The Book That Matters Most (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Ann Hood's many fans will welcome this poignant novel which celebrates the positive effects of reading and will undoubtedly become a book club favorite. The main character, Ava feels quite alone after her husband leaves her for a younger woman and her children are living away from home. At the suggestion of a friend she joins a book club which has a theme for the year -- "the book that matters most."

— Elizabeth M.

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