Member Reviews

This is a book that takes some time to set up and develop. Set in a fictional location on the coast of Maine during WW2...this is a story about the power of literature and how it binds a community.

"For I have found that books make fine friends -- but fellow readers even better."

There are four POVs in this book so at first it seems overwhelming at how you're supposed to keep it all straight but once you get to chapter 5 it all comes together and is easy to follow. This is a unique take on WW2 in a location we don't get much from. I loved learning about how the east coast was impacted by the war and learning what small communities had to go through and implement during this time.

There was a lot of activity along the American coast during this time that I learned about and how normal citizens took action and protected themselves.

I liked the arc of each character and how the book club and the war shaped them. There is nothing like books to build friendships and in this book it's just done in a real lovely way.

If you like...

-quaint setting and small communities
-bookclub eccentricities
-slow unwrapping of mystery arcs
-community friendships
-the power of books to bind people
-unique WW2 setting and history
-slower paced stories but not it a bad way

Thank you Bethany House for my copy. Historical fiction is always great to read this time of year.

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In the fictional town of Derby, Maine, Avis finds herself in charge of the town library when her brother Anthony, the actual librarian, goes off to fight in WWII. Avis doesn’t even like reading, nor does she like the owner/sponsor of the library, Louise Cavendish. But she’s bound to keep an eye on the place for her brother.

In a moment of trying to keep Louise from closing the library to turn it into a nursery school, Avis says she’s starting a book club, to support the new blackouts, keeping people inside at night. Cursing herself, Avis embarks on having a book club at the library, originally attended by herself, Louise, Ginny, a young woman who moved to Derby to work at the foundry after her parents’s land was expropriated by the government; and Martina, an Italian-American, Ginny’s coworker, and a single mother hiding from a cruel husband. The four women all have their secrets, and don’t completely jive, but the book club sticks. And grows. Until it’s a touchstone for them all…just as the deadline for the close of the library approaches.

This was very sweet. Green creates a vibrant little town, four very distinct narrators, and portrays their relationships convincingly. It’s cozy, and full of plucky war spirit, as well as the complexities of life as women in the 1940s. A good chunk was pretty predictable but it was a very pleasant book all around. I probably won’t remember it, which is fine. Still a good way to spend an afternoon.

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This book was a pure delight from beginning to end. I love a good WWII novel, and am always drawn to stories about book clubs. The book brings that era to life, and is filled with all kinds of wonderful bookish goodness, but it is the characters that make it such a spectacular novel.

There’s Avis, the uncertain and perfectionist librarian who does not like to read, but is determined to keep the library afloat because it means so much to her brother who is fighting overseas. Then we have Louise, the stern and wealthy spinster who is hiding secrets and is determined to see the library go because of what it has taken from her. And then there’s Ginny, a bold, albeit rough around the edges, twenty-something factory worker with a penchant for romance novels, who has made promises to a life-long friend in the service, yet can’t help but feel a spark for new-to-town Freddy. And of course, sweet Martina, an Italian immigrant who loves books deeply and is doing her best to get by while working at the local factory, while also shielding her family from her dodgy husband. The women are so different, but they learn so much from one another, about themselves and the world, as they meet in the library and bond over books. The characters are living and breathing, leaping right off the page, ready to tell you exactly what they liked–or did not like–about the book club’s latest read.

The quaint small town Maine setting is a lovely backdrop for this war time novel. It’s a cozy place, yet not exempt from the threat of war. Add in the unraveling of secrets from the character’s pasts, spot on writing, and the stories of a community coming together to do their bit for the war effort, and you have a novel that is not only a most delightful read, but a book that has something for everyone, as well.

The Blackout Book Club is a marvelous read. Not only is it a book I would recommend to anyone, it’s truly one of the best books I’ve read this year, and a new addition to my shelf of favorites.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

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It made me laugh when Avis, who doesn't like to read books, gets roped into being the town librarian while her brother is away at war. Then she even starts a blackout book club to try to keep it open! She, along with the other charter members of the book club, soon come to appreciate what reading books can do for you. It was wonderful watching their love for reading bloom. I enjoyed the discussions of books and the book club minutes immensely. It made me want to join a book club with delicious book-related treats. Even more importantly, the four women, different as they are, become true, lasting friends.

