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Mom to Mom: What happens in book club, stays in book club

For a few years now I’ve been part of a book club. Shocker, right? I am a writer and author. But it’s not just about the books. It’s about the camaraderie I have with the ladies sitting in the circle (or appearing on a screen) with me. Some ladies I know quite well, others not as much. But through discussing these books, I am learning more about these amazing women. 

For instance, a book about World War II led to a discussion on our parents’ and grandparents’ roles in the war. My grandmother served in the same place as someone else’s grandfather. We wonder if they ever crossed paths. 

I learned that someone else has a strained relationship with her father after reading a book on family brokenness. It’s a sad thing to bond over, but it’s something others don’t quite understand. We can talk together when familial strife comes to the surface and lean on one another.

We sit around and share stories of our lives, our triumphs and struggles. We drink coffee and eat a ton of carbs. We share how one character reminds us of our high school sweetheart or that time we went skinny dipping. Laughter abounds, but understanding and compassion also flow.

Maybe you’re not a huge book reader, but you’re in a gardening club, a cycling team, a parenting group – something that draws you together with people who have a similar interest even if you have a varied background. That’s the beauty of these groups – people with different life stories coming together to share a common bond. You learn about each other as you tend to daylilies or lament the terrible threes. (They’re worse than twos, y’all.) 

For me, books are life-giving. With four children and working at home, books are my escape. And it’s the same for the others in my group. They have taken the journey with me to Manhattan or the middle ages or inside the mind of a child prodigy. And whatever your niche is, that group has journeyed with you as well as you grow, create and learn from your shared passion. 

Younger generations glean wisdom from those who have gone before them. Experienced people can catch the exuberance of a newcomer. Groups like these are give and take. And they usually, in my experience, involve cinnamon rolls. 

What is it that brings you joy? Can you find a local group, or start one, so you can share that joy with others? 

Allison Wells is a wife, mother of four and an author. Her motto is "Life is short, eat the Oreos." Visit her online at