Books and Bites is an ongoing book discussion group exploring novels and nonfiction.
Wednesday, March 18; The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See
A new novel from Lisa See, the New York Times bestselling author of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, about female friendship and family secrets on a small Korean island.
Mi-ja and Young-sook, two girls living on the Korean island of Jeju, are best friends that come from very different backgrounds. When they are old enough, they begin working in the sea with their village’s all-female diving collective, led by Young-sook’s mother. As the girls take up their positions as baby divers, they know they are beginning a life of excitement and responsibility but also danger.
Despite their love for each other, Mi-ja and Young-sook’s differences are impossible to ignore. The Island of Sea Women is an epoch set over many decades, beginning during a period of Japanese colonialism in the 1930s and 1940s, followed by World War II, the Korean War and its aftermath, through the era of cell phones and wet suits for the women divers.
Thursday, April 30; Olive Again by Elizabeth Strout
#1 New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout continues the life of her beloved Olive Kitteridge, a character who has captured the imaginations of millions. Strout’s stories form a cohesive novel, both sequel and culmination, that captures, with humor, compassion, and embarrassing detail, aging, loss, loneliness, and love. Strout again demonstrates her gift for zeroing in on ordinary moments in the lives of ordinary people to highlight their extraordinary resilience.
Wednesday, June 3; A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum
This first novel, by an Arab-American woman, gives us a compelling view of the lives of conservative Arab women living in America. We watch as each of the two main characters, Isra, and much later, her daughter, Deva, tries to navigate the life she is exposed to outside the Brooklyn home and the sheltered, protected life with no freedom inside.