Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Title: The Accidental Book Club
Author: Jennifer Scott
Publisher: NAL Trade
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Reviewed by: Ellen Fritz
Ellen’s rating: 4/5


Jean Vison never expected to run a book club, until her life took an unexpected turn. Now, with Jean’s husband gone, what began as an off-the-cuff idea has grown into a group of six women who meet the second Tuesday of every month for a potluck supper, for wine and laughter—and for books.

There’s Loretta, who deals with the lack of intimacy in her marriage by diving into erotic novels. Dorothy, whose ruffian sons are a never-ending source of stress. May entertains the group with her outrageous dating stories, while Mitzi finds something political to rant about in every book—including Loretta’s trashy romances. Even Janet, with her mousy shyness and constant blush, has helped Jean rediscover the joy in life.

So when Jean’s family starts unraveling again—her daughter forced into rehab and her troubled teen granddaughter, Bailey, coming to live with her in the interim—she turns to the book club for comfort and support. And, together, they all, even Bailey, discover that family is what you make of it, especially the family you choose…


Delightfully relaxing, The Accidental Book Club tells the story of recently widowed Jean Vison and the group of women who form a book club to help her deal with her grief. This accidentally formed group of friends not only eats, drinks, and discuss books, they also support one another and specifically Jean when family troubles come knocking.

Although this is a lovely story of friendship and healing, the true magic of this book is in the brilliantly crafted characters. From argumentative Midsy, troubled Dorothy and quiet Janet, to Loretta with her sharp wit and trashy romance novels, as well as May with her wildly imaginative romantic encounters, all these women contribute to a thoroughly mismatched and very endearing character cast.

Enter sixteen-year-old, troubled and nastily spiteful Bailey Butler to stir things up for the complacent group of friends. Of course, with Bailey being her granddaughter, poor quiet Jean bears the brunt of this invasion. Fortunately, the book club members are ready to support her.

Although this book deals with serious questions like alcoholism, divorce, out of control children and the loss of a loved one, the constant underlying thread of humor just kept a smile on my face. The lively, witty dialogue is balanced by moments of sadness and several anxiety-provoking incidents.

Comfortably paced, yet always moving forward, The Accidental Book Club is a heartwarming story that I can recommend as pleasant, light reading.

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