Green has a great way of weaving little known parts of history into her books. It was fascinating reading about the hooligan navy and the u-boat attacks along our coasts. She does it seamlessly. Her characters are developed well. I loved Ginny. There were some big twists that I didn't see coming at all. It was an all around great read. I'd highly recommend it.

Thank you to Bethany House for providing me with a free copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

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There were a lot of characters in this novel and I felt it was hard to keep up with them. Some points of view were more exciting than others, but overall this book was a tad slow for my taste. I thought this would be a book I loved so I’m disappointed. Perhaps if the story moved a little quicker, it would be more my speed.

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The Blackout Book Club beautifully demonstrates the importance of stories in our lives, and in doing so it also becomes an important story. Amy Lynn Green skillfully brings her characters to life, drawing her readers to empathize with the struggles and joys they and those close to them experience as World War II impacts the northeast coast of the United States, as we also see how these characters ways of viewing the world and one another are impacted by the books they read and discuss. I taught my students to be metacognitive, to think about their thinking, as they read and discussed books with one another. This book brought home the importance of thinking through one's points of view, voicing them, and listening to the points of view of others through the vessel of literature.

I believe The Blackout Book Club is a five star read. I look forward to reading more of Amy Lynn Green's books in the future and to reading or rereading several of the books read by her characters. I am grateful to have received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House via NetGalley without obligation. All opinions expressed here are my own.

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#BookRevew: THE BLACKOUT BOOK CLUB by Amy Lynn Green

Who doesn’t love a book that talk about books? This story set in Maine during WWII featured the lives of ordinary people in the amidst of war. The historical details in this book were good.

Families had to follow blackout rules. This means that they had to ensure that no light escaped from their houses or any buildingthat could aid enemy bombers to find their targets.There should be no light everywhere.

This was a character driven story with POV’s from four women. They led different lives but were united with their love of books and community service. It dragged some in the middle but it picked up later on. The desserts made by Avis and the discussions about books were fun. What stood out to me the most was the friendships formed with these unlikely sets of people. They helped each other in meaningful ways. I really liked that. It was a difficult time for everybody but having each other eased the burden.

Rating: 4 stars
Pub date: 15 Nov 2022

Thank you Bethany House Publishers for the complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own.

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This was such a good story. Being part of a book club, I'm a sucker for books about book clubs. I loved getting to know all of the different characters and what they were going through during this time of war. I really liked that they each took turns taking notes during their discussions. This book was very well written and I highly recommend it.

**I was given a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley. All opinions expressed are my own.**

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The Blackout Book Club
by Amy Lynn Green
Pub Date 15 Nov 2022
Bethany House, Bethany House Publishers

I am reviewing a copy of The Blackout Book Club through Bethany House and Netgalley:

Avis Montgomery in the unlikely position of head librarian in small-town Maine after a promise to her brother in 1942 before he heads off to the European front. She was never much of a reader but when wartime needs threaten to close the library, she invents a book club to keep its doors open. The women she convinces to attend the first meeting couldn't be more different a wealthy spinster determined to aid the war effort, an exhausted mother looking for a fresh start, and a determined young war worker.

At first it seems the struggles on the home front are all the members have in common, but over time , the books they choose become more than an escape from the hardships of life and the fear of the U-boat battles that rage just past their shores. As the women face personal challenges and band together in the face of danger, they find they have more in common than they think. But when their growing friendships are tested by secrets of the past and present, they must decide whether depending on each other is worth the cost.

I give The Blackout Book Club five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!

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For I have found the books make find friends - but fellow readers even better. - The Blackout Book Club

Avis Montgomery makes a promise to her brother before he is shipped to the front in Europe. Her promise is to be the librarian of the local library while he is gone. For Avis who prefers to read magazines over books, she isn’t sure how well she will do. What starts as a plan to keep her word turns into an effort to keep the library open, and as a result the Blackout Book Club is born.

