Bev’s Imaginary Book Club: Then She Was Gone, Ask Again, Yes and The Great Alone.

Heeeey-oh it’s another book club blog post!

It’s been a while since my last OFFICIAL book club post on this internet website url blog. And the question I get so often in my Insta DMs and even some texts from friends is, “Is there an official list somewhere on the blog because I can’t find it and you suck.”

Yes! Yes I’ve got lists everywhere, but HERE, TODAY, RIGHT NOW I’ll give you last year’s list, the current batch of books I’m inhaling, and the next round of February/March books we plan to devour.

And while I’m at it, a few reviews, boo. Oh that rhymed.

Let’s start with a book that has STAYED WITH ME since I read it last . . . um, summer? It was forever and a day ago. (<–remember when we said that in the ’90s? I miss my bangs.) (also, try not to be jealous of my pant lint.)

This book, Then She was Gone, is one of those seemingly harmless stories of a young girl that’s gone missing. Except, she’s really gone. Gone gone. Gone girl. Wait, that’s a different book.

But what makes this story so GREAT is that while it’s a psycho thriller mystery, you also get to read Ellie’s side (the 15-year old missing gal) and know where she is, how she got there, what happens to her and it is a complete.freaking.nightmare.

But that’s not even the half of it. I mean it’s TRAGIC, yes, and you’ll barf read. But it gets so bonkers crazy after that.

I’m not going to spoil anything! But, let me just say this. There are so many layers of motherly guilt, parental grieving, sibling indifference, a random little little girl 10 years later that oh hi, looks SO MUCH like little missing Ellie from a decade ago. Dun dun DUUUUUN.

There’s also a character named Floyd so what’s not to love?

Read this. It’s a white-knuckled, heart-thumping, bone-chilling, wide-eyed read that you’ll completely destroy in a day.

Okay, Ask Again, Yes.

GOOD GASH.

I always appreciate a book that spans the decades and invites us to grow older with the characters, watching all the personal changes over the years, how tragedy affects families, how love brings them back, seeing them to the very end of their days. And this one? Well, it nails it.

I’m not going to spoil anything! But, it’s a 1970s tale of two neighboring families with two teens with the mega hots for each other in the NYC area (a bit of a Romeo and Juliet vibe if you ask me) in a long-standing feud that explodes one night in a MAJOR way. I’m talking a gun and a face. You take a guess.

This book has it all! (said like Stefon.) Mental illness, blossoming love, an unlikely affair, heart healing, FACE healing, familial stubbornness that takes your heart on a roller coaster of devastation and surprising compassion.

You’re like, “Stop being so vague and tell us what happened!”

No. You must read it. And then come back and tell me who would play Kate and Peter (AND ANNE omg) in the movie.

The Great Alone.

I don’t even know WHAT to say about this book except it gave me all the Where the Crawdads Sing meets Gilmore Girls vibes and I could not have loved anything more if I tried. (okay okay, I haven’t read The Nightingale yet, so I might come back with a different opinion post read!)

It’s a COLD book. And by that I mean, it’s Alaska in the 1970s with no heater and only an outhouse in the middle of po-bunk nowhere.

But it’s brilliant.

I’m not going to spoil anything! But, it’s a family of three, the dad monumentally affected by his time in Vietnam, who decides to journey north (like, way way north) to find a new life homesteading in the depths of rural Alaska. And ish. goes. wild.

Another one of those books that follows time. And community. And tragedy. And change. And young love. And mother/daughter commitment. The writing is soulful, descriptive, painful, like – takes you TO EVERY BREATH they’re breathing. The smaller moments between the larger moments. The spontaneity of human reaction, and the trickle of catastrophes that follow. The stillness in it all. The haunted vast of freakin’ Alaska. It’s just unbelievable.

You’re like, “Stop being so vague and tell us what happened!”

No. You have to read it. Bump it up today! Amazon prime it! Sell a liver, I don’t care!

(I still think Joaquin Phoenix would play a stellar ERNT. And Soairse Ronan as Leni? Duh.)

Okay, wormies! This is the full list of what we read last year. Try not to be jealous of my sweet color change in the fonts. Also, that’s supposed to read WHERE’D Ya Go, Bernadette. Not You’d You Go. I was distracted by things and life.

If you’re curious about any of these, you can always peep my Instagram highlights reel and find the reviews for (95% of) them! Just don’t laugh at my hair.

THIS is the first batch of 2020.

I just finished The Giver of Stars last night (review coming!) and have only two books left to eat in this round. I’ll start This is How it Always Is tonight and keep your faces posted on what I think.

Have you read any of these? Have any thoughts to share? You know I need these details to thrive.

And THIS is what’s to come! I’m still unsure of the exact order here, but as soon as the books arrive, I’ll update in my Stories and in Flotsam.

Have you read any of these? Have any thoughts to share? Besides, MAKE THE NIGHTINGALE YOUR LIFE MISSION? I know, I know. On it, Chachi.

Lastly, here I am on Goodreads! Feel free to send along suggestions for spring reading, and I’ll pop it on the list and we’ll get her dunzo. (<–that was for you, Sarah and Laura.)

