Cover Image: Community Board

Community Board

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Member Reviews

Darcy is recently left by her husband Skip, and holes up in her childhood bedroom back in her hometown. It’s quirky and I usually love quirky, but this one did not work for me. It reminded me of Really Good, Actually meets Small World (both books I really adored), but it didn’t work the same way for me.

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I had high hopes for this one since I loved The Last Romantics and I love reading the absolute randomness that is my Nextdoor message board. Unfortunately, I zoned out at about 25%, started skimming around 50%, and ended up quitting at 80%. I'd rather read Nextdoor.

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Coming-of-age story of a 30 year old (going on 13) who has recently separated from their spouse who retreats home to find direction. Like a caterpillar, Darcy retreats into the dark, comforting cocoon of her childhood home only to emerge transformed.

Fun cast of characters, even if our MC Darcy is a tough pill to swallow . Posts from the titular community board are fun, just wish there was more of it.

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This story is about Darcy and how she deals with the aftermath of being dumped for a skydiver by her husband. She moves back to her hometown and into her parents’ house. While the book kept my attention, I did not particularly like the character of Darcy. I also found the lack of quotation marks impaired the flow of the story. The ending of the book was very satisfying, however, and made me glad I had read the book! Thanks to NetGalley for the copy of this book.

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29 year old Darcy Clipper decides to move back home with her parents in Murbridge, Massachusetts after her husband leaves her for another women. Darcy arrived home to find her parents in Arizona and begins a months long battle of self imposed isolation and depression. Throughout that time, the online community board of her town keeps her in the loop of what is going on around her as she slowly finds ways to help herself heal.
My overall impression of this book is that it was ok. I liked the concept of the community board and the postings in the book. I liked the Fanny character and Marcus but it’s really Darcy who was boring, dull and extremely immature. The book was a quick read and it was cute but I’m not sure I’d recommend. Thank you to NetGalley and Mariner Books for an ARC copy in exchange for a review.

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I can’t finish this book. The lack of punctuation is driving me crazy. The story line is very appealing and I wonder if my copy is corrupted, or is that how the author chose to tell the story?
It’s too hard. It’s too much work to figure out what is internal monologue, what is dialogue, who is speaking, and to whom. Sorry. This one just didn’t work for me.

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This quirky and quite funny book has a very slow start so be ready. Stick with it - I promise it picks up.

Darcy is a 29 recently separated, (who in no way was ready for her husband to suddenly leave her for another woman) regimented and someone emotionally stunted woman.. To say she is devastated is an understatement. She takes time away from her job and goes to her childhood home in Murbridge, MA to figure out her next moves. Once she arrives though - she realizes her parents have essentially moved to a senior community in Arizona without telling her. This news just sends her more fully into a tailspin. She survives on canned food her parents stored in preparation for the unknown consequence of the year turning 2000.

In a series of unsent letters to her ex-husband, messages on the community board and emails to her parents, she starts off as a self-absorbed, quite unlikeable character who blames her indulgent and loving parents for most of her problems. Lucky for the reader though, she is forced to come out of her forced hibernation in order to earn money once her stash of canned food is running out. She begins in essence to redefine the person she is into the person she wants to be. In the process she finds community, finds purpose, self-awareness and maturity.

She is such a quirky character and this book had me laughing out loud so many times. It is not a long book, so it felt like a quick, easy read. The last half of the book felt much more deep and meaningful. I definitely enjoyed this book, but I wouldn't say it blew me away. I loved the humorous bits and I loved so many of the zany community characters.

"But more often the end comes, kaput, without fanfare or signal."

Basically this is story of a woman who feels like she has lost everything, even herself. Then she must figure out how to redefine herself and move on. Definitely recommend. Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins for the ARC to read and review.

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Thank you to Book Club Girls and Mariner Books for this ARC.

Unfortunately, this book was not for me. Everything just seemed too cute by half and was trying to include too much. This combined with the formatting (a lack of quotation marks, in particular) just made this a hard book to get through. There were also whole passages describing random National Geographic articles.

Obviously, Conklin has great talent but this was just an overall miss for me.

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This character-driven novel follows an almost-30-year-old Darcy after her husband "skips" town (his name is Skip 🤣) with a skydiving instructor and she sublets their condo to move back in with her parents… but when Darcy arrives at the house she grew up in, her parents aren't there. Unbeknownst to her, they have relocated to a retirement community in Arizona for a one year trial period to see how they like the dry heat. Frustrated and feeling abandoned by everyone who she thought loved her, Darcy isolates herself in her parents' home, surviving on an overwhelming supply of canned food and talking to her favorite fern, Fred, although Fred also is no longer at the house. When she finally starts to leave the house again, Darcy has some interesting experiences, including finding lost pets, testing a trampoline, and assisting at a ring toss. If this quirky description sounds like your kind of sarcasm-filled fun, you should definitely check this book out!
I enjoyed reading Community Board because it was different from anything else I've read - and I read a lot of different styles and types of books! The writing brought me right inside Darcy’s mind, feeling her struggle to cope. I thought the ending brought a realistic sense of hope.
Thank you to Book Club Girl and Mariner Books for the NetGalley access in exchange for my honest opinion. This book comes out Tuesday 3/28 - I hope you check it out if it sounds interesting to you. I don’t think it will be everyone’s cup of tea, but I really enjoyed it!

