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The Blackout Book Club

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I really enjoyed The Blackout Book Club by Amy Lynn Green. How could I resist a book with a library setting and a book club element?! This WWII-era novel focuses on the home front as America enters the war. The historical details bolstered the fictional narrative bringing the time and place of small town Maine to life. The community is busy sending their men to war, while ramping up needed manufacturing, and installing military operations. It’s a time of uncertainty. The POVs of the four main characters explore the era and provide a unique perspective. But this book is more than a look at what was happening in the US during its early involvement in WWII; the four women could have lived in any era. Their struggles are universal and resonated with this reader. Bringing the four very different personalities together through a book club pleased my book-loving heart. And the fact that the books they read helped the characters to grow was a huge bonus! The book club minutes are a hoot too! (For those of you fellow book nerds, the book provides a reading list at the end 🙂 .) The characters face past regrets and present fears. I loved how the main characters, and the community as a whole, come together to lift up, encourage, and support each other — truly heartwarming and a good lesson for modern-day readers.

The Blackout Book Club is the perfect choice for your book club as well — lots of great discussion starters. I highly recommend this one!

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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Amy Lynne Green is one of my favorite authors and I eagerly wait for her new books to be published. The Blackout Book Club follows Avis Montgomery, head librarian in small town Maine during WW II. Four women who are very different, Ginny who has an outgoing personality, trying to save money so that she could return to the island, Martina who is in hiding with her children, Louise, who is old and slightly bitter and of course Avis, who becomes a librarian after her brother leaves for war. They unintentionally form a book club and prevent the library from shutting down. I can empathize with them as they don’t know one bit how to run a book club, I have been a part of a handful that brought together ladies from different backgrounds and turned the club into lifelong friends.

A story full of rich history, family bonding and friendships that are tested by the past and present where they must decide if depending on each other is worth it. Well done Amy Lynn. The Blackout Book Club is my favorite book this year.

I received a review copy courtesy of Bethany House Publishers through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.

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3.5 stars

This book was a nice read but a bit anticlimactic.

When Avis Montgomery’s brother goes off to war, she takes over as head librarian. She isn’t much of a reader, but when she hears that the library might need to shut down, she comes up with the idea of starting a book club. The owner of the library isn’t quite convinced it’s a good idea, but she decides to accept an invitation to the first book club meeting. The club gradually acquires an eclectic group of members and the books they read become a bit of an escape from their wartime woes. Friendships bloom and they find they have more in common than they think, but their friendships are tested when secrets from the past creep up to the present.

As I said earlier, this was a nice read but the majority of the book was pretty low-key and drama-free. Even the climactic scene towards the end wasn’t that exciting. I like the characters and they were the redeeming factor in this book, but the story itself was a bit dry.

*Thank you to NetGalley and Bethany House Publishers for providing a copy of this book to review.*

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Another wonderful book from Green! This WWII novel is a beautiful story of how books can cross divides and bring a community together.

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One of the quickest ways for a book to find its way onto my TBR is to have a bookish title, main character or description. They always grab at me, every single time. Likewise, I also find myself drawn to historical reads taking place during WWII. A bookish read that is set during WWII? Yes, this certainly seemed like an ideal read for me!

There are many characters introduced in this story. Oftentimes when there are a lot of important characters to keep track of, I find that it can be a little harder for me to get into the story as quickly. This has nothing to do with the story or the writing itself--- but rather is just my own personal memory issues that make it a struggle. As such, I can't say that I was immediately engaged in the story. It took some time to get it all straight, but once I did, I found I really enjoyed each character. They were all very unique and written well. This was a story that reminded us as readers just how important books are... but also how important friends can be as well.

Those who love historical fiction and a good bookish read are sure to want to add this one to their TBR!

