Skip navigation

Book Discussions

August 12, 2014

Wait Till Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Wait Till Next Year is the story of a young girl growing up in the suburbs of New York in the 1950s, when owning a single-family home on a tree-lined street meant the realization of dreams, when everyone knew everyone else on the block, and the children gathered in the streets to play from sunup to sundown. The neighborhood was equally divided among Dodger, Giant, and Yankee fans, and the corner stores were the scenes of fierce and affectionate rivalries. But in 1957 it all came to an abrupt end when the Dodgers (and the Giants) were forcibly uprooted from New York and transplanted to California.Shortly after the Dodgers left, Kearns' mother dies, and the family moved from the old neighborhood to an apartment on the other side of town. This move coincided with the move of several other families on the block and with the decline of the corner store as the supermarket began to take over. It was the end of an era and the beginning of another and, for Kearns, the end of childhood.

 

September 9, 2014

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

In this gripping New York Times bestseller, Kathleen Grissom brings to life a thriving plantation in Virginia in the decades before the Civil War, where a dark secret threatens to expose the best and worst in everyone tied to the estate. Orphaned during her passage from Ireland, young, white Lavinia arrives on the steps of the kitchen house and is placed, as an indentured servant, under the care of Belle, the master's illegitimate slave daughter. Lavinia learns to cook, clean, and serve food, while guided by the quiet strength and love of her new family. In time, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, caring for the master's opium-addicted wife and befriending his dangerous yet protective son. She attempts to straddle the worlds of the kitchen and big house, but her skin color will forever set her apart from Belle and the other slaves. Through the unique eyes of Lavinia and Belle, Grissom's debut novel unfolds in a heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful story of class, race, dignity, deep-buried secrets, and familial bonds. 

________________________________________

 

Westerly Public Library book discussion group is open to all readers of the current book. Each month's selection is listed on this website and in the on-paper calendar which is mailed to members of the Friends of the Library and Park, also available at the Circulation and Reference desks.

The group meets year-round on the second Tuesday of the month at 1 pm in the Library. Participants choose the books and share responsibility for discussions.