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Darcy Clipper, 29 years old and recently dumped by her husband for another woman, heads to her hometown of Murbridge to drown her sorrows at her parents home. However, unknown to her, parents have relocated to Arizona and the town is filled with lots of new and unknown people. Over the next 100 plus days, we follow Darcy from her self-imposed isolation to the slow path of recovery and making new friends and getting her life back. An uplifting easy read!!

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3 1/2 stars

While Community Board had a great deal of promise, it moved very slowly for me. Twenty-nine year old Darcy Clipper has just been "skipped out on" by her husband Skip. She decides to return home to her parents where she anticipates they will shower her with comfort and love. But when she gets there, she finds they aren't home. They in fact are in another state temporarily and are contemplating selling the family home. Darcy is set adrift where nothing feels solid and she withdraws into herself and doesn't leave her parents' house for days.

Once Darcy does finally start venturing out, she meets some people who help her to start figuring out what life can be moving forward. Because up until now, Darcy is just taking the safe route in everything she does without really living life. Even though the book does pick up a bit, it still didn't grab my attention the way I would have liked.

Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC. I voluntarily chose to read and review it and the opinions contained within are my own.

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the actual community board postings were a refreshing and interesting inclusion to this otherwise pretty flat story, I wish there were more of them or even have the whole story told through posts. it focuses on recently single Darcey, approaching 30, trying to figure out how to move on with her life. although we are the same age and at similar life points, for some reason i never really connected to her as a character and therefore the story didn’t do much for me

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Community Board is a coming of age story about 29 year old - only child- recently dumped Darcy Clipper. She returns home to Murbridge, Massachusetts only to discover her parents have left home. Darcy slowly starts to relearn her hometown after while dealing with the shock of her broken marriage. The novel takes a fairly humorous turn as she connects with people and makes friends with Marcus, a stay at home dad with a dream to build the ultimate play area for the community. There is a lot of humor in the make up of the town, its history and its Internet bulletin board. My favorite part of the novel is the use of old National Geographic magazines in Darcy's home. Like those of my childhood, no one ever touched them and yet they were saved like collector's items. Conklin uses references to various people from various issues to good effect. A romp of a book. Fun. Quick read. Feel good.

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Thank you NetGalley, Book Club Girl, and Mariner Books for the copy of Community Board by Tara Conklin. While I loved the postings from the community group, everything else was flat for me. A story about a 29 year old woman who can’t take care of herself is not my cup of tea, so I guess I am not the right reader for this book. Darcy was so helpless emotionally and physically it was insulting. If you’re looking for a light-hearted story about the trial and tribulations of a newly single woman you might really like this. It just wasn't for me.

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I am probably (read: undoubtedly) an unconventional book blogger (in many respects). Like a good book blogger, I create a calendar of my upcoming reads along with the organization providing the ARC. And then I read–mostly–by chronological publishing date without regard to genre, author, etc., unless I’m really down and need a book-pill pick-me-up. There are times when I begin reading and don’t know what I am reading. Sometimes I’ll check the blurb, but other times, as was the case of Community Board by Tara Conklin, I will continue reading because it is so good that I just don’t care what it’s about. Which is kind of strange as I write it, but if you love books and stories and exciting voices, you probably won’t find it strange at all.

Community Board begins with Darcy Clipper, an actuarial analyst, being dumped by her husband Skip for skydiving instructor Bianca. Darcy, who is a mess because she was totally blind-sided, is given a seeming sabbatical from her job and returns to the loving home of her parents. Who are not there. The house is empty and she discovers that they are in Arizona and considering making it permanent. For weeks, Darcy lives on canned foods, chick peas straight from the can and Chef-Boy-R-Dee while reading the messages on the Community Board. Step-by-step, Darcy emerges from the doldrums, still battling anxiety, but discovering unexpected joys in a town she thought she knew.

This book is a delight. If I hadn’t been so hungry for such a delicious read, I might not have been so greedy, devouring it so quickly. (Too much food metaphor?) 😉

One element I very much appreciated was Conklin’s sense-of-humor–and sarcasm–that elevated Community Board from the typical literary/women’s fiction that frequently takes itself too seriously (albeit with good reason? I don’t know. We’ll think about that). Darcy is self-deprecating and kind and eccentric and loveable, although at the beginning I wondered exactly what kind of almost 30-year-old would pout and not speak to her parents. But if you start reading Community Board, don’t take that to heart. Take Darcy to heart.

While there is whimsy and magic and good heartedness in this novel, there are also blips of information. Pablo Nerudo. Marco Polo. What makes a democracy work–which should never be a divisive topic. And there’s a little interaction with a magic mushroom upon which the town of Murbridge was founded. Fascinating stuff.

