Friday Morning Bookclub

September 28, 2014

Summer Island By Kristin Hannah……….Entertaining and Though Provoking!

Filed under: Kristin Hannah,Summer Island — susanbright @ 6:37 pm
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Summer Island

Nora Bridge was famous. She had her own talk show and advice column. On the outside she had it all together, but nothing could be further from the truth. Years earlier, Nora had walked away from her husband and daughters Ruby and Caroline.Nora’s relationship with Carolyn was strained and her relationship with her youngest child Ruby was non-existent.

Ruby,a struggling comedienne wanted nothing to do with her mother.That is, until the Nora Bridge scandal broke out and Ruby was offered the opportunity to cash in on it and tell all.  And then Nora was injured in an accident, and needed someone to help care for her. Ruby was the obvious choice as she had no husband, job or children to hold her back. For once things seemed to be falling into place for her. Finally Ruby could get back at the mother who had abandoned her years before and make money in the process.

But things are never as they seem and the more time Ruby spent with her mother at the family home on Summer Island, the more she realized how little she actually knew about her mother and the events leading up to her leaving their family. Together Nora, Ruby and finally Caroline revisit the demons of their past.

Summer Island was a thoughtful account of one families struggle to deal with the past and create a healthy future.Once more Kristin Hannah has written a touching story and one with a wonderful message about love, family and forgiveness.

We all make mistakes and although it may not be possible to change the past, take back the ugly words we spouted at someone we love or unring a bell, it is possible to make amends and move on. But first we have to learn to not only forgive others, but forgive ourselves. Sometimes a book just gets to you. Summer Island sure got to me!

A four omelet audio book

Summer Island Quotes by Kristin Hannah – Goodreads


February 19, 2013

The Friday Morning Bookclub Gives Home Front 3.66 Omelets

Filed under: Home Front,Kristin Hannah,Polls,Rate The Book — susanbright @ 12:53 pm
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home front

Goodreads readers gave Home Front 4.11 stars

Amazon readers gave Home Front 4.4 stars

Jolene and Michael are going through a bad patch in their marriage. To make matters even worse, Jolene receives a letter that she is being deployed. Michael, an attorney who does not support the war in the first place is left home with their two children. Home Front is the story of one military family and how they cope when one of their family members goes off to war. It was a real eye opened for me and a thought-provoking book. A few of the words used to describe it……emotional, timely and gripping.

February 13, 2013

Home Front: A Review By Nancy

Filed under: Book Discussions,Home Front,Kristin Hannah — susanbright @ 9:17 am
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home front

The books’ main character is Jolene Zarkades.  She is an only child of parents with alcohol and marital issues who die in an alcohol-fueled car accident leaving Jolene to fend for herself at the age of 17.  Jolene joins the Army, becomes a helicopter pilot, and meets Tami who will become her best friend for life.  The novel begins in the twelfth year of Jolene’ marriage as Jolene is turning 41. Jolene has married Michael, a defense attorney, whom she met right after her parents death and then reconnected with after returning from the Army.  They have 2 daughters, Betsy and Lulu.  The marriage is in a rough spot with Michael spending all his time at work. Jolene is in the Army National Guards, something she is very proud of, takes her commitment seriously, and shares this passion with Tami who is also a helicopter pilot in the same unit and is living next door with her husband and son.

Michael does not support the war in Iraq and does not  socialize with his wife’s friends or National Guard unit.  He has distanced himself from the family, but  is also trying to cope with the recent death of his father. He seems unable to talk to  Jolene about this and seems to
be experiencing a mid-life- is this all there is crisis.   Jolene is trying to restart their relationship when her Guard unit (of which she
is Chief) gets called  to active duty in Afghanistan. The ensuing chapters deal with  aspects of  war : from getting ready to leave families, to the physical conditions of  living and fighting in third world conditions, to injury and death. Not everyone in  Jolene’s unit makes it home, and the ones that do are forever changed.  On the “home front”,  Michael has to become a single parent, the daughters have their own issues with Betsy displaying most every negative middle school girl characteristic imaginable, and the fortunate, nurturing presence of Michaels’ mother Mila and the entertaining physical therapist, Conny.

The members of our bookclub have read other Kristin Hannah novels, and this is similar in nature.  While not “high literature”, we found this to be an easy read that allowed us to see aspects of war and the armed services that we might not have previously considered.  Many bookclub members shared personal stories of their family involvement with the military in this and other wars.  While we found some of the character development to be lacking or formulaic,(except for Lulu), and had issues with the way  certain things came together (Michaels’ convenient legal case of a vet with PTSD, and the therapist who is called for expert advice), we had lively conversations about the brotherhood/sisterhood aspect that exists in the military, about the need for support and mental health counseling for families and the soldier given in a timely and generous manner, and the knowledge that at any time anyone in a military program can get “the call” for active
duty.  So while the writing may have not been a favorite of some, the conversations generated by the work were enjoyed by all.

