The BrocanteHome Bookclub is a once monthly text-only online chat (so don't worry, no Zoom and no make up required!) that takes place in the BrocanteHome Common Room.

Each month I choose three books and then the book we read goes to a vote, and the most popular book is the one we read. With a focus on domestic fiction or non-fiction that supports our HomeSchool journey together, the books are always accessible, easy to read and available in available in as many formats as possible.

I do hope you will join us: it's such a lovely way to get to know each other.

This Month's Book Choices

1.The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

"Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. But the apothecary’s fate is jeopardized when her newest patron, a precocious twelve-year-old, makes a fatal mistake, sparking a string of consequences that echo through the centuries.

Meanwhile in present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, running from her own demons. When she stumbles upon a clue to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London two hundred years ago, her life collides with the apothecary’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive..."

View it on Amazon.Com here or Amazon.Co.Uk here.

2.Mrs.Lorimer's Quiet Summer by Molly Clavering

"The two were friends and had been for many years before Miss Douglas, a little battered by war experiences, had settled down in Threipford, to Mrs. Lorimer's quiet content. ... Both wrote; each admired the other's work. Lucy possessed what Gray knew she herself would never have, a quality which for want of a better name she called "saleability."

In what is surely Molly Clavering's most autobiographical novel, two middle-aged women writers, close friends and neighbours, offer one another advice and support while navigating life in a lively Border village. Lucy Lorimer, the more successful author, with her four children, in-laws, and grandchildren gathered for a summer reunion, must try to avert disaster in one daughter's marriage, help a daughter-in-law restless with mundane married life after flying planes in the war, and deal with the awkward reappearance of an old flame. Unmarried Grace ('Gray') Douglas, meanwhile, has struggles of her own, but is drawn delightfully into her friend's difficulties.

In real life, Molly Clavering was herself for many years a neighbour and close friend of bestselling author D.E. Stevenson. First published in 1953, Mrs. Lorimer's Quiet Summer is not only an irresistible family story, but undoubtedly provides some indication of the inspiring friendship between these two brilliantly talented women."

View it on Amazon.Com here or Amazon.Co.Uk here.

3.Three Houses by Angela Thirkell

"Angela Thirkell, the cousin of Rudyard Kipling and the granddaughter of celebrated Pre-Raphaelite painter Sir Edward Burne-Jones, was an eminent twentieth century literary figure, and wrote avidly until her death in 1961. In her beautifully nostalgic memoirs, she recalls in rich detail the three houses in which she grew up and the childhood memories their walls contain. Thirkell’s elaborate portraits of the three houses – The Grange in Fulham, 27 Young Street in Kensington Square, and North End House in Rottingdean - offer an invaluable insight into late Victorian life. Her recounting of forbidden explorations, Punch and Judy shows, and adventures in the garden are beautifully evocative of the innocent quality of childhood, and the personal recollections of her famous grandfather present a loving family man behind the renown. The exposure to music, art and literature that Thirkell details in her exploration of her beloved three houses foreshadows her later fictional creations – her Barsetshire novels.

Three Houses allows us a snapshot of history from the busy literary centre of London to the English coast. Charmingly expressive, these stunning memoirs are both reminiscent of the golden days of youth and an interesting vision of a writer and the early influences that informed her later work.
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View it on Amazon.Com here or Amazon.Co.Uk here.