Book Review: THE CHERRY COLA BOOK CLUB by Ashton Lee

Publisher: Kensington

Published: March 26, 2013

Format: Paperback (272 pages)

ISBN: 9780758273413

Origin: Publisher

***Though the publisher provides the free book, I offer the opinion.***

My Look:

Maura Beth Mayhew could accept defeat or fight to stay afloat.  She hoped to bring the citizenry of Cherico, Mississippi to stand with her, despite the pushback from Councilman Sparks’ doctored smile and caustic wit.  The nearly impossible deadline she had to expand the library circulation and utilization was laid out as an unattainable carrot, but she was up to this task.  With the help of some friends, she may be able to fend off this literary attack for modern business dollars and more votes for the Councilman.

At her favorite spot, The Twinkle, Twinkle Café, Maura Beth meets with her best friend, Periwinkle.  Periwinkle schools her friend in the finer arts of standing up for oneself, sales, and the correct uses for a gimmick.    

The first library pitch Periwinkle makes is to next person who wanders into her establishment.  Connie McShay is one of Cherico’s most recent residents and one of Periwinkle’s newest customers.   Does this chance encounter provide a vehicle for saving the library?

It sure does! 

However, she needs more than just a one-person book club.  In fact, she needs the town to rally for it.  The only problem is that books can be discussed, ad nauseam.  How can this hold people’s interest?  Seems like everyone has a like for dislike for a read, but if they don’t like the chosen title will they come anyway?  Connie McShay was the link to an idea that needed to be tweaked for a small town instead of a city. 

Armed with courage and an idea, Maura Beth needs to enlist the help of main library patron, Miss Voncille Nettles of Who’s Who in Cherico fame.  It’s hot July and Maura Beth watches the meeting unfold with thoughts about how to make this small group come under the book club umbrella.  Meanwhile, this meeting disintegrates into a snobbery session, putting the Matriarch at a disadvantage and Maura Beth’s library possibly out of business.

My Take:

Ashton Lee’s THE CHERRY COLA BOOK CLUB brings a city council as villain, a librarian as hero, and townsfolk with personal crises as family. 

You’ll enjoy Maura Beth Mayhew as a Melanie trying to revive herself into Scarlett, and you’ll get to know a spinster Scarlett who needs Melanie attributes.  Citizens young and old, new, former, or lifelong residents of Cherico with jobs or unemployed have a need for a library that isn’t old and dusty but lively with relevant topics and meals to share.  This library needs the family of folks that surrounds it to bring it to life and in the process save a life!  

I found characters in these pages that I enjoyed getting to know and a town in which I’d love to live.  Join me in Cherico to be a faithful library companion with a sense of family that was never expected but loved all the same and try the recipes waiting just for you!   

A standalone novel, THE CHERRY COLA BOOK CLUB by Ashton Lee will leave you counting the days to the release of THE READING CIRCLE (A CHERRY BOOK CLUB NOVEL) in March 2014 .


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