Reported by Kristin
Our first Zoom Nevermore member started with A Place Called Waco: A Survivor's Story by David Thibodeau. This first person account of one of only nine survivors of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, in 1993, this is a detailed account that calls into question the motives of the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) group which opened fire on the cult members. While David Koresh did control his group members to an extreme, Thibodeau also discusses the positives of the community such as the teaching and loving treatment of children. Our reader highly recommended this insightful account, and another reader spoke up to claim the book for the coming week.
Next up was My Holiday in North Korea: The Funniest/Worse Place on Earth by Wendy Simmons. Journalist Simmons took the opportunity to travel through North Korea in the time of a most controlling regime, where tourism includes only what the government wants you to see. She had to ask permission to take photographs, and learned that the official history presented starts only a few generations ago. With water only available one hour a day, a lack of toilet paper, terrible food, and being locked into the hotel at night (and this was at the best hotels!) she still managed to learn much about the North Korean culture, and to keep her sense of humor despite the strictures.
Continuing around the world, our next reader dove into historical fiction with Blackberry and Wild Rose by Sonia Velton. Sara Kemp is a young girl who was sent away for protection, but instead is taken in by a madam of a brothel. She is rescued by the wife of a master silk weaver in 18th century London, but soon finds herself in a difficult household there was well. Our book club member said that this was a very easy book to read, and she found that she didn't want to put it down.
In more historical fiction, another reader picked up the new novel by Karen Robards, The Black Swan of Paris. Set in World War II Paris, singer Genevieve Dumont uses her celebrity to infiltrate the Nazis as part of a resistance movement that may swing the entire direction of the war. Genevieve and her sister are also trying to find their mother, a personal side to the story which our reader particularly enjoyed.
The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate is another recent fiction release with two timelines—Louisiana in both 1875 and 1987. After the Civil War, many freed slaves sought to find their family members who had been sold and relocated from their original plantations. “Lost Friends” advertisements were frequently published in newspapers as families attempted to reunite. The lives of three young women from that post-war era were rediscovered over a century later by a young teacher in the rural South. Our reader exclaimed that this was one of the best books she has ever read, and highly recommended it to others.