Royalton Memorial Library 2021 Book Club


The Green Mountain State is filled with provoking stories about indigenous peoples, multi-generational families, hardships endured from the land, and more. Royalton Memorial Library is hosting a book club on Vermont authors and their incredible stories. This series will include fiction and non-fiction titles.

Details: The Group will be meeting on the last Wednesday of each month at 6:00 PM to discuss the books below. We will be reading each title in order from top to bottom. Sign ups and holds can be made to librarian@royaltinlibrary.org.

Zoom invitation will be given to those that sign up before each meeting!

The Darkness Under the Water by Beth Kanell, February 24th @ 6:00 PM

Just as the waters of a river roar through her town, Molly Ballou’s life is riding on a swift current, where change comes faster than a spring flood. As a half – Abenaki Indian, half – French Canadian girl in Vermont, Molly is slowly realizing that her family and others like them are being targeted by a governmental effort to rid the state of so-called “poor citizens.” Not only is Molly facing discrimination, but she is also haunted by the ghostly presence of her drowned older sister and her grieving mother’s evasive love. Curious about her family’s traditions, Molly finds herself drawn to Henry, an Abenaki boy whose connection to the natural world provides solace when Molly’s mother tragically loses a baby and grows increasingly ill. With Henry’s support, sorrow gradually gives way to the joy of self-discovery — and allows Molly to look beyond hardship to a future of promise.

A Stranger in the Kingdom by Howard Frank Mosher (1989, fiction), March 31st @ 6:00 PM

Howard Frank Mosher has earned both critical acclaim and a wide readership for his vivid portraits of northern New England residents in fictional Kingdom County, Vermont. A Stranger in the Kingdom tells the unforgettable story of a brutal murder in a small town and the devastating events that follow. The town’s new preacher, a black man, finds himself on trial more for who he is than for what he might have done in this powerful drama of passion, prejudice, and innocence suddenly lost…and perhaps found again

Under a Wing: A Memoir by Reeve Lindbergh (2000, non-fiction), April 28th @ 6:00 PM

Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s youngest child delivers an engaging autobiography that traces her relationship with her famous parents, the effect of the murder of the Lindbergh baby on her family, and her discovery of her father’s anti-Semitism.

Lost Nation by Jeffrey Lent (fiction), May 26th @ 6:00 PM

Set in the early nineteenth century, Lost Nation is about a man known only as Blood. A man of learning and wisdom with a secret past that has scorched his soul, Blood remakes himself as a trader, hauling with him Sally, a sixteen-year-old girl won from the madam of a brothel over a game of cards. Their arrival in Indian Stream — a land where the luckless or outlawed have made a fresh start — triggers an escalating series of clashes that will not only sever the master-servant bond between Blood and Sally, but also force Blood to confront his own dreaded past and offer Sally a final escape. In prose both lucid and seductive, the story carries us deeply into human and natural conditions of extreme desolation and harrowing hardship, and at the same time gives us the relentless beat of hope and, finally, the redeeming strength of love.

Heartspring Mountain by Robin MacArthur, June 30th @ 6:00 PM

It’s August 2011, and Tropical Storm Irene has just wreaked havoc on Vermont, flooding rivers and destroying homes. One thousand miles away—while tending bar in New Orleans—Vale receives a call and is told that her mother, Bonnie, has disappeared. Despite a years-long estrangement from Bonnie, Vale drops everything and returns home to look for her.

Though the hometown Vale comes back to is not the one she left eight years earlier, she finds herself falling back into the lives of the family she thought she’d long since left behind. As Vale begins her search, the narrative opens up and pitches back and forth in time to follow three generations of women—a farming widow, a back-to-the-land dreamer, and an owl-loving hermit—as they seek love, bear children, and absorb losses. All the while, Vale’s search has her unwittingly careening toward a family origin secret more stunning than she ever imagined.

Fiery Crosses in the Green Mountains by Maudean Neill (1989, non-fiction), July 28th @ 6:00 PM

Strange as it seems, the Ku Klux Klan was once a power to contend with in Vermont. Its white-robed members, numbering into the thousands, defiantly lighted up the night skies with flaming crosses. It whipped up controversy, instilled fear, and espoused ideas foreign to the state’s inherent attitudes of tolerance, playing upon patriotism and morality to foster prejudice and hatred. This is the story of Vermont’s role in the great wave of klanism that swept the country in the 1920’s. How the movement began, how it grew and prospered, and how a foolish act of vandalism and an attempted cover-up finally signaled its decline and eventual demise are here recorded.