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PBK Book Club Discussion: _The House of Broken Angels_ and _My Brilliant Friend_

June 19 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Join members of Boston PBK for a book discussion at Panera Bread, 5 White Street, Porter Square, Cambridge, scheduled for the evening of Tuesday, June 19th, 2018 at 7:30 PM. (Bourbon Coffee is closing at 8 PM for the summer – not enough time to discuss the book!). Panera Bread is located about 1 block away from Harvard Square from the Porter Square Redline T-stop. There is parking in the shopping center lot nearby. Offering house-made and locally-baked goods (plus a wider selection than Bourbon Coffee), there are many separate areas for groups to meet and converse. The telephone number is 617-547-0816.

We aren’t voting this time because there was only one suggestion (plus a back-up)!

Guests of participants are welcome and please come even if you haven’t finished (or even started!) the book.
The discussion will be on these books (because we are having a bit of a gap between meetings, some of us haven’t read the second selection, previously proposed, and could read both):

The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea

In his final days, beloved and ailing patriarch Miguel Angel de La Cruz, affectionately called Big Angel, has summoned his entire clan for one last legendary birthday party. But as the party approaches, his mother, nearly one hundred, dies herself, leading to a farewell doubleheader in a single weekend. Among the guests is Big Angel’s half brother, known as Little Angel, who must reckon with the truth that although he shares a father with his siblings, he has not, as a half gringo, shared a life.

Across two bittersweet days in their San Diego neighborhood, the revelers mingle among the palm trees and cacti, celebrating the lives of Big Angel and his mother, and recounting the many inspiring tales that have passed into family lore, the acts both ordinary and heroic that brought these citizens to a fraught and sublime country and allowed them to flourish in the land they have come to call home.

The story of the de La Cruzes is the quintessential American story. This indelible portrait of a complex family reminds us of what it means to be the first generation and to live two lives across one border. It takes us into a world we have not known, while reflecting back the hopes and dreams of our own families. Teeming with brilliance and humor, authentic at every turn, The House of Broken Angels is Luis Alberto Urrea at his best, and cements his reputation as a storyteller of the first rank.

My Brilliant Friend : Neapolitan Novels, Book One, by Elena Ferrante

Beginning in the 1950s in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples, Ferrante’s four-volume story spans almost sixty years, as its protagonists, the fiery and unforgettable Lila, and the bookish narrator, Elena, become women, wives, mothers, and leaders, all the while maintaining a complex and at times conflictual friendship. Book one in the series follows Lila and Elena from their first fateful meeting as ten-year-olds through their school years and adolescence.

Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighborhood, a city, and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her protagonists.

We look forward to a lively discussion with these highly recommended books as a starting place.

Please RSVP to thomas@pbkboston.org or to tlaage@hotmail.com.


June 19
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Event Category:


Thomas Laage


Panera Bread
5 White Street, Porter Square
Cambridge, MA United States
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