“The Book that Matters Most” review

Trying to get back in the swing of things with another post! Anyway, here’s one of the books I read over Thanksgiving break (as mentioned previously):

The Book that Matters Most by Ann Hood

Click here to learn more about this book

I don’t think I want to give this book a rating… I think I’m going to move away from that. But I really enjoyed this book, especially considering how I plowed through it in a few hours.


Ava’s twenty-five year marriage has just fallen apart, and her kids are both grown and out of the country, pursuing their own lives. Searching for companionship and a way out of her grief, Ava joins a book club. The book club’s goal for this year is to read one book chosen by each member – and the theme is “the book that matters most”. Ava chooses a book from her childhood – one she’s almost forgotten – that had helped her through the deaths of her mother and sister.

At the same time, Ava’s daughter Maggie is in Paris, entering into a destructive relationship with an older man and with drugs. As Ava searches for the author of her book that matters most, the secrets surrounding Ava’s past are unraveled and offer Ava and Maggie a chance to start over.

Plot & Characters

To be quite honest, this isn’t the sort of book I habitually read – I tend more towards fantasy, sci-fi, etc. I’ve always maintained, though, that I will read anything that holds my interest – and this book certainly did.

Plot-wise, I liked how the past was tangled up in the present, and how everything was connected – even Ava in the United States and Maggie in Paris were connected, in more ways than one (though that I won’t explain). Though most of the threads’ endings I predicted (and, for the most part, accurately), I enjoyed watching them pan out and seeing my theories confirmed.

And, wonderfully, the book had a happy ending.

In terms of characters, I liked both Ava and Maggie okay. They were both plausible, well-written, well-rounded characters who felt real. Their choices and actions were logical and made sense with their given personalities. I don’t really have much to say here.

Writing Style

This book was written in third person with alternating viewpoints. It starts out with Ava’s point of view and then switches to Maggie’s, and does that for every chapter. As the story progresses, the author brings in others, whose point of view is usually unique to that chapter and brings some insight that offers more clarity on the past (and aided in my predictions of the ending). I rather liked that.

For the writing itself, I don’t remember having any complaints about it or noticing anything that particularly stood out.

And as a result, I don’t have a writing tips section for this review.

I would love to hear your thoughts (and book recommendations)! Hope your week has been going well!

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