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Book Discussions

May 13, 2014

Prague Winter by Madeleine Albright

Before Madeleine Albright turned twelve, her life was shaken by the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia--the country where she was born--the Battle of Britain, the near total destruction of European Jewry, the Allied victory in World War II, the rise of communism, and the onset of the Cold War. Albright's experiences, and those of her family, provide a lens through which to view the most tumultuous dozen years in modern history. Drawing on her memory, her parents' written reflections, interviews with contemporaries, and newly available documents, Albright recounts a tale that is by turns harrowing and inspiring.  At once a deeply personal memoir and an incisive work of history, Prague Winter serves as a guide to the future through the lessons of the past--as seen through the eyes of one of the international community's most respected and fascinating figures.

 

June 10, 2014

The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen

Based on a remarkable true story, The Secrets of Mary Bowser is an inspiring tale of one daring woman's willingness to sacrifice her own freedom to change the course of history All her life, Mary has been a slave to the wealthy Van Lew family of Richmond, Virginia. But when Bet, the willful Van Lew daughter, decides to send Mary to Philadelphia to be educated, she must leave her family to seize her freedom. Life in the North brings new friendships, a courtship, and a far different education than Mary ever expected, one that leads her into the heart of the abolition movement. With the nation edging toward war, she defies Virginia law by returning to Richmond to care for her ailing father--and to fight for emancipation. Posing as a slave in the Confederate White House in order to spy on President Jefferson Davis, Mary deceives even those who are closest to her to aid the Union command. Just when it seems that all her courageous gambles to end slavery will pay off, Mary discovers that everything comes at a cost--even freedom. 

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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.