ALTON BOOK CHAT ~ 7 PM ON THE 2ND TUESDAY, MONTHLY

7:00 pm, February 11

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Go set a watchman: a novel 

by Harper Lee 

#1 New York Times Bestseller


Go Set a Watchman is such an important book, perhaps the most important novel on race to come out of the white South in decades."  — New York Times 


A landmark novel by Harper Lee, set two decades after her beloved Pulitzer Prize–winning masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird.


MAYCOMB,  ALABAMA.  Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch—“Scout”—returns home  from New  York City to visit her aging father, Atticus. Set against the  backdrop  of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were   transforming the South, Jean Louise’s homecoming turns bittersweet when   she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town,  and  the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back,  and  her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of  the  iconic characters from To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in painful yet necessary   transition out of the illusions of the past—a journey that can only be   guided by one’s own conscience.


Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of the late   Harper Lee. Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity,  passion,  humor, and effortless precision—a profoundly affecting work of  art that  is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to  our own  times. It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill a Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context, and new meaning to an American classic.

7:00 pm, March 10

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Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II  

by Robert Matzen


Twenty-five  years after her passing, Audrey Hepburn remains the most  beloved of  all Hollywood stars, known as much for her role as UNICEF  ambassador as  for films like Roman Holiday and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Several biographies have chronicled her stardom, but none has covered   her intense experiences through five years of Nazi occupation in the   Netherlands.   

 

According to her son, Luca Dotti, “The war made my mother  who she was.” Audrey Hepburn’s war included participation in the Dutch Resistance, working as a doctor’s assistant during the “Bridge Too Far"  battle of Arnhem, the brutal execution of her uncle, and the ordeal of the Hunger Winter of 1944. She also had to contend with the fact that   her father was a Nazi agent and her mother was pro-Nazi for the first   two years of the occupation. But the war years also brought triumphs as   Audrey became Arnhem’s most famous young ballerina. Audrey’s own   reminiscences, new interviews with people who knew her in the war,   wartime diaries, and research in classified Dutch archives shed light  on  the riveting, untold story of Audrey Hepburn under fire in World War   II. Also included is a section of color and black-and-white photos.  Many  of these images are from Audrey’s personal collection and are  published  here for the first time.

7:00 pm, April 14

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True Colors 

by Kristin Hannah


True Colors is New York Times bestselling author Kristin Hannah's most provocative, compelling, and   heart-wrenching story yet. With the luminous writing and unforgettable   characters that are her trademarks, she tells the story of three  sisters  whose once-solid world is broken apart by jealousy, betrayal,  and the  kind of passion that rarely comes along.


The  Grey sisters have  always been close. After their mother's death, the  girls banded  together, becoming best friends. Their stern, disapproving  father cares  less about his children than about his reputation. To  Henry Grey,  appearances are everything, and years later, he still  demands that his  daughters reflect his standing in the community.  


Winona,  the  oldest, needs her father's approval most of all. An overweight  bookworm  who never felt at home on the sprawling horse ranch that has  been in her  family for three generations, she knows that she doesn't  have the  qualities her father values. But as the best lawyer in town,  she's  determined to someday find a way to prove her worth to him.

Aurora,   the middle sister, is the family peacemaker. She brokers every dispute   and tries to keep them all happy, even as she hides her own secret  pain.  Vivi   Ann is the undisputed star of the family. A stunningly beautiful   dreamer with a heart as big as the ocean in front of her house, she is   adored by all who know her. Everything comes easily for Vivi Ann, until  a  stranger comes to town. . . .


In  a matter of moments, everything  will change. The Grey sisters will be  pitted against one another in ways  that none could have imagined.  Loyalties will be tested and secrets  revealed, and a terrible, shocking  crime will shatter both their family  and their beloved town. 


With breathtaking pace and penetrating emotional insight, True Colors is an unforgettable novel about sisters, rivalry, forgiveness, redemption---and ultimately, what it means to be a family.