And lastly lastly, do you dig these kinds of posts? Should I up the game and get one of these up every other month? Thank you and goodbyeforever.

And by forever I mean tomorrow morning at 5:30am.

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22 Responses to Bev’s Imaginary Book Club: Then She Was Gone, Ask Again, Yes and The Great Alone.

  1. Cass (@novaquilts) January 23, 2020 at 9:21 am #
    Oye! (Yes, I’m a Yiddish grandma... in my heart) This is how it always is was incredible and gutting and wow. I hope you love it as much as I did!
  2. Tiffany January 23, 2020 at 10:09 am #
    The Nightingale will definitely stick with you, but not because you necessarily want it to. I’m glad I read it and it was very well written. But it’s haunting...I’ll just put it that way.
    • Shannon January 23, 2020 at 11:45 am #
      Agreed! The Nightingale is the most sad, yet best book I’ve ever read. An amazing historical fiction book and a must read!!
  3. Amanda January 23, 2020 at 10:37 am #
    There are so many on your lists that I want to read!!! Why do I not have more reading time?! I've had Lillian Boxfish on my kindle for a long while so I'll definitely be reading that along with you. I just sent you a friend request on GR!
  4. Jodi January 23, 2020 at 10:57 am #
    Now my TBR list is even longer. Gah! Good thing I've already read some of them. Thanks for sharing your reads with us. I always like when you tell us what you're reading.
  5. Ashley January 23, 2020 at 11:07 am #
    I liked Regretting You. I read her book It Ends With Us first, and it seriously broke my heart in half, so good! Just finished the Great Alone and loved it, but for some reason The Nightingale description isn't doing it for me so haven't dove in yet.
  6. Gail Glogowski January 23, 2020 at 11:40 am #
    We have the same taste in books. I have read most of the books on your lists. When I get a moment, I will share some other suggestions. Happy Reading!
  7. Beckett @ Birchwood Pie January 23, 2020 at 12:12 pm #
    I agree 10,000% with you on And Then She Was Gone and The Great Alone. I haven't read Ask Again Yes but since you're including it with the other two books that tells me I need to read it soon. If you're looking for more Lisa Jewell, I Found You is on a level with Gone.
  8. Amanda January 23, 2020 at 12:15 pm #
    I can’t wait to hear what you think of This Is How It Always Is! I loved it. I was a puddle of tears about half way through too.
  9. Kimberly January 23, 2020 at 12:37 pm #
    I read the Giver of Stars for my not pretend book club and our meeting was last night. It was unanimously loved!
  10. Tracey January 23, 2020 at 1:10 pm #
    Oh!! Just cracked - Then She Was Gone!! Now I'm excited to delve in!! Thanks for all of this!
  11. Jenn P January 23, 2020 at 1:28 pm #
    The Most Fun We Ever had is one of my Top 5 from last year. I loved it so much. I have Ask Again, Yes on my TBR shelf, I'll pick that up next.
  12. Anonymous January 23, 2020 at 2:59 pm #
    Add Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah to your list. It's right up there with Great Alone and Nightingale.
  13. Lo January 23, 2020 at 5:15 pm #
    Yes! You’ve become my go to for book suggestions! You read crazy fast but I got through nine from your list last year and loved them all...keep em coming! I worry about spoilers in your stories (you’re good about warning...it’s not you, it’s me) and you know I’m checking that ish at work so reading blog posts would be easier than listening ;)
  14. Mom24 January 23, 2020 at 6:34 pm #
    This Is How It Always Is is amazing. I LOVED that book.
  15. Kelsey January 23, 2020 at 6:38 pm #
    Oh! Speaking of “cold books,” I’m almost done with Winter Garden-also by Kristin Hannah! It is freezing! Its amazing but freezing! It’s set in Washington state circa 2000/2001 and WWII Russia in the winter! I literally just told my husband yesterday “this book I’m reading is so cold like literally the book is making me cold! He told me I was weird for describing a book as cold. I’m going to go tell him that “Bev, my cooking and reading instagram lady” also used “cold” to describe a book.
    • Morgan January 29, 2020 at 3:37 pm #
      YESSSSS! Winter Garden is my favorite Kristin Hannah book. Even better than The Nightingale or the Great Alone.
  16. Beverly January 23, 2020 at 8:16 pm #
    The Nightingale. It’s just so good. I need you to read that one first in your next batch of books, please, because I must hear your thoughts on it. Also, your imaginary book club is one of my most favorite things on the internets. ;)
  17. Anonymous January 24, 2020 at 2:28 am #
    Nightingale is on the top of my list of favorite books! Read it tomorrow! Recently, I finished Where the Crawdads Sing and you are right It has all the feels of The Great Alone.
  18. Tracy January 26, 2020 at 3:08 pm #
    I love these posts! Please continue! I've read most of these books. So many good ones. Such a Fun Age is an excellent book. It would be a great addition to the list!
  19. kristin February 11, 2020 at 9:59 pm #
    What is the plant in the veeeeerrryyyy first picture crawling over the books?
    • Bev Weidner February 13, 2020 at 6:31 am #
      It's a rubber tree! Looove this plant. We'd had it for years!

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