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And Ladies of the Club Paperback – April 1, 2000

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England, 1932: Grace Hamblin is growing up as the beekeeper's daughter on the beautiful estate of the Marquess and Marchioness of Penselwood. Then fast forward to Massachusetts, 1973. Will history repeat itself in this honey of a mother-daughter saga? Learn more about author Santa Montefiore

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1184 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade (April 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425174409
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425174401
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Helen Hooven Santmyer was born in 1895 and lived in Xenia, Ohio. In addition to her career as a writer, she worked as an English professor, a dean of women, and a librarian.

Customer Reviews

Twenty years ago, I read this book in my forties.
The characters and setting and story are so very real.
Joyce A Halvorsen
The book is easy reading and worth a time investment.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

158 of 159 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Undoubtedly this book has a slow beginning. But it is definitely worth the effort. The author brings a whole town to life - Waynesboro, Ohio. Each and every character is described so vividly that I felt as though I actually knew these people. The book follows post-Civil War "Waynesboro" (a fictional name for a real city - Xenia, Ohio) through the next 50 years of the townspeople's lives. The main group of characters are the members of the Waynesboro Ladies Club. The story unfolds when Anne and Sally are 18 years old and the character list widens as each gets married, has children, etc. Before the end of the book I calculated there were almost 40 characters to keep track of - but it was well worth the effort. By the end of the book (a hearty 1,400 pages ) I was sad because I didn't want to leave the town of Waynesboro and its inhabitants. The author had succeeded in making me feel as though I knew each and every person. I've read this book 3 times in the past 15 years and will assuredly pick it up and read it again some time in the future. It took the author over 50 years of her life to complete this book (and finished it while living in a nursing home at the age of 80+ years). It was her life's work and I wish she had known before she died how many lives this book would touch. )
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123 of 126 people found the following review helpful By Stan Vernooy on January 25, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was all the rage back in the early 80's when Book-of-the-Month Club made it a main selection. It was written by a comparatively unknown, elderly resident of a nursing home (who, I believe, died fairly shortly after the book's publication). For a short time everybody was talking about "...And Ladies of the Club". Fourteen years later, not many people remember the hoopla.

But if a book is any good, it's still good even after the glitter fades. And this one is GOOD.

I finally got around to reading it this year, partly because my wife read it and loved it. It is long (1100+ pages) but NOT difficult. I found the book hard to get "into" for the first one or two hundred pages, because there were many characters, and there hadn't been time to flesh out the personalities and relationships. But I am VERY glad that I stuck it out. Eventually the characters become vividly defined: lovable, hateable, and recognizable. The book is the story of a fictional medium-sized town in southern Ohio, from just after the Civil War to the beginning of the Depression. The story is told primarily through the eyes of a women's book club, and focuses particularly on two of the club's members and their families.

All the important themes of life are explored: love, race, jealousy, religion, war, politics, business, literature, education, family relationships, and death. If you read this book, you will be both moved to tears and richly educated in American history. How much more can you ask of one book?
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Jot and Tittle on February 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
...AND LADIES OF THE CLUB is a sturdy chunk of a book that is both solid novel and solid history.

The story tracks the lives of several generations of families in a small Ohio town from the late 1860's to the 1930's. The heart of the book is a circle of acquaintances who are members of a women's literary society. The characters are a diverse lot with engaging stories that run the full gamut from the comic to the tragic.

The novel is also a magnificent social history. The progress of, well, Progress through the decades is one of the fascinating themes of the book. Santmyer writes with an eye that carefully sees and records the technological advances of the period. Changes in housekeeping, education, medicine, business, and transportation are woven into the fabric of the characters' lives, and a read-through of this book is a good and rather painless way of absorbing a large piece of American history. For my taste, a few chapters are a bit too freighted with the minutia of Presidential politics in the Gilded Age (my only complaint about the book), but those political chapters can be quickly skimmed without harming the substance of the narrative.

...AND LADIES OF THE CLUB is perfect for times when you can lose yourself in a great book. I can think of no better choice for cold winter nights or lazy summer afternoons. It's a book that I've returned to a number of times in all seasons, and I've never been disappointed.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Carlene J. Sidel on January 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
I read this book about 10 years ago and have never forgotten it. When I first tried reading it, it took me 3 attempts to get past the first 2 chapters. But, once I made it past that hurdle I got so into this book with it's wonderful cast of characters, the time periods it covered and the setting of a small town that was growing that I wanted it to go on and on even though it was a pretty hefty book, over 1,000 pages. I have just purchased another copy because in some move or another I lost my original copy. I am ready to re-read this wonderful book - January is a perfect time to do this - the rush is gone, life is quiet and it's a wonderful opportunity to get into a book such as this one that just transports you right out of your living room into another time and era and mingle for awhile with some very interesting people. I cannot recommend this book enough for a great read.
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