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My Summary and Review: (4 stars)
Olivia (Livvy) Dunne is the oldest of three daughters. She is studious and has dreams of exploring the world and becoming an archeologist. But her dreams get put on hold when her mother becomes sick shortly after the youngest daughter gets married and Livvy is left to take care of her. When her mother passes away, she is consumed by grief and unable to work through it. As a result, she makes a decision that unknowingly alters her future. Livvy is sent to a small town in Colorado in the 1940s where she marries a shy farmer--a marriage that has been arranged by her father. Overwhelmed by loneliness, she befriends two Japanese sisters who work on her husband's farm and live at a nearby internment camp. Slowly she begins to feel like she's found a place and becomes more comfortable in her new life. Meanwhile, her husband (Ray) tries patiently to show he cares about her, but Livvy is resistant based on her past. When Olivia unknowingly become an accomplice to a crime, she finally learns how to confront her past and move forward into the future.
The Magic of Ordinary Days was an enjoyable book with characters who feel very real. Livvy is faced with learning how to recognize true love and how to trust others. It is well written, however, I would have liked the ending not to wrap up so quickly.
Book Club Discussion Questions:
- Was Livvy's father right to insist she marry before she gives birth? What other options were available to her? (Remember this is during the 1940s.)
- It takes Livvy quite a while to warm up to Ray. Do you think Livvy is too hard on Ray? Are you surprised her feelings changed?
- Why is it so easy for Livvy to become friends with Rose and Lorelei? How are their situations similar?
- What is the significance of Rose and Lorelei's fascination with butterflies?
- How does Livvy finally come to learn the difference between true love and what she thought was true love?
- What characteristics of Ray's helped him feel like a real person?
- Discuss the importance of love and trust in relationships. Can you have one without the other?
*Reviews and/or discussion questions may contain spoilers*
Summer 2016 Reading List Reviews and Ratings
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows
Shatter Me by Tahera Mafi