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.