So. I loved Community Board. I loved picking it up again and again and getting involved with Darcy and the folks of Murbridge. I loved the information, the moments of pause. And, I loved the fact that it made me so happy. A genuinely enjoyable read.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Loved the concept and how the story was told (mixed media really brought it to life). Hated the pity party Darcy seemed to constantly be throwing for herself.

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This was a most interesting book. Community Board sees Darcy through an extremely bad time in her life. She is so shocked by events that happen when her husband leaves her, that she goes underground at her childhood home. It takes the help,of several members of her Murbridge community to help guide her back.

I enjoyed Darcy’s rebirth.

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I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway and I received an ARC from the publisher from Netgalley, so thanks to both for the opportunity! This is a very comical (but not laugh out loud funny) and quirky story. Darcy returns to her very Stars Hollow-like hometown after her husband leaves her. She self isolates there and develops social anxiety. During this time, she views the world through old National Geographic magazines left behind in her childhood home and the “community board” for her small hometown while eating only canned goods from her parents’ doomsday stash. They have moved to Arizona to try out a retirement community there without telling her and thus she is on the outs with them and only communicates with them via email.

The first half or so of this book was mixed for me. Darcy is obviously depressed and needs therapy. I could sympathize with her desire to return home and lock herself up away from the world, but after a while it was just like, come on, Darcy. Get some help. It doesn’t have to be this hard.

The second half was significantly better and the idea of community really comes through. The whole small town, Board of Selectman, community board was so relevant to me that it just tickled me over and over again.

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3.5 stars

I read Tara Conklin’s previous novel The Last Romantics and absolutely loved it! That book was so well-written, with characters that were memorable albeit not always likable, an emotional story arc, and a plot that unfolded slowly but still had a good balance of surprising moments that felt both poignant and genuine. Given the above, it should come as no surprise that, as soon as I found out Conklin would have a new book out this month, I jumped at the chance to read it. While there were aspects of her new novel, Community Board that appreciated and even enjoyed, I didn’t really take to the book overall as much as I did her previous one. Perhaps my expectations were too high going into this one, which I thought would be in the same vein as The Last Romantics, but of course, turned out to be entirely different.

The story revolves around main protagonist Darcy Clipper, who, driven by the heartbreak of her husband leaving her for another woman, returns to the small town of Murbridge, Massachusetts where she grew up. Expecting to be consoled by her parents, she is disappointed to find that they had left on a trip to Arizona without telling her. Darcy then shuts herself inside her childhood home in a self-imposed period of isolation where she shuns all contact with the outside world and subsists primarily on a diet of Chef Boyardee and chickpeas. During this solitary period, Darcy spends most of her time alternately feeling sorry for herself, blaming her friends and family for abandoning her, and reading decades-old issues of National Geographic magazine cover-to-cover. Her only contact with the outside world, for the most part, is through the community board where the residents of Murbridge post various updates and messages related to their little town. After a few months, Darcy starts to run out of food and, not wanting to ask her parents for money (because she is still mad at them for not being there to take care of her), she has to find a way to make money, which finally forces her to venture out of the house. She ends up working for a guy named Marcus Dash-Lagrand, who had just moved into Murbridge with his husband Dan and their 3 sons, and through increased interactions with the family (as well as a handful of others), she slowly emerges from her shell and, more importantly, learns that she can indeed survive on her own.

The format of the story consists of mostly a third-person narrative interspersed with Darcy’s emails (ones that she drafts but never sends out and ones that she actually does send) and posts from the Murbridge community board. I thought this format was interesting and effective — I especially enjoyed the community board posts, which I recognized as being similar to the quirky stuff I typically see on my local neighborhood’s community board. I also liked the humor that permeated much of the story line — sure, some of it was cynical and raunchy and borderline outlandish at times, but for some reason, it worked in this instance (which is saying something because I usually prefer more subtle humor — “slapstick”-type humor is generally a hit or miss for me).

With all that said, what didn’t work for me was Darcy’s self-imposed isolation and self-absorbed pity party taking up nearly half of the story. I’m not opposed to characters having to work out their feelings after facing a difficult situation, but the setup here was a bit too excessive in my opinion. Darcy essentially spends the first half of the story revisiting over and over again everything that is wrong with her life; alternating between blaming her husband (for having an affair), her friends (for abandoning her), and her parents (for coddling her and doing too much for her); and depriving herself of proper sleep, nutrition, and hygiene. At first, I did feel sorry for Darcy, but after having to spend page after page (after page after page) absorbed in her complaints, I started getting increasingly annoyed and frustrated. Luckily, in the second half of the story, Darcy finally ventures out and allows herself to interact with people in the community, which is when things actually started to get interesting.

Overall, I would say that, while I don’t regret reading this one, I wish I hadn’t gone into it with such high expectations. Definitely lesson learned!

Received ARC from Mariner Books via NetGalley.

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A coming of age story can happen at any age and here Darcy happens to be 29. Moving home after her husband dumps her, she closes herself off to the world until she can’t anymore. What she finds is a delightful community and value in being a part of something.

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