“I never thought a book could help with, you know, life.”
the book that matters most
Author, Ann Hood knows loss and grief well. She wrote about the passing of her five-year old daughter in 2002, in the non-fiction book, COMFORT: A JOURNEY THROUGH LOSS. Now Hood revisits those emotions in her novel, THE BOOK THAT MATTERS MOST (W.W.Norton).
After twenty-five years of marriage, Ava Turner’s husband, Jim abruptly leaves her for another woman. Ava is completely blind-sided, having thought, their marriage was stable and secure. Their two grown children live abroad, one troubled daughter, Maggie studies art in Europe and a son, Will researches gorillas in Africa.
Ava retreats from social activities and outings into her own private world, until at the urging of her best friend, Cate, she joins a book club to help fill “the empty hours.” Each member is asked to present the book that matters most to them. All chose classics, except for Ava who picks an out of print novel that helped her as a young girl, cope with her sister’s death and mother’s suicide. The group wants her to change her selection, but she makes a convincing argument to stick with her novel.
Each group member’s book opens Ava up a little bit, moving her toward the woman she needs to be. And in this way, THE BOOK THAT MATTERS MOST is itself a book that matters very much for those of us who read it. It is a novel that reaffirms the power of reading in our lives, in every moment, alone or in a book club and as an activity that connects us not only to the world we live in, but to each other.
Better strap yourself in if you’re going to read THE BOOK THAT MATTERS MOST. It tackles numerous difficult issues head on and at a rapid pace: drugs, suicide, divorce, dark memories, remorse, and Ann Hood has an amazingly subtle talent for bringing all loose ends together. Although there are dark themes in, THE BOOK THAT MATTERS MOST it is never without hope.
For all things ANN, check her out on Facebook, her website www.annhood.us or at twitter @ annhood56
We have one copy of THE BOOK THAT MATTERS MOST to giveaway. All you have to do is tell us what book matters most to you. We’ll announce a winner Monday, September 5th.