Ann’s epic dining room table is scheduled for 8/6 so hopefully it will be set up in time. Ann will be dishing up a tarragon chicken salad and shrimp & broccoli salad. Let us know if you can come and what you will bring.
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa See,
a moving story about tradition, tea farming, and the
enduring connection between mothers and
In their remote mountain village, Li-yan and her
family align their lives around the seasons and the
farming of tea. For the Akha people, ensconced in
ritual and routine, life goes on as it has for
generations—until a stranger appears at the village
gate in a jeep, the first automobile any of the villagers
has ever seen.
The stranger’s arrival marks the first entrance of the
modern world in the lives of the Akha people. Slowly,
Li-yan, one of the few educated girls on her
mountain, begins to reject the customs that shaped
her early life. When she has a baby out of wedlock—
conceived with a man her parents consider a bad
match—she rejects the tradition that would compel
her to give the child over to be killed, and instead
leaves her, wrapped in a blanket with a tea cake
tucked in its folds, near an orphanage in a nearby
As Li-yan comes into herself, leaving her insular
village for an education, a business, and city life, her
daughter, Haley, is raised in California by loving adoptive parents. Despite her privileged
childhood, Haley wonders about her origins, and across the ocean Li-yan longs for her lost
daughter. Over the course of years, each searches for meaning in the study of Pu’er, the tea
that has shaped their family’s destiny for centuries.
A powerful story about two women separated by circumstance, culture, and distance, The Tea
Girl of Hummingbird Lane is an unforgettable portrait of a little known region and its people and
a celebration of the bonds of family.
The Alice Network, Kate Quinn
Once Upon a River, Diane Satterfield
The Silent Patient is a shocking psychological thriller of a woman’s act of violence against her husband―and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive. Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word. Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London. Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations―a search for the truth that threatens to consume him….
Also Proposed: South and West by Joan Didion Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Christmas in July! June will be hosting our July meeting and serving her signature (typically Christmas-time) Cioppini. Please let us know if you can come, and if so, what you will bring. Looking forward to discussing Heavy.
To the potential disappointment of some readers,
“Furious Hours” is not structured as a typical murder
mystery or courtroom drama. But it’s a rich, ambitious,
beautifully written book. A gifted journalist who has
written frequently for the New Yorker, Cep has
imposed order here by providing biographical portraits
of three figures: Maxwell, Radney and Lee. Each
section moves the intrigue forward while rendering the
lives of these real people, and the forces at work
within them, as fully and fairly as possible.
John Glassie, Washington Post
The stunning story of an Alabama serial killer and the true-crime book that
Harper Lee worked on obsessively in the years after To Kill a Mockingbird
“A triumph on every level . . . Casey Cep has excavated this mesmerizing
story and tells it with grace and insight and a fierce fidelity to the truth.” —
David Grann, best-selling author of Killers of the Flower Moon Reverend
Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family
members for insurance money in the 1970s. With the help of a savvy
lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a relative shot him dead at the
funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell’s
murderer was acquitted–thanks to the same attorney who had previously
defended the Reverend. Sitting in the audience during the vigilante’s trial
was Harper Lee, who had traveled from New York City to her native
Alabama with the idea of writing her own In Cold Blood, the true-crime
classic she had helped her friend Truman Capote research seventeen
years earlier. Lee spent a year in town reporting, and many more years
working on her own version of the case. Now Casey Cep brings this story
to life, from the shocking murders to the courtroom drama to the racial
politics of the Deep South. At the same time, she offers a deeply moving
portrait of one of the country’s most beloved writers and her struggle with
fame, success, and the mystery of artistic creativity.
The Overstory by Richard Powers
After the Party by Cressida Connolly
June will be leading the discussion and Kim will be hosting us at her lovely home and stuffing us full of marinated shrimp and tomato tarts -I love SUMMER!
Please let us know if you can come and if so what you will bring!
Our July pick courtesy of Fran will be “Heavy” by Kiese Laymon. Click here for a review from NPR
Our almost reads for the month were