**I received a complimentary copy for consideration. All thoughts are my own.

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The Blackout Book Club
by Amy Lynn Green
Pub Date: November 15, 2022
Bethany House
Thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the ARC of this book. One of the reasons I enjoy NetGalley so much is the opportunity to be introduced to new authors! This one is a gem.
I trust Bethany House and we purchase a lot of books for our library from them. I believe our readers will enjoy this new addition to our collection of Christian Fiction/Historical Fiction.
Four very different women start a book club in Derby, Maine as a blackout activity (approved by the government, btw). This is their story with true bits from history like the Hooligan Navy, working mothers in need of childcare, difficulty following blackout rules, and books. There are lots of books! Amy Lynn Green provides a list of all the books the club reads in her Author Notes at the end. She even thoughtfully includes any titles mentioned or recommended by characters in this story. This book will show you life on the eastern coast during wartime while informing and inspiring you to connect with books and, more importantly, with the people around you. This would be perfect for people who loved Jennifer Ryan's The Wedding Dress Sewing Circle, Freya Sampson's The Last Chance Library, and Lynn Austin's Long Way Home. I also must recommend Amy Lynn Green's previous title: The Lines Between Us.
5 stars

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This is another good historical novel from Green. The central theme is the importance of books in the community with threads of patriotism, family relationships, secrets, friendship and more woven through.

I realized when reading this book I take my public library for granted. But during WW II, the library available in the small town of Derby, Maine, was one sponsored by an individual. And while the wealthy woman owning it did not value the books very much, the people in the community did. We get a good sense of the importance of reading books for community welfare.

Green has added a great deal of historical information to the plot. The most prominent is the requirement of black out curtains and covers for automobile headlights. We also read about rationing, volunteers looking for German subs off the coast, women working in factories, and more. There is even a bit about the flu of 1918 in a flash back. I like that Green provides additional historical material at her website. There are discussion questions included so this book itself would be a good choice for a book discussion group.

The characters are engaging. The plot is informative and entertaining. Green's writing style is a pleasure to experience. I have read all of her previous novels and found them well written, as is this one.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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✨Review - ‘The Blackout Bookclub by @
I finished reading this gem of a book yesterday and immediately had to post the most beautiful quote from it to my stories. In case you missed it, this pretty much sums up the heart of this book:

“I have found that books make fine friends—but fellow readers even better.”

This book is set in Maine during World War II, where a book club is formed in the small town of Derby. The founding members are a rag-tag bunch from all ages, genders and walks of life, and yet they find that literature unites them. What’s more, they find that the books they read together give insights into their own lives and those around them.

Told through the lens of 4 women, I found that by the end of the book I was invested in each of their unique stories - their successes and struggles. And, I mean, what’s better than a book about books?!?

This is a piece of WWII history that I didn’t know much about, and the insight into the American war experience was really interesting. I also really appreciated the use of letters and journal entries that interspersed the prose.

But what I think I most appreciated was the commentary on the dignified giving of charity. There are circumstances where even the best of intentions to help someone in need can actually cause more harm. That, and sometimes no amount of money can solve a problem without also investing time into building relationships. As someone who works in a not-for-profit charity, I was thankful for this insight…social work isn’t always black and white.

Thanks so much to @bethanyhousefiction for this complimentary copy to review. All thoughts and insights are my own.

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I love books about book clubs. Amy Lynn Green created a group of interesting characters. Let's start with Avis. Her brother is leaving his job at the library to go overseas and join the fight. He wants her to take his place in the library. Avis feels unsuited for the position, but she agrees to do it to please her brother. I imagine that she must have felt rather overwhelmed.

Ginny and her family own a home on Long Island. They are forced to move when the government takes the land for war purposes. She dreams of getting their home back and takes on a job at the factory with the goal of getting their home back after the war.

Martina is a woman who is trying to start over. She is an Italian-American woman with two kids and her main dream is to live quietly where her husband cannot find her or her children.

Louise is a very unhappy woman. She wants to shut down the library and repurpose it for the war effort. Avis does not support this idea. She invents a bookclub hoping to buy time: The Blackout Book Club.

