Monday, September 3, 2012

September She Reads Selection: The Meryl Streep Movie Club

Throughout my life, movies and books have offered a special escape for me. They have come to me as a friend offering comfort, understanding, compassion, and even laughter when I needed it. So I was drawn to the premise of the The Meryl Streep Movie Club by Mia March, September's selection for She Reads.

Four women come together at The Three Captain's Bed and Breakfast, summoned by the owner Lolly. Kat, her daughter still lives there, but June and Isabel, the nieces she raised after a terrible automobile accident orphaned them and also took the life of Lolly's husband. All three women are there to hear Lolly's announcement, which they all suspect to be that she will be selling the inn.

June had it all as the high school valedictorian. She had a bright future until one night when she listened to her heart. Nine months later, she's a single mother still wondering what happened to John. She moves to nearby Portland to avoid the snarky comments by classmates relishing in June's fall from grace.

Isabel has it all, a wealthy husband, an elaborate home and car, nice clothes, anything that money can buy, but what she really wants is a baby. She and her husband have been together since high school. He was a peer grief counselor, who helped her through the difficult times after the passing of her parents. They made a pact to never have children. They didn't want their children to suffer like they have, but now Isabel wants to break her promise. She wants a baby and Edward doesn't.

Kat has spent her life at the inn, where baking has become her passion. She longs to open her own bakery, but first she wants to study in Europe. Kat fell in love with the boy next door, but she's not sure that she's ready for marriage. Would she be living the life she is if her father had lived?

And then there is Lolly, the distant and yet loving matriarch, who has spent her life raising her girls and taking care of the inn, but Lolly has a secret and it has nothing to do with the inn. But her secrets will change their lives forever.

Mia March does a beautiful job of developing four intricate and unique women. She tells the story through their varied perspectives. The movies also play a role because often it is the discussion that follows each movie night that is a catalyst for action. For each movie influences the women by giving them a different perspective of their problem through Meryl's movies. And each movie theme is timely and poignant to the plot moving the narrative forward while encouraging the characters to explore their dilemmas through a different  lens.

This is women's fiction at its best - drama, tears, love, and laughter. It is the kind of book you want to curl up with on a rainy day and escape into the lives of the women at The Three Captain's Inn.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Connie,

    This month marks the release of Man in the Blue Moon by acclaimed Southern author Michael Morris. Morris’s writing has been compared to Flannery O’Connor and Man in the Blue Moon received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Booklist.

    “A magical and mesmerizing page-turner…Morris’s narrative is subtle and supple, with overtones of the wry Southernisms of Flannery O’Connor, the rural Florida backdrop of Their Eyes Were Watching God, and a good helping of powerful and mysterious faith. Book clubs should devour this rich, carefully observed mix of characters, time, and place.”
    – Publishers Weekly, starred review

    In Man in the Blue Moon, Ella Wallace’s husband has left her and her three sons saddled with debt, desperately working to keep the mystical Florida land that has been in her family for generations from the hands of an unscrupulous banker. A mysterious man who arrives at Ella’s door in an unconventional way convinces her he can help, but when the battle for her land intensifies, the man’s troubled past comes to haunt Ella’s future. Hypocrisy and murder shake the coastal town of Apalachicola as Morris weaves an unforgettable drama of love and loyalty, betrayal and redemption – based on an unbelievable-yet-true story from his grandfather.

    Would you be interested in reviewing Man in the Blue Moon on your blog? I have a review copy set aside for you and will be happy to send it at your request.

    Thanks for your consideration.

    Christy Stroud
    Tyndale House Publishers