The Blackout Book Club

Bethany House. Nov. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9780764239564. pap. $17.99. CF
Derby, ME is about as small-town as it gets, but the seemingly mundane residents have some secrets that may be too dangerous to share. As the U.S. enters World War II, the men start leaving to fight overseas, and the threat of German U-boats off the East Coast becomes more than theoretical. Faced with change on every side, newlywed Avis Montgomery is determined to save the town’s subscription library—even though she rarely reads more than a magazine. In an effort to impress the library’s reclusive owner, she establishes the “Blackout Book Club” to discuss contemporary hits and classic favorites. The club starts off small but soon draws a disparate cast of characters, including some newcomers to the insular town. Green (The Lines Between Us) nails all four voices of her alternating narrators: women knocked down by disappointment who find hope and unlikely camaraderie through the pages of a book.
VERDICT This is an uplifting read for dark times, featuring strong and unique characters uniting toward a common goal. It also has crossover appeal for fans of historical fiction from Jennifer Ryan and Kate Quinn.
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