In The Book That Matters Most Ava joins the book club at her local library to meet new people. Her husband left her last year, and she’s having a hard time moving on. Her best friend, Cate, the librarian, has chosen the theme “The Book That Matters Most” for the year’s book club selections. Each member chooses a book that made a lasting impact on their lives. For obvious reasons, Ann Hood had most of the characters choose classic novels (so the reader would be familiar with them), but Ava chooses a rare, out of print children’s book. It’s a book someone gave her as a gift after her younger sister died.
This novel alternates between Ava, her daughter Maggie, her mother Charlotte, and Hank, the police officer on Ava’s sister’s case. Hood has laid the book out month-by-month as Ava reads and discusses each book club selection with her group. Her pick is scheduled for the end of the year. As the story draws to a close, we learn more about Ava’s past, the children’s book she selected, and the details surrounding the day of her sister’s death.
I could not put this book down. The writing style was so compelling, and the suspense was very well done. I enjoyed hopping back and forth between the characters and timelines. The book club discusses and additional characters added to the story without being overdone. The multi-generational characters is this book make it perfect for readers of all ages. I wish I could find more books like this one. I’ll have to check out some of Ann’s other books.
Rating: 4 Stars