilarious and show the characters in a unique light.
This is the first of Green’s novels I have read, but I am happy her previous two are on my shelves for me to go back and experience now. I recommend this story for fans of bookish fiction and authors like Jocelyn Green and Katherine Reay.
Thank you to the publisher for the review copy. This is my honest review.