finished reading

I like this author.  She creates characters that I want to befriend.  And the world she places them in is oh, so familiar (and usually set in Maine).  This book about second chances has some poignant moments, some laugh aloud moments, and left me thinking about found family, animal studies, prison systems, and the power of reading.  My local library is hosting the author, Monica Wood, in September and I cannot wait to hear what she says about this book and her writing process.  

I'm hard-pressed to choose a favorite character.  I want to have relationships with Violet, Harriet, and Frank.  But maybe I feel most like Harriet--leading a quiet life and leading a book group.  I especially enjoyed the sections about preparing for the book group--the process of selecting books, crafting questions, and the discussion that is usually deeper and richer than expected.

From the publisher:
A charming, deeply moving novel about second chances, unlikely friendships, and the life-changing power of sharing stories.

Our Reasons meet us in the morning and whisper to us at night. Mine is an innocent, unsuspecting, eternally sixty-one-year-old woman named Lorraine Daigle…

Violet Powell, a twenty-two-year-old from rural Abbott Falls, Maine, is being released from prison after serving twenty-two months for a drunk-driving crash that killed a local kindergarten teacher. Harriet Larson, a retired English teacher who runs the prison book club, is facing the unsettling prospect of an empty nest. Frank Daigle, a retired machinist, hasn’t yet come to grips with the complications of his marriage to the woman Violet killed.

When the three encounter each other one morning in a bookstore in Portland—Violet to buy the novel she was reading in the prison book club before her release, Harriet to choose the next title for the women who remain, and Frank to dispatch his duties as the store handyman—their lives begin to intersect in transformative ways.

How to Read a Book  is an unsparingly honest and profoundly hopeful story about letting go of guilt, seizing second chances, and the power of books to change our lives. With the heart, wit, grace, and depth of understanding that has characterized her work, Monica Wood illuminates the decisions that define a life and the kindnesses that make life worth living. 

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