Monday, April 1, 2013

The Cherry Cola Book Club-Ashton Lee

The Cherry Cola Book Club

Ashton Lee

Kensington, Mar 26 2013, $15.00

ISBN: 9780758273413

For six years, Maura Beth Mayhew has been the librarian in Chericho, Mississippi. She has asked for nearby parking and internet access, but the council says no. Now head councilman Durden Sparks tells Maura she has five months to increase usage or the library will be closed and replaced by an industrial park.

Maura visits her friend Twinkles Diner owner Periwinkle who tells Maura to be tough. New resident Connie McShay mentions she and her husband Douglas were in the Music City Page Turners. They form the Chericho Page Turners Book Club. Maura’s friend Voncelle Nettles joins the book club. Cooking show radio host Becca Broccoli also joins, but cannot persuade her Stout Fella to sign up too. At the first meeting, they discuss the rules while Durden attends too. They change the name to the Cherry Cola Book Club and meet in a month to discuss Gone With The Wind. Library assistant Renette tells Maura she and her friends discussed whether they were a Melanie or a Scarlett. The club does likewise except Locke says he is a Rhett. Maura begins a concerted effort with the other book club members to save the library and meets Douglas’ nephew Memphis English teacher Jeremy.

Small-town politics comes across powerfully influential with little things like no parking or net access to make in this case a library visit unpleasant; yet at the same time the importance of libraries is emphasized also at a time when cuts reduce their effectiveness. Although the dispute between the council and the librarian never comes across as very threatening and people volunteer too easily, readers will enjoy The Cherry Cola Book Club’s book discussions and their fight to save the library.

Harriet Klausner