The women who initially form the book club couldn’t be more different. They each have their own private battles. This club brings them together, and soon the membership grows to include more and more of the community., As the war looms close to home, this group learns what it means to be a community and to lean on each other during good times and bad,

I love stories that are about books and people. Books as a way to bring people together is one of my favorite types of stories.

The characters in this book were so different from each other and that is part of what made this story so good. I love how each one not only grew individually, but they also grew as a group. Amy Lynn Green’s books hav some of the most memorable characters and this story is no different. I truly loved something about each and every one.

I voluntarily received a copy of this book from Bethany House. All views are my honest opinion.

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** “Put in straightforward terms — humans need stories because they appeal to our unconscious needs for love, justice, discovery, etc.” **

Amy Lynn Green offers a delightful story that is a love letter to reading and friends that read together in “The Blackout Book Club.”

When Avis Montgomery’s brother Anthony leaves to fight in World War II, she finds herself replacing him as the librarian at the community library in her small Maine town. She soon begins to also lead the Blackout Book Club, a small group that includes the effervescent Ginny who works at the local foundry, her co-worker Martina and her two children, the library’s owner Louise, and Louise’s housekeeper Delphie and newly hired gardener Freddy.

As the group dives into literature, they also dive into each other’s lives, learning their combined secrets, pains and delights, working together to fight off the trials life throws at them.

Green does an incredible job of creating a delightful cast of characters that the reader will quickly fall in love with. She also builds a fun plot with a few twists and turns and mysteries.

Besides being a fun story that will put a smile on your face, “The Blackout Book Club” also contains several great themes, like there are different kinds of strengths; ordinary lies often hide something worse; the past won’t stay buried; the impact of loyalty and friendship; and love is a great risk and reward (“But what I learned from my mother is that giving and receiving love is the greatest risk and the greatest joy. Sometimes at the same time.”)

Lovers of books and reading and friendship and overcoming adversity will love this book. “For I have found that books make fine friends — but fellow readers even better.”

Five stars out of five.

Bethany House Publishers provided this complimentary copy through NetGalley for my honest, unbiased review.

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

The Blackout Book Club by Amy Lynn Green releases tomorrow, November 15th! I just finished reading it and ya’ll – this book is such a beautiful multi-character driven story! 5 stars! New favorite historical author alert! I can’t wait to chat about this book on my YouTube channel! This heartwarming book is filled with history, friendship, family, love and perfect for book lovers everywhere! This was my first book by Amy and I can’t wait to read more of her books.

The author truly showed us what it was like to live in the World War II time period between blackouts, worrying about loved ones going off to war, the struggle the war put on marriages and families, financial struggles and so much more.

In this story, we primarily follow 4 amazing women, their personal stories and how they are all connected together by a simple book club. Avis Montgomery isn’t really a reader, but when the library owner, Louise, decides to close the library, Avis starts the “Blackout Book Club” to help the war effort. The result: a group of people coming together, each with their own challenges, struggles and worries – creating bonds that will last a lifetime.

These characters truly live off the page for me. I was so invested in each individual story here. Avis and her husband Russell are struggling in their marriage, Louise is dealing with her painful past that no one else knows about, Martina is trying to hide from her unstable husband and create a new life for her children and Ginny has a broken family and is just trying to figure out what to do next. Many other side characters come in and bring so much to the story as well.

I really liked the way the book club was developed, how people were able to come together during that tough time in life and bond over books and reading. The book club notes were GREAT to read through and I laughed many times reading those!

While I would have liked more faith content, this book touched my heart in so many ways that I will continue to think about. The ending chapters had me very emotional! Thank you to Baker Publishing for a copy to honestly read and review. I also had the audiobook from NetGalley and the narrator is wonderful. Highly recommended ya’ll! If you like a good historical war time novel, with a bonus bookish feeling, pick this up!

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I love books that have a focus on books, as well as WWII-era stories, so I was excited to read this one. However, it feel a bit flat for me. There are numerous points of view, and, at times, it was confusing to follow. I also had a hard time liking, and connecting with, the characters. As a result, I never gully engaged with the story. I did enjoy the concept, but sadly, it ended up missing the mark for me. It's obvious that the author put a lot of research into the book, as historical details were well done.

