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The Book That Matters Most

A Novel

by Ann Hood

The Book That Matters Most by Ann Hood X
The Book That Matters Most by Ann Hood
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • First Published:
    Aug 2016, 288 pages

    Aug 2017, 368 pages


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Page 5 of 7
There are currently 46 member reviews
for The Book That Matters Most
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  • Shari H. (Penfield, NY)
    What book matters to me the most
    Ava is a French professor at a local college and finds herself alone after her husband leaves her for a younger woman who is also a yarn bomber. This yarn bomber habit I found very funny. With Ava's two children off on their own and she struggles to find herself as she starts the next phase of her life.

    Ava joins an exclusive book club and their topic for the books they will read that year is "The Book that Matters Most". She chooses a book that helped her deal with the tragic losses in her childhood.

    The story also follows Ava's daughter, Maggie, who is also trying to find direction in her life with her new found freedom. It is interesting the parallels between Ava and Maggie as they search for happiness and purpose.

    The interaction of the members of the book club was interesting as well as the character development of each of them as we get to know their life stories.

    I am a fan of Ann Hood's books and was thrilled to be able to read this book. The story pulled me in and I especially liked the interesting twists and turns in the story. Even though I suspected how the book would end, I was never sure until I got there. The story really kept my interest from the first page. I could feel the joys and pains of the characters.
  • Nan G. (Cross Plains, WI)
    Slow Starter That Surprised Me!
    After struggling to get into this book, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it grabbed me so quietly that I almost did not notice. As I struggled through the first chapters,I kept thinking I had to finish I order to review. Then one morning, I found myself picking up this charming novel and reading because I wanted to...

    I would call it an easy, uncomplicated read-- no moments that require the reader to step back and ponder--- that stuck with me for a bit after I finished. Interestingly flawed characters,well written and lovely characters. A good "sit on the porch " day read that reminded me some of Karen White's Low Country novels,

    I would recommend it!
  • Norma R. (Secaucus, NJ)
    Book club meets real life
    If you are a book lover and/or someone who likes reading about books, this book is for you. It tells the story of a book club with selective membership in Providence RI. The members become close; they must each choose a "book that matters most" that the club will read and discuss. Woven into the book club story is the life story of Ava. She is dealing with a divorce and struggling with some terrible childhood memories. Her mission to find the author of her book selection changes her life. This would be a great book club pick.
  • Ann B. (Bethlehem, PA)
    A Book Club Matter
    The concept of the book sold me immediately. I belong to several book clubs and knew this was a perfect choice for me and perhaps a future book club selection. I read Ann Hood's, 'The Knitting Circle', and enjoy her style and vivid characters. She did not disappoint me in this story of family, unbelievable loss, discovery and redemption. Ava's family has many haunting secrets past and present, and they are woven into a story that will keep you turning the page to find out the answers. I loved how the novel was organized in parts(chapters) around the members book of the month selection. Specific texts from each book hint at a bigger meaning, and would make a great discussion point for making the connection. The book has vividly developed characters, and a haunting conclusion, but leaves me wanting more.
  • Doris K. (Angora, MN)
    The Book That Matters Most
    This was a good read. The theme of the Book Club is the same as the book title. This was an interesting concept and I may suggest it to my book club when it's time to choose books again. Because I have read 8 of the 10 books mentioned the book discussions were very interesting if brief. Other book lovers would enjoy finding out which books were chosen.

    There are many characters in this book. At times it's a bit frustrating to have to look back to see what happened before as the chapters jump around quite a bit. However, in the end they all tied together nicely. Maggie's life style is quite extreme and probably did not need to be described in such detail but the author made her point. To say any more would be a "spoiler". I would recommend this book to those who are looking for a good story.
  • Cecilia Z. (Montclair, NJ)
    A Little Disappointing
    I was intrigued by the premise of this book and loved all the selections of the books that mattered most to each book club member. It was a great way to explore the story of Ava, struggling to come to terms with a divorce after 25 years of marriage and, as we discover, a tragedy from her place as well as trouble with her adult daughter. Though the story line was good, I was a bit disappointed. There were too many narrators and points of view. It made all the characters somewhat superficial. I wanted more depth about Ava and the other members of the book club. They were potentially so interesting, so it was a disappointment that were not well-developed enough. It was still a good read, but could have been better.
  • Joanne W. (Ossining, NY)
    The book that matters most
    An engaging read about family, divorce, book clubs and how books can shape our lives with a side of mystery!

    Ava is a likable, complicated woman whose life is at the center of the novel. She has suffered a terrible loss/tragedy as a young child. She goes on to create an apparently full and stable life that comes crashing down when her husband suddenly asks for a divorce. She is reeling from this when her good friend asks her to join her book club. Along with the books and new friends she makes here we are drawn into the story of her marriage, children and parents. There is lots going on here! Ann Hood manages to tie it all together and keep us interested along the way.

    An enjoyable read...its not perfect. The story of her daughter in Paris is a bit over the top especially considering most parents would be on a plane immediately! but that aside it definitely moves the story along and kept me reading until the end wondering how this would all play out.

    Definitely recommend to anyone interested in stories about family, friends and books!

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