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February 3, 2011

New Book Club Selection: When We Were Strangers


This month's book club selection is When We Were Strangers by Pamela Schoenewaldt. You can get it at amazon.com in paperback format or on your kindle (and also as a Nookbook).

OR, as you can see in the picture, you can win one of five copies right here! Harper Collins was generous enough to send me these copies (plus one for me to read, too) and five lucky readers will win a freebie book.

To enter, just post a hello in the comments section. You do need to include your email address and if you do not want that email address visible (it's only visible as you hover over your name with a mouse) then fill in the field just below email address that says "URL." You can just type in crazyauntpurl.com there if you want. People seem to freak about their email, and I am not a super code machine that can fix much of anything on this website, so I embrace the Buddhist fudge it philosophy.

Anyone of any age on planet earth is eligible to win. I do ask that you restrain yourself, though, if you aren't actually planning to read this book in the next four weeks.

And the best part about this month's book club is that the author has agreed to do a question & answer with all of us. So, on Monday, March 7, 2011 we'll meet back here to talk about the book and you all can ask any questions you might have and later that week (or so, give her some time) the author will chime in with answers to your questions.

Here is the Publisher's Weekly description of the book:

Schoenewaldt's heartbreaking debut is the late 19th century immigrant coming-of-age story of poor, plain Irma Vitale. When Irma's mother dies, she warns her 16-year-old daughter that leaving their little Italian village dooms her to die among strangers. A few years later, Irma, frightened of her increasingly lustful father, leaves her village and, armed only with her sewing skills and a small dowry, secures passage on the Servia, where she meets the first in a series of helpful strangers who will color, shape, and add the occasional zest of danger (her face is scarred by the time she disembarks) to her journeys. In America, her friendships with a few determined women--Lula, an African-American cook; Molly, an Irish maid; and Sofia, an Italian nurse--help keep her afloat and moving from a Cleveland sweatshop, through misery and rejuvenation in Chicago, and, finally, to the lush hills in San Francisco. Though some plot turns are played too melodramatically, Irma's adventures and redeeming evolution make this a serious book club contender.

Well, I personally am into melodramatic (have you heard me tell the story of how I got my first Brazilian bikini wax? It's practically a soap opera!) so I am all in to this book. I will be reading it for the first time along with you and have no idea what to expect. It just seemed like the perfect fiction escape from February.

Pamela, the author, has also offered to share some of her stories about her time living in Italy and so if you have questions about that as you read the book, be sure to ask on book chat day.

So that's this month's Book Club with a twist -- five free books up for grabs! The comments will close tomorrow night so I can email the winners and get the books shipped out on Saturday. Good luck!

Posted by laurie at February 3, 2011 10:22 AM