Read advance reader review of The Book That Matters Most by Ann Hood, page 6 of 7

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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:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Aug 2016, 288 pages

    Aug 2017, 368 pages


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Page 6 of 7
There are currently 46 member reviews
for The Book That Matters Most
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  • Anne
    the book that matters most
    Told by 4 voices, a compelling story of family and how their lives intertwine. Enjoyable read.
  • Dorothy M. (Maynard, MA)
    Can books really save your life?
    In The book That Matters Most Ann Hood has created a story of grief and the anger that often results from it and a look at the possibilities of recovery. Her two main characters Ava and her daughter Maggie have both had the lives they thought they knew blown apart. It is books - through a book group for Maggie and the discussion of books chosen by the group members - that help them find a way, if not back, then toward a different kind of acceptance of their lives and the possibilities they offer. It is also a look at the impact that decisions we make, perhaps to deal with our own pain, have on others. It will be a wonderful book for book groups, in talking about the books that the book group reads, in talking about the decisions the characters in this book make to allow themselves to continue to function and in thinking about the book that matters most to them.
  • Colleen L. (Casco, ME)
    Books That Move Us Most
    Ava's husband recently left her and she is struggling to cope emotionally with this change. Her two children are abroad and Maggie her daughter is also struggling with drug addiction. The story focuses primarily on these two individuals and how they move forward. Ava joins a book club hosted by her best friend. The theme for the year is for the members to choose a book that most influenced them in their life. Ava chooses an obscure book that seemed to be written specifically for her situation while she was growing up.

    I've waited a while before posting this review to see if time helped my response to this book. Normally, I love Ann Hood's books but this one just didn't work for me. I couldn't empathize with Ava and found her lacking. Her daughter was a hot mess and only a coincidence at the end enables her situation to improve. Other readers wrote that the story moved along at a good pace and they were anxious for the ending. Unfortunately, I did not find the same thing.

    I gave the book a "3" because I liked the premise that each person chose a book that mattered most to them. The review of the novels (most of which all of us have read) was enjoyable. I also found the book interesting to a degree but not my favorite....hence the rating.
  • Dawn Z.
    I wanted to like it more
    I was disappointed with this book. The plot was more important to the author than character development. I enjoyed the fact that many chapters of the book dealt with a book club, and I liked the parts about the daughter, but there were too many coincidences (or plot devices, really). The plot twist at the end of the book was predictable and I felt like it left me hanging with a lot of unanswered questions.
  • Elizabeth P. (Lake Elmo, MN)
    Good summer read, but just ok
    I really enjoyed this book for the first half but less so as it progressed. The Ava storyline started off well, but didn't move forward (constantly repeating the same lament about her husband), and her borderline indifference to the growing evidence of her daughter's issues was not believable to me. The Maggie storyline also started off very interesting but dragged on far too long and in too much depth with regards to her drug addiction. The events of the last few pages felt contrived/unrealistic & Ava's response to them also seemed strange to me. Overall, it is a quick read that is great for the slow, lazy days of summer but not one to rush to the top of the TBR list.
  • Cindy B. (Houston, TX)
    Not What I Thought it Would Be
    2.5-3 stars

    The Book That Matters Most was not my favorite story. The concept sounded wonderful, and I was really looking forward to reading it. However, it did not meet my expectations because the story was very disjointed. The main character Ava drove me a little crazy because she was either very naïve or just uninterested in the welfare of her daughter who was clearly troubled. The ending seemed very unrealistic also and somewhat sad. Thanks to BookBrowse for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
  • Janell C. (Ross, CA)
    the book that matters most
    The Book That Matters Most had more potential than was realized. The storyline was really intriguing and kept me turning pages but the characters were not likable nor well developed. Ava, the main character, cannot seem to accept that her husband has left her and way too much time is spent lamenting the husband's infidelity. The book group Ava joins is very interesting and I would have loved to have seen those characters expanded. The most interesting backstory relates to Ava's mother's disappearance years before and for some reason the author chooses to tie this up in just a few paragraphs at the very end of the book with a hyper dramatic final few sentences.

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