It’s been two weeks since we published author Sandra Miller’s debut memoir, Trove: A Woman's Search for Truth and Buried Treasure — and the feedback so far has been wonderful. The tale of an armchair-treasure-hunting mom seems to be resonating especially deeply with a demographic my sister likes to call “Women Of a Certain Age.” (She, my sister, has a special affinity for the term, as she belongs to a group of friends who call themselves “The WOCAs.“ Full disclosure: They’ve been calling themselves that for the last 20 years.)
ANYWAY: If you consider yourself a WOCA, and happen to be part of a book club, I would like to humbly (and completely unbiased-ly) suggest you step away from Oprah and Reese for just a second (For a SECOND, I said! Don’t over-react, people!) and seriously consider Trove as your next pick.
Here are four reasons.
Bad mothers make for fantastic book club fodder. And boy does Sandra come through with a trove of “bad mother” material in this one. Anyone who experienced (or is experiencing) a complicated, strained or just plain screwy relationship with a parent will find about 1,000 tendrils of thought to follow. This shit is book club gold, people.
Trove is a seriously quick read. Tightly written and compelling as all get-out, Trove tends to be consumed RAPIDLY. Many women have told me they’ve devoured it in two days. If you have a Lisa* or Lauren* in your book club — that is, women who are repelled by long reads and attracted to good wine — this book is just the ticket.
‘Armchair treasure hunting’ is an actual thing, and it’s fascinating. I know from experience that we book-clubbers don’t have a lot of time on our hands, and we like to spend it learning about something or someone new — preferably both. We love rich characters surrounded by great plot, but if you can give us a lesson about a little-known piece of history, for instance, or an obscure hobby, you’ll make our day. And armchair treasure hunting? That’s one obscure hobby.
Sandra nails middle-age angst. As a parenting writer, I talk a lot about the developmental stages of children. With rare exceptions, the age of a child determines SO MUCH of their behavior. Around one, they learn to walk. Around four, they push against the limits. Around thirteen, they begin turning to their friends for guidance. The list goes on and on. And those developmental milestones don’t stop when they hit adulthood. I truly believe that virtually every woman in the world who is fortunate enough to make it to middle age deals with some degree of angst — an angst born of longing, confusion, nostalgia, grief, and fear. Of course, this angst is hardly unique to women (they call them “mid-life crisis cars” for a reason!), but I believe that women both experience and process their crises differently. Sandra has stumbled upon a near-perfect metaphor — treasure hunting — to describe this difficult and very human journey.
OH! Also, if your book club buys straight through Brown Paper Press, you qualify for a book club discount. Reach out to me at email@example.com, and I’ll send you more information.
OH AND!! On her website, Sandra is offering to Skype in for book club discussions on request. Be sure to reach out to her before she changes her mind. :)
OH AND AND AND!!! For those of you who aren’t quite sold on my very humble and completely unbiased suggestion, you don’t have to take my word for it. For the month of October (2019), we’re offering a free download. Just click below.
*Actual names of women in my book club.