Seattleite Book Club: October 2011

Dear Seattleite Readers,

Welcome to the Seattleite Book Club – the only virtual book club that spotlights the Pacific Northwest’s own authors and publishers!

Last month we got a little personal with Fall Fashion for “Underneath it All: A Girl’s Guide to Buying, Wearing and Loving Lingerie” by local lingerie boutique owner Jennifer Manuel Carroll and writer Kathy Schultz. This humorous and educational read is a treat for any woman looking to understand how to dress from the inside out!

October Selection: “Broken For You” by Stephanie Kallos

For fall comfort month, you might have been expecting a review of some heartwarming tale about love and friendship, that feel-good type of book that is cozy and cute. Well, “Broken For You,” the debut title from novelist Stephanie Kallos, is definitely the perfect piece for a fiction splurge, but it’s hardly a conventional novel.

Shy, elderly Margaret learns that she has a malignant brain tumor and decides to forgo treatment and live out her days in her Seattle mansion. The myriad of antique sculptures, china, and pottery that her father stole from Jewish families during World War II, which she cleans regularly, aren’t enough company to make dying at home an interesting endeavor.

In hopes of some form of companionship, and a break from the life she has lived since the terrible accident that broke apart her family, Margaret decides to rent a room. Along comes Wanda, a stage manager with a bumpy past and turbulent emotions. What ensues in this national bestseller is a tale of artistic inspiration, ghosts and secrets, coincidental moments, and finding family in the most unexpected of places.

Even ghosts get to play a part in this part-comedy, part-drama — and very human — novel. The chats Margaret has with her aloof, critical and finicky late mother take a strong tone throughout the book.

“It’s the greatness of relationships,” Kallos explained. “In the same way that we have ongoing conversations about people who aren’t in the room … even after a person leaves us, the relationship isn’t over.”

The book is full of eccentric characters (alive and not) that are artfully crafted by Kallos’ unique style. Follow Margaret as she deals with her impending death by letting go of her past and embracing her future. Watch Wanda discover herself in a whole new way, face trauma, and make a whole new future for herself.

Treat yourself to some comfort reading this fall, and enjoy the laughs, drama, tears and moments of revelation that make“Broken for You” such a pleasurable read.

“Broken for You” by Stephanie Kallos is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound beginning at $10.17 (new).

If you have any Seattleite Book Club comments, please email bnehring@seattleite.com.