A Heartbreaking Novel About Mothers, Daughters, and Secrets


Esther Freud’s latest pick for Group Text, our monthly column for readers and book clubs “I Couldn’t Love You More” A novel about three generations of women grappling with secrets, shame and an inexorable bond. Elisabeth Egan, editor at Book Review and the brains behind Group Text, talks about the novel in this week’s podcast.

“This incredibly powerful story about mothers and daughters,” says Egan, “and it’s also an interesting and truly heartbreaking look at what happened in Ireland, where the Catholic church has run for nearly 100 years. it was like prisons – for women who were in some way in trouble. They forced the women to change their names and give up their babies.”

Credit…Jillian Edelstein

Philip D’Anieri visits the podcast to discuss his new book, “The Appalachian Way: A Biography” including what drew him to the expanding subject.

“This is a place that gives us an opportunity to examine the intersection of the built and the natural,” D’Anieri says. “It’s a place we thought of as natural – it’s the open air, you can hike, you can connect with the natural world – but it also had to be built: Shelters had to be built, a route had to be determined, land ownership. This tension has always intrigued me.”

Also in this week’s episode, Tina Jordan looks back at Book Review history as she celebrates her 125th anniversary; Alexandra Alter has news from the publishing world; and Gregory Cowles and Lauren Christensen talk about what they read. The host is Pamela Paul.

Here are the books discussed in this week’s “What We’ve Read” section:

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this episode and the Book Review podcast in general. you can send them books@nytimes.com.


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