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A character driven and plot driven story! It's hard to find a book where an author can do both really great.

A Book Club brings strangers together during wwll. Avis who takes over the library since her brother went off to war wants nothing to do with the library and hates reading. But the owner of the Library wants to turn it into a nursery to help with the war effort. Avis can't let that happen, so she comes up with the Blackout Book Club.

A beautiful written story taking place on the home front during a war torn area. The characters all had different personalities, but were able to come together as a community in so many different ways. A lot of the times we forget that we need our friends and neighbors. Not just for friendship but to help us in times of struggle. Amy Lynn Green brings her wonderful writing skills of showing what it means to be a community, showing that staying where you are doesn't mean your stuck if you have the right people to help.

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Thanks to Netgalley for my review copy.

This is the first book I have read by Amy Lynn Green. I enjoyed the story. Its always good learning more about WW2 and facts I didn't know about. I didn't know how close to the coast of America the German U-boats came. I didn't know about the coast guard and the others who guarded the coast line.

Now back to the book the book has 4 main leading characters all who have their own issues. Avis becomes the librarian holding the job for her bother. Louise is the owner of the library and had her own secrets. Ginny has had to move due to war and Martina an Italian immigrant. All 4 have things happening in their lives that they are working through.

They all become connected via the Blackout Book Club. As one other reviewer mentioned the first few chapters are a little slower moving but stick with it as it. The more we learn about the main characters the more we get to understand them. There were things that come out I wasn't expecting at the beginning of the book but fall into place as we move along.

When I requested the book I was expecting a romance book which this isn't. There is romance in it but it is more a Woman's fiction about relationships between women.

I am glad I read the book as I do enjoy this era, I learnt new things and I got a good read.

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I’m going to be completely transparent: I wasn’t sure about this book for the first thirty pages. It is a tad slow and does jump around a little.


Do not quit: this lovely book sneaks up on you!

I quickly fell in love with it. It switches between a few different POVs, and while that was a little confusing at first, it slowly made sense. I learned about WWII history I have never encountered before (through a fictional lens, of course). It was a reminder of why I love historical fiction so much.

This book is settled in the delicate spot on a historical fiction shelf. It was a little cozy, while also measuring the urgency and difficulties of wartime on American soil post-Pearl Harbor.

I highly recommend it!

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I absolutely loved The Blackout Book Club by Amy Lynn Green. As with many historical fiction books, I learned things I never learned in school. Stories, like the ones in The Blackout Book Club, are what makes history exciting. Stories stick with us so much more than facts do. And in The Blackout Book Club, it’s stories that bring together a group of people with nothing in common. Nothing but the war.

There is so much to love about this novel, but it is the characters that give it life. I’m always amazed when people say they don’t read. Not that they can’t read; they just don’t. They are missing an abundance of “all the feels.” Books take us to other countries, other worlds, other times! Avis, one of the main characters, is just such a person. She’s never cared that much about books, unlike her brother, head librarian in the small town where they grew up. When he heads to the war, he asks Avis to take over since he doesn’t want the library to close. So, when the threat of the library’s closure comes in spite of Avis’s promise, she impulsively tells the owner that she’s started a book club. The members of the book club are the driving force behind The Blackout Book Club.

I cannot say enough about these amazingly well-written characters. They quickly became some of my favorite characters I’ve encountered in historical fiction novels. Ginny is my favorite. I won’t tell you why since I don’t want to spoil anything for you! Just read this!

The books the club reads are really diverse, and I love how their discussions are written in this book. Rather than just write about the book club’s discussions, Green writes them as notes which are taken by the different club members. They’re so fun! You get to know the characters even better by the way they describe what goes on at book club. That’s one of my favorite things about The Blackout Book Club.

Needless to say, I give The Blackout Book Club five huge stars and highly recommend it!

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If you love books that feature books, read this.
If you enjoy historical fiction, read this.
If you are looking for strong female characters, with lots of character development, read this.
If you are want a WWII narrative with a domestic focus, read this.

