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Lavender Hill Designs

Book Club

Each month, we choose a new book written by a European author or taking place in Europe.

We've read books about real people who have moved to France and write about the challenges of integrating oneself into a totally different culture, historical fiction books (think WWII-era Europe), and lighter (but still entertaining) fiction that takes place in Italy or England.

Some of our readers travel frequently to Europe and some are armchair travelers, but we hope that our book club will be an entertaining trip to your favorite cities, a place to engage in lively discussions, and perhaps make some new friends!  

If you can't make the meetings in person, that's okay! You can still follow along and read with us as we travel to new places together. We hope you enjoy the journey!

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

May 2022 - The Rose Code

For May's meeting, we are reading The Rose Code by Kate Quinn. A heart-stopping World War II story of three female code breakers at Bletchley Park and the spy they must root out after the war is over.

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Finding Paris: A Novel by Joanne Kimes

April 2022 - Finding Paris

For April's meeting, we are reading Finding Paris: A Novel by Joanne Kimes about two friends deciding to live out the dream they've been too busy to live out before...
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The French Gift by Kirsty Manning

March 2022 - The French Gift

For March's meeting, we are reading The French Gift by Kirsty Manning, in which a forgotten manuscript that threatens to unravel the past…

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Book Club

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

May 2022 - The Rose Code

For May's meeting, we are reading The Rose Code by Kate Quinn. A heart-stopping World War II story of three female code breakers at Bletchley Park and the spy they must root out after the war is over.

Read more
Finding Paris: A Novel by Joanne Kimes

April 2022 - Finding Paris

For April's meeting, we are reading Finding Paris: A Novel by Joanne Kimes about two friends deciding to live out the dream they've been too busy to live out before...
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The French Gift by Kirsty Manning

March 2022 - The French Gift

For March's meeting, we are reading The French Gift by Kirsty Manning, in which a forgotten manuscript that threatens to unravel the past…

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Trust by Domenico Starnone

February 2022 - Trust by Domenico Starnone

For February's meeting, we are reading Trust by Domenico Starnone, which is a searing portrait of human relationships and human folly.

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Five Tuesdays in Winter by Lily King

January 2022 - Five Tuesdays in Winter

For January's meeting, we are reading Five Tuesdays in Winter by Lily King. It's a collection of short stories, which I thought would be perfect to read during the holidays when you don't always get enough time - or have the attention span - to read a full novel.

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December 2021 - Ritz & Escoffier

For December's meeting, we are reading Ritz & Escoffier: The Hotelier, the Chef, and the Rise of the Leisure Class by Luke Barr. This was a recommendation from a sweet friend who knows I love books about Europe, and I chose the book as our next read because it's based on a true story about how the famed hotelier, César Ritz, got his start in the industry at the Savoy Hotel in London.

Ritz & Escoffier by Luke BarrPlease find the details below for the next meeting:

Location: TBD
When: Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Time: 6:00 pm
Book: Ritz & Escoffier: The Hotelier, the Chef, and the Rise of the Leisure Class by Luke Barr

In a tale replete with scandal and opulence, Luke Barr, author of the New York Times bestselling Provence, 1970, transports readers to turn-of-the-century London and Paris to discover how celebrated hotelier César Ritz and famed chef Auguste Escoffier joined forces at the Savoy Hotel to spawn the modern luxury hotel and restaurant, where women and American Jews mingled with British high society, signaling a new social order and the rise of the middle class.

In early August 1889, César Ritz, a Swiss hotelier highly regarded for his exquisite taste, found himself at the Savoy Hotel in London. He had come at the request of Richard D'Oyly Carte, the financier of Gilbert & Sullivan's comic operas, who had modernized theater and was now looking to create the world's best hotel. D'Oyly Carte soon seduced Ritz to move to London with his team, which included Auguste Escoffier, the chef de cuisine known for his elevated, original dishes. The result was a hotel and restaurant like no one had ever experienced, run in often mysterious and always extravagant ways--which created quite a scandal once exposed.

Barr deftly re-creates the thrilling Belle Epoque era just before World War I, when British aristocracy was at its peak, women began dining out unaccompanied by men, and American nouveaux riches and gauche industrialists convened in London to show off their wealth. In their collaboration at the still celebrated Savoy Hotel, where they welcomed loyal and sometimes salacious clients, such as Oscar Wilde and Sarah Bernhardt, Escoffier created the modern kitchen brigade and codified French cuisine for the ages in his seminal Le Guide culinaire, which remains in print today, and Ritz, whose name continues to grace the finest hotels across the world, created the world's first luxury hotel. The pair also ruffled more than a few feathers in the process. Fine dining would never be the same--or more intriguing.

