The Book That Matters Most: A Novel (Hardcover)
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
An enthralling novel about love, loss, secrets, friendship, and the healing power of literature, by the bestselling author of The Knitting Circle.
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.
About the Author
Ann Hood is the author of eight previous books, including the best-selling memoir Comfort: A Journey Through Grief and best-selling novels The Book That Matters Most and The Knitting Circle. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
Hood’s novel is rich with pleasures, and will
no doubt launch a thousand book club discussions.
Hood examines the push and pull between mothers
and grown children and the transformative power of fiction.
Great novelists can envelop you in relatable plot lines that make you feel like you’re part of the story. That’s what Ann Hood, author of the much beloved The Knitting Circle, does in her latest.
Ann Hood has given us a remarkable musing on memory, loss, regret and, to an extent, redemption and salvation. She does so with elegant prose and gentle but appropriate tugs on the heartstrings.
[The Book That Matters Most] touches all of your emotions.
The Book That Matters Most by Ann Hood works on so many levels. First, it’s a delightful read. Second, it’s full of great book suggestions. And third, it’s inspiration for book groups.
The Book That Matters Most is an exhilarating celebration of all that books awaken within us: joy, love, wisdom, loss, solace. Ann Hood is a captivating storyteller—I devoured this novel.
— Lily King, author of Euphoria
A love of words, of reading, propels the characters from heartbreak to discovery. Book groups — indeed, book lovers of all kinds—will delight in this compulsively and effortlessly readable novel.
— Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train
Engrossing…I admire this graceful and intimate writer for her literary sleight of hand: you don’t so much read about her characters as you inhabit them.
— Elizabeth Berg, author of The Dream Lover
Ann Hood’s eye for the absurd, her masterful prose and vivid characters instantly draw you into this compelling story about mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and lovers. But it’s the delicate exploration of human fallibility – of love, loss, regret and redemption that make this one of those rare and wonderful books that truly matter.
— Ann Leary, New York Times bestselling author of The Good House