The Blackout Book Club showcases four women, from different backgrounds and no connection to each other, who form a bond over books and learn the value of community and friendship. Green also includes many bits of life and the domestic war effort that are easily overlooked in World War II.
This will be on my best of the year list, no question.

I received a dARC from the publisher via Netgalley; this is my honest review.

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As the U.S. enters WWII, dangers come closer to our shores - especially for the towns along the coastline as German U-boats lurk in the waters. How does a small town deal with the blackout restrictions? Create a book club of course! In the process, four women struggling with their own troubles find friendship and support.

I love reading WWII stories and I'm always looking for unique stories. I've read a few stories set in the U.S. but none of them have been set in a small coastal town. Often times WWII seemed more like a European war as most of the U.S. wasn't near the frontlines. I knew about rations, and of course, all the men sent to fight, but I didn't really think about blackout restrictions and coastal patrols.

The story is told from the point-of-view of 4 women. Each has their own unique situation due to the war, which I think gives the reader a wide view of the various struggles on the homefront.'

Avis is a young married woman living in the small town of Derby, Maine. She strives to be the perfect wife - reading all the latest self-help articles in women's magazines. Her brother Anthony is the head librarian of a private, subscription-based library but he has enlisted and makes Avis promise to keep the library running for him. She struggles with how to balance her wifely duties with a job. At first, that doesn't appear to be a problem since her husband is enlisting too. However, things get complicated when he gets an F-4 designation at the physical (he has asthma).

Louisa owns the library. Her father established it and she inherited it along with the family's summer home in Derby. She is a spinster with a secret. Similar to Avis, she holds herself to a strict code of contact. She is trying to protect herself, but it has kept her an outsider even though she has lived full-time in Derby for at least a decade, serves on various community committees, and is involved in philanthropic activities.

Ginny is probably the youngest of the women. Her family was forced to sell the family home on Long Island, Maine for the US Navy to install a base. All she has ever known is her family's lobster business and vows to save up enough money to buy back the family home after the war. To this, she takes a job a the foundry in Derby while the rest of the family moves to Portland, Maine.

Martina is an Italian immigrant. Though she is a U.S. citizen, she is worried about racial sentiment and others being suspicious just because she's Italian. She is also trying to hide from her husband, who is often a mean drunk. She moves with her two children to Derby to take a job at the foundry.

I enjoyed all the characters. The women are interesting, but even the secondary characters are well-fleshed out and I was invested in their lives as much as I was in the lives of the four women.

The story is told in a sort-of mixed media way. We have the standard prose, but we also get letters between Avis and her brother Anthony. Then there are the minutes from the book club - I found these to be funny not just because of observations the various 'secretaries' make, but because Louisa wants to treat the book club like the many committees she serves on. And finally, we have flashback scenes from when Louisa was a young woman during WWI. All these various methods of storytelling meld surprisingly well and give a more in-depth look into the characters.

There is some suspense but The Blackout Book Club is more of a slice-of-life type of novel. I loved seeing how the town comes together to help one another. I really loved how all are welcome to the book club including children.

There are plenty of references to classics and popular 1940s books for readers who love books about books. We get the discussion of the several books the club reads, but there are also mentions of other books - ones they are considering or recommend to each other outside of the club.

If you are a reader who doesn't read war books, but you are wanting to read WWII-era stories, then this one is definitely for you. The war is largely in the shadows with no mention of bloody battlefields.

My review will be published at Girl Who Reads on Sunday -

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Blackout book club by Amy Lynn Green.
An insiders look at the lives of various people during WW2. I love that they all come from different stations and backgrounds; they represent a beautiful diversity seen on American shores. Rife with patriotism, relational dynamics and many literary references, I think everyone can relate to one of the characters at some point during the story. The turmoils and hopes of the human heart during crisis are well represented. I loved the nod to so many different authors throughout the book. If you’re looking for relationship struggles, women left behind, men who can’t serve, broken family dynamics, backstories, and most importantly, REDEMPTION, immerse yourself in this wonderful tale of a book club during the enforced blackout days. I highly recommend. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are solely my own, freely given.

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