Small Group Topics

Booked for Lunch

Bring your lunch and join us the 2nd Thursdays of the month at noon in Room 252 to discuss contemporary books and how the stories connect with faith and spirituality.

December: A Wreath of Snow, by Liz Curtis Higgs

This heartwarming novella invites readers to experience Christmas in Victorian Scotland, as the chill of a family misunderstanding gives way to the warmth of forgiveness. On a reluctant visit home, an icy reception from her family in Stirling sends Meg Campbell fleeing for the train station, determined to spend the holidays alone in Edinburgh. When snow delays her departure, Meg pours out her heart to fellow traveler Gordon, an affable newspaperman who asks all the right questions, even as he keeps his own heartache under wraps. Then an unexpected turn of events finally points them both in the right direction: home. This stand-alone novella captures the unexpected gift of forgiveness and the hopeful stirrings of new love.

January: Faultlines by Barbara Taylor Sissel

It’s the phone call every parent dreads: in the middle of the night, Sandy Cline learns that her twenty-year-old son, Jordan, has been in a car accident. Her nephew, Travis, was also in the car, along with Travis’s girlfriend. All three are alive—but barely. The car was smashed against a tree along a remote and winding road, beautiful but deadly, in their rural Texas Hill Country town. In the wake of the car crash, the close-knit family is tested like never before. Jenna, Travis’s mother, blames Jordan—as well as her sister, Sandy—after reports surface that Jordan had been driving. As the young adults struggle to survive, tension between their parents escalates. But when trust is broken and a shocking family secret is exposed, it creates a perfect storm of harrowing consequences. When details of the accident are questioned, Sandy and Jenna wonder if their family has been destroyed beyond repair. As always, there’s much more to the story…if the family is to survive, they will have to come together to confront the terrible truth and overcome their pain. But are some betrayals unforgivable?

February: The Dry Grass of August by Anna Jean Mayhew

In this beautifully written debut, Anna Jean Mayhew offers a riveting depiction of Southern life in the throes of segregation and what it will mean for a young girl on her way to adulthood and for the woman who means the world to her.  On a scorching day in August 1954, thirteen-year-old Jubie Watts leaves Charlotte, North Carolina, with her family for a Florida vacation. Crammed into the Packard along with Jubie are her three siblings, her mother, and the family's black maid, Mary Luther. For as long as Jubie can remember, Mary has been there cooking, cleaning, compensating for her father's rages and her mother's benign neglect, and loving Jubie unconditionally.  Bright and curious, Jubie takes note of the anti-integration signs they pass and of the racial tension that builds as they journey further south. But she could never have predicted the shocking turn their trip will take. Now, in the wake of tragedy, Jubie must confront her parents failings and limitations, decide where her own convictions lie, and make the tumultuous leap to independence.   Infused with the intensity of a changing time, here is a story of hope, heartbreak, and the love and courage that can transform us from child to adult, wounded to indomitable.