Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Blue Bottle Club by Penelope J. Stokes

In the wake of the depression of 1929, four friends gather in a cold, dusty attic on Christmas day to make a solemn pact. Our dreams for the future, they whisper, as they place tiny pieces of paper holding their life wishes into the blue, cabin-shaped bottle. Letitia dreams of marriage and children; Mary hopes to be a painter; Eleanor aspires to help those in need as a social worker; Adora longs to be a Broadway actress. Four girls, four dreams, and four futures sealed in a cobalt blue bottle.

Sixty-five years later, local news reporter Brendan Delaney stumbles upon the bottle, discovering the most meaningful story of her career and possibly the meaning missing from her own life.

My take: 3 looks
I happened upon this book at the public library, and remembered that a friend had recommended it. I liked the premise of the story very much: four young friends write their dreams for the future and put them all in a bottle which is then nestled in the rafters of an attic. 65 years later, the bottle is discovered by a reporter and she takes it as her personal journey to find out what became of each woman.

The reporter, Brendan, fell completely flat for me. I had no sympathy for her and related to her just on a very surface-level. Her angst seemed to be self-fulfilling and that always brings a lack of compassion from me.

The four friends, however, saved the rating for me. I loved how their stories were interwoven and took turns that were completely unexpected. I felt as if I was getting to know them as I read, and wanted to know more as the story wore on. I would have liked to be in the company of these friends.

While the book earns only 3 stars from me this time, it reads a bit like a first or second novel, and I will definitely read more by this author, hoping her style matures a bit.


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