The Blackout Book Club by Amy Lynn Green is a historical fiction novel set in 1942 during WWII. The characters live in Derby, a small coastal fishing village in Maine. Most of the men have gone off to war, there are threats of German U-boats nearby and women are working factory shifts and volunteering to help the war effort. I really liked all of the characters in the novel and learned a bit more about how close German boats actually were to our shores during that time.
Avis Montgomery is managing the town library while her brother is off fighting in the war. She doesn’t really like to read, but she grudgingly takes on the job. Louise Cavendish is the spinster owner of the library – wealthy, but very aloof. Martina is a factory-working mom of Italian heritage. Ginny Atkins is a single fisherman’s daughter, recently moved to Derby. The chapters in the book are alternately told by these 4 women – a little confusing at first, but once I knew their characters, I liked to have the story told from all of their points of view. Avis starts the “Blackout Book Club” in order to keep the library from closing. As the meetings continue to grow, the community comes together and friendships are made, secrets are shared and books are loved. (I especially liked the ‘minutes’ of each meeting being written by different characters in the club. There were really funny comments and observations made!) I also liked seeing which book was going to be chosen next. Avis, Louise, Martina and Ginny had such different stories, but this novel brings them together in such a great way.
There isn’t a lot of action in The Blackout Book Club, but the stories of the characters were really compelling and kept my interest. I cared about each book club member, and loved when they began making connections. If you enjoy reading historical fiction, WWII novels, character-driven novels or stories about books, there is much to enjoy in this novel!
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