Adult Book Group

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Join us for a lively discussion about this month's title. All are welcome.

For our October meeting we will be discussing The Marsh Queen by Virginia Hartman.

Loni Mae Murrow's life in Washington, DC is tidy, if a trifle constrained. Single and in her mid-thirties, she's a bird artist at the Smithsonian who spends her days at a desk, making elaborate drawings of belted kingfishers and scrub-jays and purple gallinules. Then she's abruptly summoned back home to the wetlands of northern Florida, where she grew up. Her mother, critical and difficult, has grown frail and been resentfully consigned to assisted living, and her younger brother, Phil, juggling a job and a wife and two young children, needs her help. Loni may not be her mother's only child, but there are some things only a daughter can do. Although Florida, with its suffocating heat and difficult memories, is a place she thought she'd managed to get away from, Loni soon discovers that home is not so easily forgotten. Going through her mother's things, she finds a cryptic note from a woman whose name she doesn't recognize: "There are some things I have to tell you about Boyd's death," it reads. Boyd is her father, a man who drowned in a boating accident out on the marsh when Loni was twelve and Phil just a baby. The circumstances of his death, long presumed a suicide, turn out to be murkier than anyone thought. Against her better judgment, Loni finds herself drawn into a quest to discover the truth about how he died. Against the mottled landscape of her youth, she is led both away from and toward the truth about the past and its betrayals. One by one, the forces keeping her in Florida become stronger. Someone begins to threaten her as she uncovers pieces of her father's story, but she can't figure out who. In the midst of this danger, she struggles to reconnect with her mother through the remnants of their past and to reconcile with her brother and his pushy, provincial wife. And she fights an attraction to a man who encourages her to stay in the South even as she determines to return to her job in Washington. At last moved to avenge the wrongs done to her family, Loni has to decide whether to join the violence or end it.


Library events and programs are open to the public and provided at no cost. Special accommodations may be requested using our Disability Accommodation Request Form no later than 15 days prior to the event.

Los eventos y programas de la biblioteca están abiertos al público y se brindan sin costo. Se pueden solicitar adaptaciones especiales utilizando nuestro formulario de solicitud de adaptaciones para personas con discapacidades (en inglés) hasta 15 días antes del evento.