One for the Books

Last night, 30 of us gathered together for the first ever Pfister book club.

It felt like the start of something rich.

There could not have been a place more perfectly suited to discussing Amor Towles’s A Gentleman in Moscow, which is completely set in a grand hotel, than the historic Pfister Mezzanine.

We, like the Count in the novel, sipped wine and dined on exquisite Mille-feuille.

We spoke of our favorite books as children and now as adults.

And we discussed A Gentleman in Moscow, a novel written so magnificently that after I finished it, I couldn’t stop telling everyone around me what a master Towles is. For me, it was that rare and cherished book that will give everything I have yet to read much more to live up to.

This novel was full of beautiful and memorable scenes, enigmatic characters, surprising twists, and the world of the revolution unfolding outside a sophisticated hotel.

We had a whole kaleidoscope of ideas to discuss.

Thank you so much to all who came!

Please join us on August 10 at 7 pm, when we will be discussing The Veins of the Ocean by Patricia Engel.

Reina Castillo’s beloved brother is serving a death sentence for a crime that shocked the community – a crime for which Reina secretly blames herself. When she is at last released from her seven-year prison vigil, Reina moves to a sleepy town in the Florida Keys seeking anonymity.

There, she meets Nesto, a recently exiled Cuban awaiting with hope the arrival of the children he left behind in Havana. Through Nesto’s love of the sea and capacity for faith, Reina comes to understand her own connections to the life-giving and destructive forces of the ocean that surrounds her as well as its role in her family’s troubled history.

Set in the vibrant coastal and Caribbean communities of Miami; the Florida Keys; Havana, Cuba; and Cartagena, Colombia, The Veins of the Ocean is a wrenching exploration of what happens when life tests the limits of compassion, and a stunning and unforgettable portrait of fractured lives finding solace in the beauty and power of the natural world, and in one another.

I’m so honored and excited to discuss books with you in such a stunning space.  Enjoy The Veins of the Ocean, and I hope to see you August 10!

Author: Nicole Mattke

Nicole Mattke looks to bring a vibrant literary culture to the historic Pfister hotel through a variety of activities. As the 10th Pfister Narrator, she will host seasonal mini-events with book themes, a modern take on a monthly book club and provide story prompts for guests and the entire community. She will share these, and all of her Pfister experiences, through blog entries over the course of a year. As a published and award-winning author, Mattke has presented her work at various events throughout the community. Her talents lie in creating stunning pieces of writing that reveal the beauty in daily life. A busy mother of two sets of twins, Mattke finds time to write in a variety of genres as well as contribute to blogs. Mattke was chosen to serve as the hotel’s tenth narrator-in-residence based on her excellent writing and vision for the role. She succeeds Dominic Inouye, who served as the ninth Pfister Narrator.