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Motherhood by the Book

VB Reads...Motherhood By the Book

Sun, 06/14/2020 - 2:00pm
1200 11th St
Bellingham, WA 98225-7015

Sunday, June 14, 2:00pm

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

On a dark midwinter’s night in an ancient inn on the river Thames, an extraordinary event takes place. The regulars are telling stories to while away the dark hours, when the door bursts open on a grievously wounded stranger. In his arms is the lifeless body of a small child. Hours later, the girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Is it magic? Or can science provide an explanation? These questions have many answers, some of them quite dark indeed.

Those who dwell on the river bank apply all their ingenuity to solving the puzzle of the girl who died and lived again, yet as the days pass the mystery only deepens. The child herself is mute and unable to answer the essential questions: Who is she? Where did she come from? And to whom does she belong? But answers proliferate nonetheless.

Three families are keen to claim her. A wealthy young mother knows the girl is her kidnapped daughter, missing for two years. A farming family reeling from the discovery of their son’s secret liaison stand ready to welcome their granddaughter. The parson’s housekeeper, humble and isolated, sees in the child the image of her younger sister. But the return of a lost child is not without complications and no matter how heartbreaking the past losses, no matter how precious the child herself, this girl cannot be everyone’s. Each family has mysteries of its own, and many secrets must be revealed before the girl’s identity can be known.

VB Reads...Motherhood By the Book

Sun, 07/12/2020 - 2:00pm
1200 11th St
Bellingham, WA 98225-7015

Sunday, July 12, 2:00pm

Varina by Charles Frazier

Her marriage prospects limited, teenage Varina Howell agrees to wed the much-older widower Jefferson Davis, with whom she expects the secure life of a Mississippi landowner. Davis instead pursues a career in politics and is eventually appointed president of the Confederacy, placing Varina at the white-hot center of one of the darkest moments in American history–culpable regardless of her intentions.

The Confederacy falling, her marriage in tatters, and the country divided, Varina and her children escape Richmond, Virginia, and travel south on their own, now fugitives with “bounties on their heads, an entire nation in pursuit.”

Intimate in its detailed observations of one woman’s tragic life, and epic in its scope and power, Varina is a novel of an American war and its aftermath. Ultimately, the book is a portrait of a woman who comes to realize that complicity carries consequences.

VB Reads...Motherhood By the Book

Sun, 08/09/2020 - 2:00pm
1200 11th St
Bellingham, WA 98225-7015

Sunday, August 9, 2:00pm

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. 

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . . 
 
The only way to survive is to open your heart. 

VB Reads...Motherhood By the Book

Sun, 09/13/2020 - 2:00pm
1200 11th St
Bellingham, WA 98225-7015

Sunday, September 13, 2:00pm

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

He can’t leave his hotel. You won’t want to.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Civility—a transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel.

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery.

Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count’s endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.

VB Reads...Motherhood By the Book

Sun, 10/11/2020 - 2:00pm
1200 11th St
Bellingham, WA 98225-7015

Sunday,October 11, 2:00pm

And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready by Meaghan O'Connell

When Meaghan O'Connell got accidentally pregnant in her twenties and decided to keep the baby, she realized that the book she needed -- a brutally honest, agenda-free reckoning with the emotional and existential impact of motherhood -- didn't exist. So she decided to write it herself.

And Now We Have Everything is O'Connell's exploration of the cataclysmic, impossible-to-prepare-for experience of becoming a mother. With her dark humor and hair-trigger B.S. detector, O'Connell addresses the pervasive imposter syndrome that comes with unplanned pregnancy, the fantasies of a "natural" birth experience that erode maternal self-esteem, post-partum body and sex issues, and the fascinating strangeness of stepping into a new, not-yet-comfortable identity. 

Channeling fears and anxieties that are still taboo and often unspoken, And Now We Have Everything is an unflinchingly frank, funny, and visceral motherhood story for our times, about having a baby and staying, for better or worse, exactly yourself.

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Chuckanut Reader 40th anniversary magazine by Village Books