Category Archives: Stokes, Penelope J.

Penelope J. Stokes. The Blue Bottle Club. Nashville, TN: W Publishing Group,1999.

The year 1929 is coming to an end, and most people in the United States have started to feel the dreadful onset of the Great Depression. For four young women in Asheville, North Carolina, everything in their lives is uncertain except for one thing: their dreams. Letitia Cameron dreams of marrying the wealthy and well-connected Philip Dorn and having a large, happy family. Adora Archer has set her sights on becoming a successful actress in Hollywood or on Broadway. Eleanor James, who has lived a privileged life thus far, hopes to become the next Jane Addams as a social worker. Mary Love Buchanan wishes to follow her talent as an artist. The four commit their dreams to paper and stuff the pieces into a blue bottle stored in Letitia’s attic. No matter what happens in the coming days, the friends will always have their dreams – and each other.

Sixty-five years later Brendan Delaney, a news anchor for WLOS, is at the Cameron House reporting on its upcoming demolition. She thinks that it is just another dead-end story until a worker discovers the blue bottle. This discovery renews Brendan’s passion for investigative journalism, and she sets out to find Letitia, Adora, Eleanor, and Mary Love to learn how (or if) they fulfilled their dreams.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1990-1999, 1999, Buncombe, Mountains, Religious/Inspirational, Stokes, Penelope J.

Penelope J. Stokes. Circle of Grace. New York: Doubleday, 2004.

On the day they graduated from college, four close friends–Grace, Liz, Tess, and Lovey–promised to keep in touch with each other using a “circle journal.” The plan was for each woman to write about her life and then pass it on to the next friend. For thirty years the women have been contributing to the journal and telling stories about successful careers, marriages, and families. When one of the diarists – a resident of Asheville – is diagnosed with cancer, she makes a confession to the others: she hasn’t always told the truth in the journal, letting it reflect her life as she had hoped it would be rather than how it has really turned out. Her candor leads to similar confessions and the four friends are drawn even closer together.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC Library Catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2004, Buncombe, Mountains, Stokes, Penelope J.