War Brides by Helen Bryan

About the Book

As evacuation gets underway and Britain waits for the Luftwaffe to arrive, the lives of five very different women are about to collide in the sleepy little village of Crowmarsh Priors.

Evangeline has eloped from New Orleans with naval captain Richard Fairfax. A Sussex village is about as far away from home as she can possibly imagine, but brings her nearer to her true love—Laurent, who has fled to France.

Alice is resigned to life as the parish spinster, but the war will bring her friendships and passion she could never have foreseen.

Elsie leaves her East End home at fifteen, to become an under-house maid for Lady Marchmount. She soon catches the eye of another young evacuee—Bernie Carpenter.

Tanni has fled from Vienna, and arrives in Crowmarsh Priors with her newborn son, not knowing if her family are alive or if she will ever see them again.

Frances is to see out the war with her godmother, Lady Marchmont. She has lived a carefree life of privilege, but now her desire to help her friend, Tanni, leads her into a whole new world of danger and excitement.

Together these five women will face hardship, passion and danger. They form a bond that lasts for the rest of their lives and sees them through their darkest hours.


The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

About the Book

Harold Fry is convinced that he must deliver a letter to an old friend in order to save her, meeting various characters along the way and reminiscing about the events of his past and people he has known, as he tries to find peace and acceptance.

Recently retired, sweet, emotionally numb Harold Fry is jolted out of his passivity by a letter from Queenie Hennessy, an old friend, who he hasn't heard from in twenty years. She has written to say she is in hospice and wanted to say goodbye. Leaving his tense, bitter wife Maureen to her chores, Harold intends a quick walk to the corner mailbox to post his reply but instead, inspired by a chance encounter, he becomes convinced he must deliver his message in person to Queenie—who is 600 miles away—because as long as he keeps walking, Harold believes that Queenie will not die.

 

Old Skull Popper

In “Cruddy” by Lynda Barry, Roberta’s dad, Ray, constantly guzzles Old Skull Popper. What exactly is Old Skull Popper? Lynda Barry thinks she made the name up, influenced by an Old West novel. We loved the name and decided we should come up with our own version. Honestly, this recipe is more tame than anything a navy man like Ray would drink. But, we like to keep our senses and stomachs during our book discussions.

BabesdrinkingOldSkullPopper


Ingredients
2/3 cup tequila
1 cup grapefruit juice
1/3 cup Rose's lime juice
1/2 cup triple sec
1/4 cup blackberry puree (see recipe below)
Ice cubes
Cherry Pop Rocks — yep, you read that right!
Grapefruit slices, halved

Pop Rocks sprinkled in Old Skull PopperDirections
In a pitcher combine tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, triple sec, and blackberry puree. Pour mixture over ice. Garnish with grapefruit slices and sprinkle with Pop Rocks.


Blackberry Puree

Ingredients
16 oz frozen blackberries, thawed
1/2 cup sugar

Directions
Puree berries and sugar in processor. Strain and discard seeds.  


Pairing Suggestion:

Break out the Old Skull Popper to celebrate a night you’ll never remember with friends you’ll never forget! Cruddy by Lynda Barry, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt are favorite boozy books.