This book is available on Amazon, Kindle and Barnes and Noble.

If you can’t make a book club meeting that’s fine. There’s always next month!

If you are planning to attend, please R.S.V.P to info@lavenderhilldesigns.com or (843) 352-7042. 

I hope everyone stays well and heathy until our next meeting. 

~ Tracey

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November 2021 - What Only We Know

What Only We Know by Catherine HokinPlease find the details below for the next meeting:

Location: TBD
When: Tuesday, November 2, 2021
Time: 6:00 pm
Book: What Only We Know by Catherine Hokin

A beautiful and gripping wartime story about family secrets and impossible choices in the face of terrible hardship.

When Karen Cartwright is unexpectedly called home to nurse her ailing father, she goes with a heavy heart. The house she grew up in feels haunted by the memory of her father’s closely guarded secrets about her beautiful mother Elizabeth’s tragic death years before.

As she packs up the house, Karen discovers an old photograph and a stranger’s tattered love letter to her mother postmarked from Germany after the war.

During her life, Karen struggled to understand her shy, fearful mother, but now she is realizing there was so much more to Elizabeth than she knew. For one thing, her name wasn’t even Elizabeth, and her harrowing story begins long before Karen was born.

It’s 1941 in Nazi-occupied Berlin, and a young Jewish woman called Liese is being forced to wear a yellow star…

This book is available on Amazon, Kindle and Barnes and Noble.

If you can’t make a book club meeting that’s fine. There’s always next month!

If you are planning to attend, please R.S.V.P to info@lavenderhilldesigns.com or (843) 352-7042. 

I hope everyone stays well and heathy until our next meeting. 

~ Tracey

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October 2021 - The Guest List

Lavender Hill Designs Book Club October 2021 The Guest List by Lucy FoleyPlease find the details below for the next meeting:

Location: Lavender Hill Designs
When: Tuesday, October 5, 2021
Time: 6:00 pm
Book: The Guest List by Lucy Foley

The bride – The plus one – The best man – The wedding planner – The bridesmaid – The body

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more importantly, why?

This book is available on Amazon, Kindle and Barnes and Noble.

If you can’t make a book club meeting that’s fine. There’s always next month!

If you are planning to attend, please R.S.V.P to info@lavenderhilldesigns.com or (843) 352-7042. 

I hope everyone stays well and heathy until our next meeting. 

~ Tracey

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September 2021 - Woman on the Edge

Woman on the Edge by Samantha M. BaileyPlease find the details below for the next meeting:

Location: Lavender Hill Designs
When: Tuesday, September 7, 2021
Time: 6:00 pm
Book: Woman on the Edge by Samantha M. Bailey

A moment on the subway platform changes two women’s lives forever—a debut thriller that will take your breath away.

A total stranger on the subway platform whispers, “Take my baby.”

She places her child in your arms. She says your name.

Then she jumps...

In a split second, Morgan Kincaid’s life changes forever. She’s on her way home from work when a mother begs her to take her baby, then places the infant in her arms. Before Morgan can stop her, the distraught mother jumps in front of an oncoming train.

Morgan has never seen this woman before, and she can’t understand what would cause a person to give away her child and take her own life. She also can’t understand how this woman knew her name.

The police take Morgan in for questioning. She soon learns that the woman who jumped was Nicole Markham, prominent CEO of the athletic brand Breathe. She also learns that no witness can corroborate her version of events, which means she’s just become a murder suspect.

To prove her innocence, Morgan frantically retraces the last days of Nicole’s life. Was Nicole a new mother struggling with paranoia or was she in danger? When strange things start happening to Morgan, she suddenly realizes she might be in danger, too.

Woman on the Edge is a pulse-pounding, propulsive thriller about the lengths to which a woman will go to protect her baby—even if that means sacrificing her own life.

This book is available on Amazon, Kindle and Barnes and Noble.

If you can’t make a book club meeting that’s fine. There’s always next month!

If you are planning to attend, please R.S.V.P to info@lavenderhilldesigns.com or (843) 352-7042. 

I hope everyone stays well and heathy until our next meeting. 

~ Tracey

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August 2021 - Should We Stay Or Should We Go

Should We Stay Or Should We Go by Lionel Shriver
Please find the details below for the next meeting:

Location: Lavender Hill Designs
When: Tuesday, August 3, 2021
Time: 6:30 pm
Book: Should We Stay Or Should We Go by Lionel Shriver

*Due to a family emergency, this meeting has been cancelled*

When her father dies, Kay Wilkinson can’t cry. Over ten years, Alzheimer’s had steadily eroded this erudite man into a paranoid lunatic. Surely one’s own father passing should never come as such a relief.

