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Sept. 8: Megan Miranda, The Last to Vanish. ISBN 978-1982147327.

“He arrived at night in the middle of a downpour, one of the conditions more suitable for a disappearance.” Thus begins Miranda’s psychological thriller, which Booklist has compared to the works of Shirley Jackson and Stephen King. A resort town near the Appalachian Trail has been plagued by a series of vanishings, and a journalist who has arrived to investigate them vanishes as well. It is up to the protagonist, inn manager Abigail Lovett, to uncover the secrets that will solve the mystery.

Oct. 6: Ann Tyler, A Spool of Blue Thread. ISBN 978-0553394399.

“Late one July evening in 1994, Red and Abby Whitshank had a phone call from their son Denny.” An adult son calling his parents, even late in the evening, would hardly be an unusual event in most families, but Denny is the problem child whose psychological issues one reader describes as “triggering.” He and his three siblings are heirs to a legacy that includes the typical shared family experiences, but also private information that they do not willingly divulge.

Nov. 3: Lisa See, China Dolls. ISBN 978-0812982824.

“I traveled west – alone – on the cheapest bus routes I could find.” Set in the 1930’s and 1940’s in the United States, this historical novel explores life as a Chinese American woman in a country in which people of her race are regarded with suspicion if not downright hatred. The impoverished narrator is traveling west to San Francisco, where she will meet two other young women, and the three will bond together for mutual support. Each of them, however, has a part of herself that she wishes to keep private, even from her new-found friends.

Dec. 1: Charmaine Wilson, Black Cake. ISBN 978-0593358351.

“He should have known it would come to this.” Come to what? This family saga traces the process by which two adult children come to discover facts about their mother that have long been hidden, all of which are connected to the traditional Caribbean black cake. Multiple characters, different settings and points of view, intermingled cultures, friendships among women – but also child abandonment and murder: this novel has something for everyone, plus cake.

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About the lecturer(s)

Margaret Hallissy

Margaret Hallissy is Professor of English with specialties in medieval literature, Irish literature, and the modern phenomenon of “book groups,” which have sprung up in communities throughout the nation. She has written numerous articles and scholarly books, including works on book group procedures and leadership, as well as Irish-American fiction.

Lecture Details


4 lecture(s)
Day & Time

Friday, 10:00am - 12:00pm

Sep 08, 2023
Oct 06, 2023
Nov 03, 2023
Dec 01, 2023