The Book That Matters Most (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

This novel has haunted me for months. If I were asked what book it was in my lifetime that has mattered the most to me, I couldn't answer. I still cannot decide. So obviously I would not have been welcomed in this particular book club. The members are asked to pick their "matters most" book as a theme for the coming year. Members present their case for each monthly choice. A newcomer to the group chooses an obscure out-of-print title. As the story unfolds, readers come to realize the significance of this book in how it personally relates to the member who chose it, even though she herself is clueless until the end of the book. This novel works well as a mystery. But the question still hangs in the air personally. What book would YOU choose?

— Sandy

August 2016 Indie Next List

“Hood offers the parallel stories of Ava, who is struggling to build a new life after the end of a long marriage, and her daughter, Maggie, living in Paris and descending into addiction. Ava is invited to join a book club whose members each suggest the book that matters most to them. In Ava's case, a book remembered from her childhood leads to the unraveling of family secrets and a chance to move forward without old sorrows. Hood is a master at revealing the nuances of family interactions and exploring the fine line between love and pain.”
— Jenny Stroyeck (W), The Homer Bookstore, Homer, AK


Ava's twenty-five-year marriage has fallen apart, and her two grown children are pursuing their own lives outside of the country. Ava joins a book group, not only for her love of reading but also out of sheer desperation for companionship. The group's goal throughout the year is for each member to present the book that matters most to them. Ava rediscovers a mysterious book from her childhood--one that helped her through the traumas of the untimely deaths of her sister and mother. Alternating with Ava's story is that of her troubled daughter Maggie, who, living in Paris, descends into a destructive relationship with an older man. Ava's mission to find that book and its enigmatic author takes her on a quest that unravels the secrets of her past and offers her and Maggie the chance to remake their lives.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780393354096
ISBN-10: 0393354091
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: August 1st, 2017
Pages: 384
Language: English