I loved the Oprah Winfrey Book Club when she featured a new book and author each month on her show. I loved the anticipation of waiting for her to reveal her next book pick and I quickly found myself a copy as soon as her announcement came.
Several celebrities have book clubs that I follow now, but most of their selections are hit or miss for me. Until recently.
Jenna Bush Hager's Read With Jenna book club is my new favorite place to get great book suggestions. Just as with Oprah, I'm anxiously awaiting the day she reveals her new book club selection. And so far there hasn't been a single book that isn't amazing.
The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall is the current Read With Jenna selection. This is a quiet novel with a lot to think about. Taking place over the course of several decades, we see two couples: Charles and Lily and James and Nan brought together because the two men have been hired to jointly lead a Presbyterian Church. Each man brings different skills that the church is in need of, and so their partnership begins. The relationships between these four are complex as is their faith (or lack of). I found myself wanting to highlight parts of this novel, as well as talk it over with a friend or two.
Patsy by Nicole Y. Dennis-Benn - Patsy is thrilled to learn that the visa she has been waiting for has finally arrived and she will be moving to America. This move means leaving her daughter, Tru, behind in Jamaica in order to make a future for herself. But the promise of reuniting with her childhood friend in America and the opportunities that she thought would be awaiting her are much different than what she had envisioned. As years pass, Tru tries to understand her mother's decision to leave as well as find her own way in the world. This story felt so real to me, like Patsy was someone I might meet while walking down the street in New York City. My heart ached for how hard her life was and how few of her dreams were realized.
Both of these books were five star reads for me. I can't wait to hear what Jenna picks for October and hope that her book club continues for a long time.