Close cookie details

This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your user experience at our Website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, click here to see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue, please click here to exit this site.

Hide notification

  Main Nav
The Book That Matters Most
Cover of The Book That Matters Most
The Book That Matters Most
A Novel
by Ann Hood
Borrow Borrow Borrow

An enthralling novel about love, loss, secrets, friendship, and the healing power of literature, by the bestselling author of The Knitting Circle.

Ava's twenty-five-year marriage has fallen apart, and her two grown children are pursuing their own lives outside of the country. Ava joins a book group, not only for her love of reading but also out of sheer desperation for companionship. The group's goal throughout the year is for each member to present the book that matters most to them. Ava rediscovers a mysterious book from her childhood—one that helped her through the traumas of the untimely deaths of her sister and mother. Alternating with Ava's story is that of her troubled daughter Maggie, who, living in Paris, descends into a destructive relationship with an older man. Ava's mission to find that book and its enigmatic author takes her on a quest that unravels the secrets of her past and offers her and Maggie the chance to remake their lives.

An enthralling novel about love, loss, secrets, friendship, and the healing power of literature, by the bestselling author of The Knitting Circle.

Ava's twenty-five-year marriage has fallen apart, and her two grown children are pursuing their own lives outside of the country. Ava joins a book group, not only for her love of reading but also out of sheer desperation for companionship. The group's goal throughout the year is for each member to present the book that matters most to them. Ava rediscovers a mysterious book from her childhood—one that helped her through the traumas of the untimely deaths of her sister and mother. Alternating with Ava's story is that of her troubled daughter Maggie, who, living in Paris, descends into a destructive relationship with an older man. Ava's mission to find that book and its enigmatic author takes her on a quest that unravels the secrets of her past and offers her and Maggie the chance to remake their lives.
Available formats-
  • Kindle Book
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Subjects-
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:

Recommended for you

About the Author-
  • Ann Hood is the author of the best-selling novels The Book That Matters Most, The Knitting Circle, The Red Thread, The Obituary Writer, and Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 6, 2016
    Hood’s (The Obituary Writer) latest novel is a moving, intricate story about loss, healing, and the value of critical thinking. A year after being left by her husband, Ava is still reeling from the grief of separation, which brought back the pain of losing her sister and mother early in life. In order to branch out and meet new people, Ava joins a book club where each member must choose a book that matters most to them for the group to discuss. Although the new activity keeps her engaged, Ava, who lives in Providence, R.I., still feels alone, with her son abroad in Africa and her daughter studying in Florence. What Ava doesn’t know is that her daughter has recently quit school and is now living in Paris under increasingly dangerous circumstances. Ava doesn’t immediately enjoy the book group (she watches a movie adaptation instead of reading the first book), but bit by bit, book by book, she rediscovers her love of reading, makes new friends, and begins to heal. As the narrative focus moves among different characters and back and forth in time, suspense builds about what happened to Ava’s mother and sister and what might happen to her daughter. Meanwhile, the book club allows Ava to examine her grief and slowly learn how to move forward. This is a gripping, multifaceted novel about recovering from different kinds of loss and the healing that comes from a powerful story.

  • Kirkus

    June 1, 2016
    A mother and a daughter seek balance in their broken lives while books provide them with comfort, clarity, and clues to a mystery.When Ava North joins her best friend's long-running book club in Providence, Rhode Island, it is not to find solace from the long-ago deaths of her little sister and mother. That wound is locked up tight. Instead, it's because her husband of 25 years has left her for another woman, and Ava is bitter and lonely. So much so that she's a refreshingly cranky, reticent participant in the club, whose theme for the year is "The Book That Matters Most" to each member. It's somewhat suspect, but forgivable, that all the members save Ava choose well-regarded classics, but Hood (An Italian Wife, 2014, etc.) handles it with a light touch. Meanwhile, Ava's problem child, Maggie, continues running with the wrong crowd when she abandons her study-abroad semester in Italy to haunt Paris, where she slips willingly into heroin addiction. There is momentum in the juxtaposition of Ava's and Maggie's circumstances, one improving incrementally, one devolving steadily, into which the spice of intrigue is added: what were the circumstances of Ava's sister's death? What of her mother's? Why is Maggie the way she is? And what does Ava's little-known book pick--the book that matters most to her--have to do with all of it? Hood occasionally adds a slurry of unnecessary exposition but is more often able to limn fundamental character truths via well-placed details. She has a knack for dramatic revelation that feels natural, possibly because she is so skilled at knowing what to leave out. Whether or not they think of themselves as bookish, readers of all stripes will enjoy cycling through these characters' lives and discovering their shared, mysterious past.

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    March 1, 2016
    With her 25-year-old marriage suddenly and tumultuously over and her adult children living far, far away, Ava joins a book club partly for companionship. To meet the club's mission that each member present the book mattering the most to her, Ava hunts for a tome that sustained her through childhood trauma while dealing with daughter Maggie's increasing troubles with a destructive relationship in Paris. The books discussed here range from Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" to Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse-Five". Book club bait from the award-winning and "New York Times" best-selling author; with a six-city tour.

    Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Minneapolis Star Tribune Great novelists can envelop you in relatable plot lines that make you feel like you're part of the story. That's what Ann Hood, author of the much beloved The Knitting Circle, does in her latest.
  • Lily King, author of Euphoria The Book That Matters Most is an exhilarating celebration of all that books awaken within us: joy, love, wisdom, loss, solace. Ann Hood is a captivating storyteller—I devoured this novel.
  • Ann Leary, New York Times bestselling author of The Good House Ann Hood's eye for the absurd, her masterful prose and vivid characters instantly draw you into this compelling story about mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and lovers. But it's the delicate exploration of human fallibility – of love, loss, regret and redemption that make this one of those rare and wonderful books that truly matter.
  • Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train A love of words, of reading, propels the characters from heartbreak to discovery. Book groups — indeed, book lovers of all kinds—will delight in this compulsively and effortlessly readable novel.
  • Elizabeth Berg, author of The Dream Lover Engrossing...I admire this graceful and intimate writer for her literary sleight of hand: you don't so much read about her characters as you inhabit them.
  • BookReporter The Book That Matters Most by Ann Hood works on so many levels. First, it's a delightful read. Second, it's full of great book suggestions. And third, it's inspiration for book groups.
Title Information+
  • Publisher
    W. W. Norton & Company
  • Kindle Book
    Release date:
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
  • EPUB eBook
    Release date:
Digital Rights Information+
  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

Status bar:

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

Close

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?

Close

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You've reached the maximum number of titles you can recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 99 titles every 1 day(s).

Close

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend your library consider adding this title to the Digital Collection.

Close

Enhanced Details

Close
Close

Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

Close

Permissions

Close

The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

Close

Holds

Total holds:


Close

Restricted

Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

Close

You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

Close

Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

Close

You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

Close

This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

Close

An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.

Close

Close

NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Close
Buy it now
and help our library WIN!
The Book That Matters Most
The Book That Matters Most
A Novel
Ann Hood
Choose a retail partner below to buy this title for yourself.
A portion of this purchase goes to support your library.
Clicking on the 'Buy It Now' link will cause you to leave the library download platform website. The content of the retail website is not controlled by the library. Please be aware that the website does not have the same privacy policy as the library or its service providers.
Close
Close

There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

Close
Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

You will be prompted to sign into your library account on the next page.

If this is your first time selecting “Send to NOOK,” you will then be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel