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In a Book Club Far Away by Tif Marcelo
Contemporary fiction

In a Book Club Far Away

Early Release

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by Tif Marcelo

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Quick take

Estranged friends reconnect to heal past wounds in this heartwarming story of friendship, forgiveness, and Army life.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_NonLinear

    Nonlinear timeline

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FemaleFriendship

    Female friendships

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MarriageIssues

    Marriage issues

Synopsis

Regina Castro, Adelaide Wilson-Chang, and Sophie Walden used to be best friends. As Army wives at Fort East, they bonded during their book club and soon became inseparable. But when an unimaginable betrayal happened amongst the group, the friendship abruptly ended, and they haven’t spoken since.

That’s why, eight years later, Regina and Sophie are shocked when they get a call for help from Adelaide. Adelaide’s husband is stationed abroad, and without any friends or family near her new home of Alexandria, Virginia, she has no one to help take care of her young daughter when she has to undergo emergency surgery. For the sake of an innocent child, Regina and Sophie reluctantly put their differences aside to help an old friend.

As the three women reunite, they must overcome past hurts and see if there’s any future for their friendship.

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of In a Book Club Far Away.
In a Book Club Far Away

CHAPTER ONE

Regina

In a commercial kitchen far, far away, in a military town in the middle of Georgia, a caterer named Regina Castro had an online crush. It was ridiculous, really, how often she thought of Henry Just, but when one was a single mom and an entrepreneur who didn’t have the time and the energy to date, an online flirtation was absolutely and positively enough. A heart on a post from Henry sent her spirits soaring. She preened whenever he commented on a photo, which, these days, was often. On the day over a year ago she received her first direct message from Henry—an innocuous note on how to properly grease and flour a cake pan, because he was a baker (and how sexy was that?)—she rushed through the kitchen, arms extended like Fräulein Maria singing “The Hills Are Alive.” Through the screen, Henry Just was sexy and sweet, and safe.

But now, looking down at an open package atop her work desk addressed to her from Henry, she wasn’t sure whether to scream with glee or to pack up and run to the next state.

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Why I love it

Military service-members are resilient—but they’re often only one half of the equation. Which is why I love that Tif Marcelo’s new novel, In a Book Club Far Away, shines a light on the other half: military spouses. Through the lives of three fearsome women, who start a book club to help weather the stress of their partners’ long-term deployments, we witness the ups and downs of life as an Army wife.

If you love books with multiple perspectives and alternating timelines, you’re in for a treat. In one timeline, Marcelo transports readers to a time long ago, when, bonding over romance and popular fiction, Adelaide, Regina, and Sophie formed a friendship that seemed capable of surviving almost any plot twist. But in a timeline years later, the women are deeply, irreparably estranged. What happened to drive these women apart? And what, if anything, can bring them back together?

As an Army brat, I found myself laughing and nodding along with every well-placed detail. (Army wives really do love their Longaberger baskets.) But more unsettling (and true to life) are the rumors that spread from the troops overseas to their spouses back home. Rumors that can alter careers and ruin lives forever. Turns out, not all is quiet on the home front. But despite the obstacles thrown their way, Adelaide, Regina, and Sophie continue to reveal their strengths. Toss in a heartthrob with a bakery, and Marcelo had me laughing, smiling, and hoping that the story of their friendship, formed within the strength of a book club, could once again turn a new page.

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Member ratings (8,944)

  • Katie T.

    APO, AE

    Wow! As a mil spouse myself, this book tugged at my heartstrings. Marcelo truly put in words the rollercoaster of mil life, and the special bond and importance of friends like family. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Taylor C.

    Roswell, GA

    Loved reading Regina, Adelaide, and Sophie’s story about family. What stuck with me the most is that no matter how much time passed, family will always be there and that family isn’t always blood ❤️

  • Donna M.

    Wood-Ridge, NJ

    This was the book I didn’t know I needed. Such a beautiful story of friendship and finding strength in the people who care about you. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t sob multiple times. A must-read!

  • Cassie G.

    Lithia, FL

    This was amazing. I’ve been an Army wife for over a decade, and I hesitate to read books about military life as they often don’t portray what it’s really like. Not so here. Real, authentic, & superb!

  • Sally G.

    Lewiston, ME

    Very good interplay between the three main characters. The link between their past and the present was well developed. The characters learned to respect and “love” each other through their troubles.

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