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January 27, 2012

A Night Road Winner on Her Reading Group Experience with the Book

Posted by Katherine


This blog post comes from Denise Neary, one of our readers who recently won copies of Kristin Hannah's Night Road for everyone in her book group as part of a giveaway on Here is what she has to say about the experience:
I am not much of a cook, but I have a recipe for a fantastic book club:
1.    Enter a contest.
2.    Win copies of Night Road by Kristin Hannah for everyone in the group.
3.    Figure out a few great discussion prompts---easy to do with this rich text.
4.    Assemble a strongly opinionated group of readers.
5.    Add margaritas.
6.    Discuss!
Typically, our club selects books based on a member's strong interest, so I wondered how the group would respond to a book chosen for us.
I shouldn't have worried.
I knew we were going to have a great discussion when people called me before the meeting to talk about different parts of the book ---- including several fairly hilarious discussions about public crying.
Here is a summary of the book, from the author's site:
“For eighteen years, Jude Farraday has put her children’s needs above her own, and it shows --- her twins, Mia and Zach --- are bright and happy teenagers. When Lexi Baill moves into their small, close knit community, no one is more welcoming than Jude. Lexi, a former foster child with a dark past, quickly becomes Mia’s best friend. Then Zach falls in love with Lexi and the three become inseparable.
Jude does everything to keep her kids on track for college and out of harm’s way. It has always been easy --- until senior year of high school. Suddenly she is at a loss. Nothing feels safe anymore; every time her kids leave the house, she worries about them.
On a hot summer’s night her worst fears come true. One decision will change the course of their lives. In the blink of an eye, the Farraday family will be torn apart and Lexi will lose everything. In the years that follow, each must face the consequences of that single night and find a way to forget…or the courage to forgive.”
As is typical, the group....disagreed.  About big things and about little things.
Some loved the book, some not so much --- but everyone admitted it was compelling; a book that, once started, is impossible to put down.   
It turned out that everyone in the group confessed to crying reading it.  So, even for those who thought the ending too convenient, some of the characters undeveloped, the pull of the book was irresistible.
We argued about what it means to be a good parent, what it means to be a good child, what it means to support a child, what makes a good marriage, how to mourn loss, forgiveness, redemption, justice, poverty, privilege......quite the afternoon
Thanks to and Kristen Hannah for giving our group the chance to participate in this contest!  
Looking for a book for your group, guaranteed to prompt lively discussion?  Give Night Road a try….and bring your tissues.