All these ladies come together and forge a unique friendship while sharing different viewpoints about the book selections. It's a good book and well worth the read.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, which follows the fortunes of a diverse group of people in a coastal Maine town during WWII who become involved in a somewhat eccentric book club. Each character's story is touching, and unlike many books with multiple interconnected storylines, none really seemed weaker than the others. I truly cared about all of them by the end, from the aloof, wealthy Louise, irrepressible Ginny, displaced mother Martina and wounded pilot-cum-gardener Freddy. An added bonus was that nearly every book the group chose to read was one I had read and enjoyed. Bravo, Ms. Green, for a fine story.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Great!I enjoy WWII stories and this one had a fresh perspective. I enjoyed learning more about what WWII was like on coastal America. The Book Club was an interesting storyline, with 4 distinct POV to follow. If you also enjoy WWII stories, I recommend this one.

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A interesting wartime historical fiction. The setting is in America and covers the wartime activities of German U-boats in the USA. I haven’t read many books that give us history about German U-boats in the USA.
The story has a bit of everything going on within it.
There is some humor to lighten the storyline.
A story of loved ones who stayed behind working through the traumatic events the war brought to everyone.
Definitely recommended for fans of WWII historical fiction.
Many thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and author for the opportunity to read this book for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Amy Lynn Green writes WWII novels about the American home front. Her stories feature lesser-known aspects of the period, such as POW camps and conscientious objectors. Her latest novel is set in a coastal Maine community on high alert for Nazi submarines and saboteurs.

Avis serves as the local librarian while her brother and husband are away in the war effort. Louise is a middle-aged, bitter spinster. Martina, an Italian immigrant and factory worker, along with Ginny, who joins the factory after her family’s land is seized for military use, round out the original book club. Each woman has her own personal struggles which the war brings to a crisis point. Along the way, other readers join the quartet and friendships develop.

What makes this WWII novel unique are the minutes of the blackout book club. The minutes reveal the personalities of the various scribes at club meetings, as well as share delightful observations of the titles familiar to the fictional readers … and many of us. Book lists are provided in the appendix.

This novel will appeal to lovers of WWII fiction and books in general.

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I am never ceased to be amazed how much I am learning about things that happened in WWII that I had no idea about. The Blackout Book Club by Amy Lynn Green is no different. Set on the coast of New England, that story is about a small town that is trying to do their best to help with the war effort.
Avis promises she will take care of his "Library" while he is has joined the war effort. The problem is Avis does not like reading. She has no idea why she agreed to that but she will do her best. That is until The wealthy spinster who owns the library tells Avis she is closing the doors of the library.
One way to stop the closure is to start a book club and what follows is a fun little group of hardy readers that have nothing in common except the love of books.
A delightful read, one that reminds all of us that even in the worst of times, books can bring us all together.

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Set in Maine around 1942, Christian Historical Fiction. Told from the point of view of four different characters, each with their own back story and interesting personality. It's during the war in a small coastal town. They decide to get together for a book club at the library to take people's minds off the war. They soon become a close-knit group of friends. It's told in a neat format of individual characters and then again when they gather for the club. They take minutes of the meetings, the format of which I've never seen before, completely informal and personal as to the character whose turn it was to take them. Very clever. Each has their own issues, but realizes how much better life is when you let friends in. Not a dull moment! Easy to get attached to.

I received this book free from the publisher and NetGalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
#TheBlackoutBookClub #NetGalley #BooksYouCanFeelGoodAbout

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“I have found books make fine friends—but fellow readers even better. “

Being an avid bookworm, I was excited to dive into this story! Though WW2 novels aren't my favorite, I've heard such great things about the author Amy Lynn Green. I'm glad I took the chance on both the book and author.

