BOOK DISCUSSION STARTS JUNE 21st

BACK COVER: A funny, heartfelt romance about how an antique shop, a wardrobe, and a mysterious tea cup bring two C.S. Lewis fans together in a snowy and picturesque Oxford, England. Emelia Mason has spent her career finding the dirt on the rich and famous. But deep down past this fearless tabloid-reporter façade, there's a nerdy Narnia-obsessed girl who still can't resist climbing into wardrobes to check for the magical land on the other side. When a story she writes produces tragic results, she flees to Oxford, England--home to C.S. Lewis--to try and make amends for the damage she has caused. Peter Carlisle was on his way to become one of Great Britain's best rowers--until he injured his shoulder and lost his chance at glory. He's determined to fight his way back to the top even if it means risking permanent disability to do so. It's the only way he can find his way past failing the one person who never stopped believing in his Olympic dream. When Peter and Emelia cross paths on her first night in Oxford, the attraction is instant and they find common ground in their shared love of Narnia. But can the lessons from a fantasyland be enough to hold them together when secrets of the real world threaten to tear them apart? Cobblestone streets, an aristocratic estate, and an antique shop with curious a wardrobe bring the world of Narnia to life in Kara Isaac's inspiring and romantic story about second chances.

I LOVED this book and ADDED a NEW FAVORITE author to my list.

What about you??? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

1. Did you find this book unique, original? If so, How? If not, what made it predictable for you?

2.What did you think about the story? Was it funny, sad, touching, disturbing, moving, inspirational?

 

3. What made the setting unique or important? How did it enhance or take away from the story? the story? Could the story have taken place anywhere?

4. What was your first reaction to the book? Did it hook you immediately, or take some time to get into it? If you weren't hooked at first what was the turning point for you?

5. How did the characters change throughout the story? What events triggered the changes? How did your opinion of them change?

6. Which character did you relate to the most? What was it about them that you connected with?

7. Which character did you not like? Why? Which one could you not relate to? Why?

8. Have you read any books that were similar to this book? If, so; which one?

9. Would you read another book by this author? Why or why not?

10. How did you feel about the ending of the book? What did you like? What did you not like? What do you wish could have been different? Why?

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Replies to This Discussion

1. Did you find this book unique, original? If so, How? If not, what made it predictable for you?

I thought the book was unique in the fact that the book was written around the theme of C.S. Lewis novels about Narnia. I loved that it took place in Oxford, England and the fact that the two main characters were Narnia nerds!

I also liked the fact that the first book in this series was Lord of the Rings referenced and that the main characters of book one are in book two. The reader gets to see a different side of these two they didn't see in book one.

One of my favorite moments was when we were introduced to Reepicheek the cat. I had to laugh because I loved this character in the Narnia books. As an added note, I once named a cat from a Tolkien character (Galadriel - the elf princess) so laughed about how Peter named the cat from a Lewis character.

An engaging story of two Narnia lovers, Emelia and Peter, as protagonists, set in none other than Lewis's own Oxford. The multiple characters with their faith journeys, accountability partners, and some stumbles along the way, plus difficult back stories woven in mysterious ways, made for an especially good read. 

The sweet way Emelia and Peter quoted and answered Narnia lines to each other reminded me of how my family in my growing up years would quote hymn lines back and forth!
Kara Isaac's four other books are now on my reading list (she is currently on a hiatus from further writing).  

I really loved the fact that both Emelia and Peter were Narnia lovers! I really enjoyed the fact that they quoted Narnia lines in the book. It was fun to hear that your family did that growing up with hymns. Grin!

I read book one after this book. I realized that I couldn't get into book one because I wasn't a Lord of the Rings fan. (not like my family) They would love it. But I LOVED reading book one after this one.

2. What did you think about the story? Was it funny, sad, touching, disturbing, moving, inspirational?

I found the book funny, touching, sad and moving. I enjoyed how the author discussed some serious topics in this book in a non-preachy way! Love how she did that!

3. What made the setting unique or important? How did it enhance or take away from the story? Could the story have taken place anywhere?

Enjoyed that this story took place in Oxford, England. I also loved the antique shop where Peter met Emelia in the wardrobe. There were so many special moments like this throughout the story. Loved that!

Looking forward to hearing what you all thought!

I agree Nora, I thought that the author was not preachy either, which I loved.. I too,  was happy that the novel was set in Oxford because it added to the Narnia theme and added a twist to the plot.

I thought that the plot was predictable except for the Narnia connections. I love Narnia and am a big C.S. Lewis fan (and a Tolkien fan, too) so loved that aspect.

4. What was your first reaction to the book? Did it hook you immediately, or take some time to get into it? If you weren't hooked at first what was the turning point for you?

I was HOOKED from the START. Here's the first paragraph, "It was like being in jail. But worse, because Emelia Mason had paid for it. Nonrefundable. Nontransferable. Not that she hated anyone on the planet enough to try transferring this epic disaster in online booking to them."

I LIKED THESE QUOTES: 

….”Have you ever sat down and really thought about what the odds are of you and the teacup that Peter has been looking for years being in the same wardrobe you were sitting in? The same night he just happened to be at the exact antique shop and find both of you?

 

“No, she hadn’t. If she started thinking too deeply about that then everything might change.”

 

…Emelia…”I can’t believe in a God. Because if there’s a God, then He also made my mom sick and let her die. What kind of God leaves a 6 year old girl without a mother? Leaves any children without their mothers?”

 

“I want to believe it all. I really do. But I don’t know if I can. And I can’t fake it.”

 

“Alie sighed. Emelia listened, “Don’t equate Peter with God. Believing in God doesn’t make a person perfect. We’re still just as prone to messing up and doing the wrong thing as everyone else.”

I enjoyed the depth of characterization and situations that drew the reader in. I felt as if I were among friends and entered the Narnia fan fair was the icing to the cake. I felt for Emelia and Peter and enjoyed their love of Narnia. I was thrilled that the reader took readers to a Narnia ball for charity too!  

What hooked you? Surprised you?

5. How did the characters change throughout the story? What events triggered the changes? How did your opinion of them change?

I think that all the characters changed some. Emelia was hit with the reality of her life and how her words can affect someone after a girl she wrote about committed suicide. She meets Peter and things really begin to change in them both. 

Peter becomes aware of how he is treating his brother isn't helping him any. Both Emelia and Peter are being tugged through life through guilt. That's not a way to live. Also Emelia's room mate has change from book one. She's done a 160 for sure. It was fun to read about how she was helping Emelia in a loving non-judgmental way.

I liked these quotes from the story:

Peter said, “If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my life, it’s that no one can find God for someone else. They can only find him for themselves. My biggest hope is that you do find him. But you have to do it for you. Not for me. Not for anything we might have.”

 

Lacy told Emelia…”I may not be into the whole God thing, but eve I know the truth always comes out eventually. And that guy out there, he deserves to know the truth. From you!”

Love to hear what you think!

Nora, liked you loved Peter's quote about each person finding God for themselves. I have watched this scene over and over again both in ministry and in growing up around non-believers. 

I think Emelia changed the most because she realized that she couldn't run away from her past. When the truth finally came out and Alie talked to her, it was a major shift in her thinking. Maybe she wasn't to blame for Anita's suicide after all. Peter also changed a lot because he was able to recognize that he wasn't Victor's doormat and that he was okay even if he never went back to rowing.

A few days ago, I logged in and saw Nora's review and knew that I had to order this book.  I just received it and can't wait to start!  I haven't read Kara Isaac's books, and this looks like a great book to start!

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