The Book That Matters Most: A Novel

The Book That Matters Most: A Novel

by Ann Hood


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780594859963
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 08/01/2017
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 99,923
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.30(h) x 1.00(d)

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.

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The Book That Matters Most 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Want to reread this right now . .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really like this book but it took me awhile to finish it. I found the story to be congested with too many characters to remember sometimes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good but predictable.
KateUnger More than 1 year ago
In The Book That Matters Most Ava joins the book club at her local library to meet new people. Her husband left her last year, and she’s having a hard time moving on. Her best friend, Cate, the librarian, has chosen the theme “The Book That Matters Most” for the year’s book club selections. Each member chooses a book that made a lasting impact on their lives. For obvious reasons, Ann Hood had most of the characters choose classic novels (so the reader would be familiar with them), but Ava chooses a rare, out of print children’s book. It’s a book someone gave her as a gift after her younger sister died. This novel alternates between Ava, her daughter Maggie, her mother Charlotte, and Hank, the police officer on Ava’s sister’s case. Hood has laid the book out month-by-month as Ava reads and discusses each book club selection with her group. Her pick is scheduled for the end of the year. As the story draws to a close, we learn more about Ava’s past, the children’s book she selected, and the details surrounding the day of her sister’s death. I could not put this book down. The writing style was so compelling, and the suspense was very well done. I enjoyed hopping back and forth between the characters and timelines. The book club discusses and additional characters added to the story without being overdone. The multi-generational characters is this book make it perfect for readers of all ages. I wish I could find more books like this one. I’ll have to check out some of Ann’s other books.
sstrider More than 1 year ago
Loved, loved, loved this book. I read it in four short days. What a wonderful premise - a book club devoting a year to books that mattered most to each of them. Then there was the story, and I love stories! Ava is dealing with losses and new beginnings. The intertwining of the book club and Ava's journey is perfection. You must read this book!
smg5775 More than 1 year ago
Ava's husband has left her and her daughter is a drug addict. With time on her hands, Ava joins a book group. Their theme for the year is the book that matters most to each person. Ava picks a book that is hard to find. I enjoyed this book. Ava learns about her past, herself, and her mother. She discovers the answers to questions she has had. She also learns the story of the book that matters most to her. This is a keeper.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the book immensely. A good read
TiBookChatter More than 1 year ago
The Short of It: Surprisingly enjoyable. The Rest of It: After Ava’s marriage falls apart, she finds herself desperate for companionship. So desperate, that at the suggestion of a close friend, she joins her book club. The club’s reading theme for the year is “the book that matters most”. The participants select books like The Great Gatsby or To Kill a Mockingbird but Ava selects a book from her childhood that many are not familiar with. As Ava navigates life and tries to figure out where to go next, her daughter Maggie spends her days in Paris as a kept woman and spirals downward into the dark sea of addiction. I wasn’t sure what to expect when this book was selected for my book club. Honestly, I felt like it would be too fluffy and dare I say it, too romantic and sappy but it was none of those things. The Book That Matters Most deals with some pretty deep topics. I found myself eagerly flipping the pages and because it centers around a book club, there is plenty of bookish talk which I always enjoy. This book has been around for a little while but I don’t recall ever seeing it before it was selected for my club. I’m glad I read it. I felt like the daughter’s story was more developed than Ava’s but overall it was an enjoyable, page-turning read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bit frustrating at times and good if you are in the mood for some family drama. Good storytelling with a fair bit of lucky happenstance. Feels good at the end and a good chunk of things get tied up.
KatKohler More than 1 year ago
Ann Hood Does Not Disappoint! A satisfying read from cover to cover. And a story so compelling I could hardly put the book down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you participate in a book club, I think you'll enjoy reading this book. Don't want to spoil the ending for anyone, but found it disappointing, compared to the rest of the book.
girlfromwvaKY More than 1 year ago
This novel is from the best selling author of The Knitting Circle. It is about loving, losing, keeping secrets, friendships old and new, and how sometimes, literature can help you get through certain situations. Ava has been married for 25 years. Now her marriage is falling apart and her grown children are outside of the country beginning their own lives. Ava has been invited by her friend to join a book club. She joins because she has always loved reading and she is desperate for some time with other people. She is tired of going home to an empty house alone. The book group sets a goal that throughout the year, each member offers the book that matters most to them. Ava really thinks about it, and the only one she wants to add to everyone's reading list is a book from her childhood. The book came to her by way of a mysterious woman, but she read it over and over while growing up. Her sister and mother had untimely deaths and the book helped her through the trauma in dealing with it. This novel goes between Ava and her daughter Maggie's stories. Maggie is troubled and living in Paris. She is supposed to be enrolled in school there, but a relationship with an older man gets destructive and Maggie leaves school behind. She keeps the truth from her mother, father and brother. Ava tries finding the book, the author who seems to not exist, and herself. Maggie comes up missing, and Ava's search to finding her resolves some secrets of her past. The past gives Ava and Maggie a chance to make over their lives. I really enjoyed the book. I am glad that some things were resolved for Ava in the book. I am glad that Ava was strong enough in herself not to take her husband back. I am glad that Maggie was able to finally find her way out of the trouble she was in.
ThoughtsFromaPage More than 1 year ago
The Book That Matters Most was not the book for me. The concept sounded wonderful, and I was really looking forward to reading it. However, it did not meet my expectations because the story was disjointed. The main character Ava drove me a little crazy because she was either very naïve or just uninterested in the welfare of her daughter who was clearly troubled. The ending seemed unrealistic also and somewhat sad. Thanks to BookBrowse for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.