Both medical professionals, Kay and her husband Cyril have seen too many elderly patients in similar states of decay. Although healthy and vital in their early fifties, the couple fears what may lie ahead. Determined to die with dignity, Cyril makes a modest proposal. To spare themselves and their loved ones such a humiliating and protracted decline, they should agree to commit suicide together once they’ve both turned eighty. When their deal is sealed, the spouses are blithely looking forward to another three decades together.

But then they turn eighty.

turns hilarious and touching, playful and grave, Should We Stay or Should We Go portrays twelve parallel universes, each exploring a possible future for Kay and Cyril. Were they to cut life artificially short, what would they miss out on? Something terrific? Or something terrible? Might they end up in a home? A fabulous luxury retirement village, or a Cuckoo’s Nest sort of home? Might being demented end up being rather fun? What future for humanity awaits—the end of civilization, or a Valhalla of peace and prosperity? What if cryogenics were really to work? What if scientists finally cure aging?

Both timely and timeless, Lionel Shriver addresses serious themes—the compromises of longevity, the challenge of living a long life and still going out in style—with an uncannily light touch. Weaving in a host of contemporary issues, from Brexit and mass migration to the coronavirus, Shriver has pulled off a rollicking page-turner in which we never have to mourn perished characters, because they’ll be alive and kicking in the very next chapter.

This book is available on Amazon, Kindle and Barnes and Noble.

 I hope everyone stays well and heathy until our next meeting. 

~ Tracey

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July 2021 - Our Italian Summer

Our Italian Summer by Jennifer ProbstPlease find the details below for the next meeting:

Location: Lavender Hill Designs
When: Tuesday, July 6, 2021
Time: 6:30 pm
Book: Our Italian Summer by Jennifer Probst

Three generations of women in the Ferrari family must heal the broken pieces of their lives on a trip of a lifetime through picturesque Italy from New York Times best-selling author Jennifer Probst.

Workaholic, career-obsessed Francesca is fiercely independent and successful in all areas of life except one: family. She struggles to make time for her relationship with her teenage daughter, Allegra, and the two have become practically strangers to each other. When Allegra hangs out with a new crowd and is arrested for drug possession, Francesca gives in to her mother's wish that they take one epic summer vacation to trace their family roots in Italy. She just never expected to face a choice that might change the course of her life...

Allegra wants to make her grandmother happy, but she hates the idea of forced time with her mother and vows to fight every step of the ridiculous tour, until a young man on the verge of priesthood begins to show her the power of acceptance, healing, and the heartbreaking complications of love.

Sophia knows her girls are in trouble. A summer filled with the possibility for change is what they all desperately need. Among the ruins of ancient Rome, the small churches of Assisi, and the rolling hills of Tuscany, Sophia hopes to show her girls that the bonds of family are everything and to remind them that they can always lean on one another, before it's too late.

This book is available on Amazon, Kindle and Barnes and Noble.

If you can’t make a book club meeting that’s fine. There’s always next month!

If you are planning to attend, please R.S.V.P to info@lavenderhilldesigns.com or (843) 352-7042. 

I hope everyone stays well and heathy until our next meeting. 

~ Tracey

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June 2021 - The Good Sister

 

The Good Sister by Sally HepworthPlease find the details below for the next meeting:

Location: Lavender Hill Designs
When: Tuesday, June 1, 2021
Time: 6:30 pm
Book: The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth

There's only been one time that Rose couldn't stop me from doing the wrong thing and that was a mistake that will haunt me for the rest of my life.

Fern Castle works in her local library. She has dinner with her twin sister Rose three nights a week. And she avoids crowds, bright lights and loud noises as much as possible. Fern has a carefully structured life and disrupting her routine can be...dangerous.

When Rose discovers that she cannot get pregnant, Fern sees her chance to pay her sister back for everything Rose has done for her. Fern can have a baby for Rose. She just needs to find a father. Simple.

Fern's mission will shake the foundations of the life she has carefully built for herself and stir up dark secrets from the past, in this quirky, rich and shocking story of what families keep hidden.

This book is available on Amazon, Kindle and Barnes and Noble.

If you can’t make a book club meeting that’s fine. There’s always next month!

If you are planning to attend, please R.S.V.P to info@lavenderhilldesigns.com or (843) 352-7042. 

I hope everyone stays well and heathy until our next meeting. Keep social distancing and washing those hands!

~ Tracey

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