Admittedly, it took me some time to get into because it started out a bit slow. I was afraid it would be another “did not finish” book on a long list of these lately. Not due to the writing (it's brilliant, by the way!), but so much was happening at the beginning that it was hard to keep up with. I finally found my groove around the 40% mark and the characters began to grow on me. I think the one that took the cake for me was Ginny. Oh my....she's rash, outspoken and brutally honest, but made me laugh so much. She's an awful lot like myself, my connection to her was uncanny! You wouldn't find a better friend or confidant like her, though. I just loved the complex layers to each character as they took shape on the pages. Every one of them was special in their own way and the bond they had in the end was tight.

These friendships were forged in the fire of war and connected in the love of literature. This is not only about a book club that grew, or merely an effort to save the library, but a story that I think can touch the heart of every reader! What an emotionally satisfying novel and a peek at history lived through the lives of its characters! If you are a fan of Amy Green—or even a new one like myself—and also enjoy the likes of Sarah Sundin or Kate Breslin, I would highly recommend The Blackout Book Club to you. I found it to be a brilliantly written, multi-layered novel to enjoy over and over again!

* I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House Publishers and was not obligated to leave a review. All opinions expressed here are my own. *

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This book follows an unlikely group of people joined together by a book club taking place in Maine during World War 2. I loved watching the friendships between the group grow. There isn't much in the ways of romance in this book which was refreshing. The book discussion made me want to look up and read some of the books they talked about and I was pleased to see there is a list of all the books mentioned in the back. I did not realize blackout procedures were encouraged in American coastal towns prior to reading this book, I thought it was only done in Europe. One element I did not enjoy was the "notes" from each book club meeting. They were supposed to be meeting minutes taken by different members in a general shared notebook but they were each written almost like a diary entry with personal thoughts and opinions which didn't make sense to me since they were written in a public shared notebook. That unrealistic element brought this book down from a 4 start book to a 3.5 for me but I rounded up for goodreads.

I received a free copy of this book from netgalley. I was not required to post a favorable review.

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loved listening to this audio version of The Blackout Book Club by Amy Lynn Green. I have not read the eBook or the paperback version, but I have heard a lot about it. I was kind of expecting an American version of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and whilst there were vague echoes of that, I think the story was also unique and interesting in its own right, with lots of memorable characters.

I would suggest The Blackout Book Club is about the power of books and words to bring people together and form bonds of friendship which helped bring the community closer together. The transformative power of Literature and reading is something few take seriously at first, but through books we do not just escape to other worlds but learn something about ourselves. In the story, people who were lonely, isolated, or living in fear found support, love, and appreciation with others they would never have known but for the book club. The

It also provided an interesting snapshot of life in a rural part of the United States int the early days of the War. I’m British, so I’m more used to stories about the Blitz in London and other major cities from 1939. I didn’t know there were large scale air raids in America.

Thanks to RB Digital for approving my request for this title on Netgalley. This did not influence my opinion, which is entirely my own and freely given.

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Definitely cozy up with wool socks, tea/coffee and a blanket when you pick up to read this book! This was my first Amy Green novel and I throughly enjoyed this refreshing character driven tale of forging friendships and finding the story you need right when you need it. Set in a fictional coastal town in Maine, during WWII, the story follows four main women whose stories are told in third person POV as they navigate the uncharted waters of wartime life. Their lives could not be more different from each other and yet they find themselves on common ground as they form The Blackout Book Club. The book club notes and discussions were especially fun to read and one of my favorite parts of the book.
The rich historical detail and interesting characters infuse the story with charm and realism. I loved seeing their growth and how they over came their individual challenges as the book came to a close.

Thank you Net Galley and Bethany House Fiction for the advanced copy of this book for me to read and review. All thoughts are my own.

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In 1942 Maine when Avis Montgomery's librarian brother goes off to war he asks her to make a promise, keep the local library open while he is gone. So Avis, a non-reader takes on the fight to keep the library going. She starts a black out book club in the hope it will keep the library relevant in war time. Her baking skills help more than her literary knowledge but she has grit. Thus begins a tale of developing friendships and a community to help get through the rough times.
Thanks to NetGalley for providing an eGalley of this title.

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