cover image The Blackout Book Club

The Blackout Book Club

Amy Lynn Green. Bethany House, $17.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-7642-3956-4

A group of women find togetherness through a book club in this tender if sluggish WWII historical from Green (The Lines Between Us). After Avis Montgomery’s brother leaves their hometown of Derby, Maine, to join the war in 1942, she takes over his job as a librarian and convenes a book club to keep up morale. Green cycles through the perspectives of the club’s members. There’s Louise Cavendish, who inherited from her father the private library where the club meets and is contemplating shutting it down against Avis’s admonitions. Rambunctious Ginny Atkinson assists her father on his lobster boat and leans on the group after suffering an unbearable loss. Meanwhile, Martina Bianchini struggles to raise her two children while her husband serves in the Navy, and her troubles deepen when she starts to suspect him of a treasonable offense. She feels ashamed that she hasn’t attended church since moving from Boston several months earlier but seeks God’s help when her son stumbles into danger. The characters support each other during their weekly meetings as they discuss books and forge friendships that carry them through the war. Though slow pacing drags this down, the characters’ trajectories from strangers to close friends will warm readers’ hearts. Bookworms will take to this. (Nov.)