Islington Reads

Islington Reads book club is open to all ages, genders and identities and to members and non-members of Islington United Church. 

Islington Reads offers participants the opportunity to read some great books and connect with other readers in a meaningful way.

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upcoming meetings

June 7, 2022 at 7:00 pm

Based on a true story, this powerful novel is set in Latvia’s capital during the horrific Rumbula massacre when 30,000 Jews were slaughtered over two days in 1941.

When Miriam and her family are rounded up and forced to live in the Jewish ghetto in Riga, Miriam chooses to give up her children to the care of a Gentile friend who will hide them. A few weeks later, Miriam, along with thousands of other Jews, is marched to the execution pits in the Rumbula forest. Incredibly, she manages to escape the carnage when night falls. Through a series of dramatic events, she finds sanctuary in the countryside, managing to hide for three years and survive the war. Consumed by guilt, she is finally reunited with her daughter. But she has lost her son.

Thirty-five years later, Miriam’s granddaughter, Sarah, is living in Chicago with her family. Seeking to understand her maternal family history, Sarah tries desperately to ferret out Miriam’s secret. Miriam does not want to revisit the past, but through persistence Sarah eventually finds out enough to impel her to travel to Riga to search for her uncle. But it is the height of the Cold War and Riga is under Soviet control. Now Sarah’s quest for the truth may threaten her freedom when she comes face to face with the KGB.

Told in chapters that alternate between 1941 and 1976, this gripping novel delves into the trauma faced by survivors of genocide down through the generations. 

Credit: Google Reads

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author visits

On March 8, 2022, Marianne Cronin joined Islington Reads to discuss her most first novel, The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot.

On January 11, 2022, Uzma Jalaluddin joined Islington Reads to discuss her most recent book, Hana Khan Carries On.

On November 2, 2021, Cedar Bowers joined Islington Reads to discuss her debut novel, Astra.

On September 14, 2021, Michael Crummey visited Islington Reads to discuss his novel, The Innocents.

June 2021: An interview with Lesley Crewe, author of The Spoon Stealer

May 2021: An interview with Abi Daré, author of The Girl with the Louding Voice

January 2021: An interview with Rachel McMillan, author of The London Restoration

Previous books

October 2020: The Wide Circumference of Love by Marita Golden

August 2020: Have You Seen Luis Velez? by Catherine Ryan Hyde

July 2020: Let Me Be Like Water by SK Perry

Where to find books

Books are available for purchase from A Novel Spot Bookshop located in the Humbertown Shopping Centre at 270 The Kingsway. You can order books by calling the store at 416-233-2665 or visiting their website at novelspot.ca. Curbside pickups are available, as are deliveries in the M8 and M9 postal code areas for orders over $50. Books may also be available from other booksellers.

 

WHAT IS THE COST?

There is no cost to participate. Books can be purchased at A Novel Spot Bookshop in Humbertown Plaza.

If you don’t wish to purchase the books, or aren’t in a financial position to do so, you can still participate. The church library has purchased a limited number of copies of the books and is making them available for lending. Please contact Anne Marriott, the church librarian, to reserve a copy  (anne.marriott@gmail.com; 416-234-0796).

These books may also be available as ebooks through your local library or a partner library. Check online to find out.

more information

If you want more information or have questions, we invite you to contact one of our committee members:

Anne Marriott: anne.marriott@gmail.com