The Blackout Book Club by Amy Lynn Green
Historical Fiction | Christian Fiction
Amy Lynn Green has been on my auto-buy list since her debut novel, Things We Didn’t Say. But when I saw the blurb for her newest novel, The Blackout Book Club, I knew we were in for a real treat. A book about books? WWII fiction? A story about unlikely friendship? This one checked all the boxes!
Strong friendship themes are one of my favorite things to encounter in books, and this one was beautifully done. The book is from the perspective of four main characters: Avis, Ginny, Martina, and Louise. While the number of main characters made the first few chapters a little difficult to follow, the women each have very distinct personalities and voice and it didn’t take long to sort them out.
Like Green’s previous novels, The Blackout Book Club is set in the USA during the Second World War. Amy is great at uncovering little known historical facts, and I found the U-boat activity along the American coast and the Coastal Picket Patrol particularly fascinating plot points within this story. But while the book is set during WWII, the war itself paints a backdrop to the story rather than the main purpose. For those who regularly read WWII-set novels, this gives a fresh take on the genre.
The Blackout Book Club will also appeal to fans of another popular sub-genre — books about books! Today’s bookworms will appreciate all the references within to both popular “classics” and perhaps, a few lesser-known stories as well. Green always includes letters and such in with her novels, and in this case, we get notes from the book club! I thought this was a clever way to get all the information across quickly and concisely, without giving away actual book spoilers or making the book club scenes feel repetitive for readers.
While there are some moments of action towards the end, ultimately this is a very character-driven plot. The characters deal with authentic, real-life struggles and worries, unique to each of them — but in a way that isn’t overly heavy for the reader. This makes the book feel like a warm, historical hug. It’s cozy and sweet, and packed with all the charm and lively secondary-characters you want from a small-town story like this.
With its strong female leads, unique WWII setting, and gorgeous themes of togetherness, community, and reading, The Blackout Book Club easily hit my top ten for 2022! I highly recommend this for fans of historical novels and lovers of cozy, character-focused stories.
Fans of character-driven, historical fiction set during WWII.
This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Book provided courtesy of the author, Amy Lynn Green and Bethany House Publishers. All opinions expressed are my own.
About the book:
An impulsive promise to her brother before he goes off to the European Front puts Avis Montgomery in the unlikely position of head librarian in small-town Maine. Though she has never been much of a reader, when wartime needs threaten to close the library, she invents a book club to keep its doors open. The women she convinces to attend the first meeting couldn’t be more different–a wealthy spinster determined to aid the war effort, an exhausted mother looking for a fresh start, and a determined young war worker.
At first, the struggles of the home front are all the club members have in common, but over time, the books they choose become more than an escape from the hardships of life and the fear of the U-boat battles that rage just past their shores. As the women face personal challenges and band together in the face of danger, they find they share more in common with each other than they think. But when their growing friendships are tested by secrets of the past and present, they must decide whether depending on each other is worth the cost.