February 6, 2013

This Month’s Book: Home Front…….In Three Words

Filed under: Home Front,In Three Words,Kristin Hannah — susanbright @ 5:11 pm
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home front Home Front by Kristin Hannah is a novel about the Cost Of War on military families.

Kristin Hannah’s three words………Duty. Motherhood. Emotional.

Here is what some of our readers have to say:

loyalty, despair, redemption

very timely topic

friendship, sacrifice, love

timely … but sappy

Emotion, Loyalty, Heart

Love, honor, Trust

Gripping, Devoted, Hopeful

Amazing love story !!!!!

sacrifice, love, honor

Family, Country, Support

Well written, touching


How would you describe Home Front……………..  in three words?

February 4, 2013

Rate The Book: Home Front By Kristin Hannah

Filed under: Home Front,Kristin Hannah,Polls,Rate The Book — susanbright @ 9:14 am
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All votes and comments are welcomed!

January 11, 2013

This Month’s Book: Home Front By Kristin Hannah

Filed under: Home Front,Kristin Hannah,What is next?? — susanbright @ 5:33 pm
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Jan 2013 006

“All marriages have a breaking point. All families have wounds. All wars have a cost”

 Michael and Jolene’s marriage is far less than perfect. In fact, their marriage is in trouble. And then to make matters even more complicated Jolene, a National Guard pilot is called to active service. Like any parent, Jolene hates to leave her family but duty calls and her husband, a defense attorney is left home alone to care for their two daughters. Homefront is a glimpse into the life of a military family.  “It is a story of love, loss, heroism, honor, and ultimately, hope.”

Kristin Hannah is the author of numerous compelling novels such as Firefly Lane, Winter Garden and Night Road. Please join is in reading her latest novel Homefront.

and by the way……….GO  BALTIMORE RAVENS !!!!!

January 17, 2012

Rate The Book: Night Road By Kristin Hannah

Filed under: Kristin Hannah,Night Road,Polls,Rate The Book — susanbright @ 10:46 pm
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Help us rate our books. All votes and comments are welcomed!

January 16, 2012

Night Road: A Review By Barbara

Filed under: Book Discussions,Kristin Hannah,Night Road — susanbright @ 6:56 pm
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This past month we were fortunate to win copies of  Night Road  by Kristin Hannah.  Jude is a wonderful mother, although she is somewhat protective of her 18-year-old twins, Mia and Zach.  When Lexi, a former foster child with a dark past, enters their lives as Mia’s friend, Jude welcomes her since Mia had difficulty making friends.  Eventually Lexi and Zach fall in love, and the three teens experience partying and drinking during their senior year.  A tragic accident occurs which tears the family apart and has a deep impact on Lexi.  

 We had a spirited discussion about the book and its characters.  Most felt that the characters in the book were portrayed in an extreme fashion, and that the events were somewhat contrived.  However, some felt it was necessary for the author to do so in order to make her points.  For many of us, it brought back the angst of raising teenagers, and the struggle to be protective without hovering.   As made clear in the book, no matter what choices we make as parents, there is definitely luck involved in having our children survive the teenage years unscathed.

 Although the book itself did not get rave reviews from the group, it certainly led to an interesting discussion.  Some felt it would be helpful for teens to read the book to see what an impact drinking and driving can have, but others felt it was too extreme a situation, and that in any event most teens feel invincible, and that bad things will never happen to THEM.  We all agreed that communication with our kids is the best way to have an impact, although it certainly does not guarantee smooth sailing.

January 5, 2012

Meet Kristin Hannah,The Author Of This Month’s Book Night Road

Filed under: Kristin Hannah,Night Road — susanbright @ 12:28 pm
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I just started reading Night Road and it is all coming back to me. Those  high school days, when my kids had just gotten their drivers licenses. Staying up late at night, waiting until the beep, beep of the door signaling me that they were home and I could go to sleep!  No more worries!

I have to admit that I have an uneasy feeling reading this book. I know that something bad is going to happen… I just don’t know what. Join us in reading Night Road.

December 14, 2011

This Month’s Book: Night Road By Kristin Hannah

Filed under: Kristin Hannah,Night Road,What is next?? — susanbright @ 9:51 am
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 Jude Farraday’s entire life revolved around her twins Mia and Zach. They were one happy family and only too happy to welcome into their lives Lexi, the new girl in town. Lexi had spent her early years living in one foster home after another.  It was not until her mother died and she went to live with her Great Aunt that she finally had a family of her own. Mia, Zach and Lexi became the best of friends  Unfortunately Jude discovers the hard way that it  is not easy to keep track of your children once they reach those teen age years and as much as you try to keep them safe there are somethings that are out of your control. One bad decision can change everything, and the conseqences can be devastating.

“You cannot read Night Road and not be affected by the story and the characters. The total impact of the book will stay with you for days to come after it is finished.” —The Huffington Post

Please join us in reading Night Road!

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