Life Here

January 19, 2017 By Liz Wildberger

PVE Book Discussion Group’s Favorite Winter Reads

Few things are more pleasurable on a cold winter afternoon than curling up with a good book. The PVE Book Discussion Group is a devoted—and avid—group of readers who meet every month for a lively literary discussion.

If you’re looking for a good read to help you through the winter chill, why not give one of our recent picks a try?

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.

In this fantasy/historic blend, Whitehead imagines engineers and conductors who operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil in pre-Civil War times.

Although the historical facts of the operation of safe houses for runaway slaves is carefully researched and presented, there is a Harry Potter-like quality to the ingenious concept that author Whitehead creates.

As Whitehead brilliantly recreates the unique terrors for African Americans in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of today.


My Ántonia by Willa Cather

Willa Cather, a novelist who portrayed the American West vividly, ended her trilogy of life on the Nebraska plains with My Ántonia. After her descriptive and intriguing O, Pioneers and Song of the Lark, Cather approached the childhood and adult lives of two pioneer families. James Burden is the narrator and Antonia Schermer is the daughter of sturdy Bohemian parents determined to make a new life on the Nebraska plains.


The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews

The Heart Mender is based on the World War II experiences an embittered widow living in the United States and an injured German U-boat crew member.

Based on an actual event, this story is woven into historical fiction by a skillful author. It is a tale of life, intrigue and, ultimately, forgiveness. Concepts such as symbolic imagery, the nature of decisions, and the power of forgiveness are explored in a remarkable account of a coincidence that proved to be a healing process.


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