How a Vermont community hopes to go big with its book club

Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 3:28 PM EDT
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WATERBURY, Vt. (WCAX) - Bridgeside Books in Waterbury has come up with one novel idea. It’s called One Town, One Book, and they’re hoping residents in town will check it out.

“We thought, what better way to have people reconnect and come out of their houses and be outside and greeting people and neighbors by having everyone on the same page?” said Katya D’Angelo of Bridgeside Books.

The idea is to get as many people in town as possible to read the same book, and spend the summer discussing it.

“We’re hoping that people come up with their own little groups for book clubs with friends, neighbors, people from out of town, who knows,” D’Angelo said.

D’Angelo says it’s an idea they got from bigger cities, like Chicago and Cleveland.

“Often they do it with more serious books, social justice and politics and current events, we thought a lot of people have had enough of that,” D’Angelo said.

That’s why they picked “The Treehouse on Dog River Road,” a brand new novel written by an author in Stowe.

“The story is about Hannah, she’s a 28-year-old woman who is searching for her best life,” explained Catherine Drake, the author.

Drake knew her debut novel would be set in Vermont, but she wasn’t sure where.

“I chose Waterbury specifically because it has such a great sense of community,” she said.

The book follows Hannah as she moves from Boston to be a nanny in Waterbury. Things take a turn when she meets the guy next door.

But this smart romance is no stereotypical paperback romance, though it does come in paperback.

“Even though it’s a smart romance and a light book, there’s plenty to talk about. There’s community, working moms, what to do with your life, there’s an environmental bent to it,” Drake said.

Plus, it has the seal of approval from bookseller Jenna Danyew, who was born and raised in the Washington County town.

“I think it can be a double-edged sword when you’re familiar with a setting, but she really hits the nail on the head with unique locations. Places like Bridgeside Books, Randall Street... real places that I have been and grown up with,” Danyew said.

They hope the folks of Waterbury who thumb through the pages can see it as a corridor to broach further topics on the community with the community.

Bridgeside Books expects to have the novel in stock later this week. It goes for $16.95, and you can preorder it online as well. They’ll also have it available at the Waterbury Public Library.

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