The Newport Ladies Book Club: Athena
Self-proclaimed bachelorette Athena Di Jasper is at the top of her game. Her online magazine is thriving, and she's in a comfortably static relationship, free of the kind of commitment that could lead to marriage—she's seen her parents' rocky union, and it's not for her. When her on-again, off-again boyfriend Karl wants to move their relationship to the next commitment level, Athena's obvious dismay leads him to challenge her workaholic tendencies. His accusation is true: she hasn't even paused to read a novel in years. Determined to prove Karl wrong, Athena takes a break from her hectic schedule to peruse a used bookstore, where she meets Grey, the intriguing—and single—propietor. Her quest for change and her desire to see more of Grey leads Athena to stray from her to-do list and join the Newport Ladies Book Club.
When Athena's world is turned upside down by a family tragedy, she's left to care for her terminally ill father. Juggling the demands of attending to an ailing parent and running her business, Athena comes to value the friendships of the book-club members, and she find herself relying more and more on Grey's support. When she stumbles across an old shoebox in her mother's closet, she's stunned by its contents, which hold unexpected truths about her parents' relationship. As Athena delves into a past that defies her judgment about her parents' marriage, she is forced to reevaluate her views on life and love.
By Victoria, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Athena, like each of the other Newport Ladies, was a joy to get to know. I'm so glad there are more books to look forward to. My circle of friends just keeps growing! Seriously, I find comfort in these books as I read about women so much like me and my friends. Thank you, Heather!
By Erin, Submitted on 2015-02-25
This is officially my favorite of all four books. I have not really read any of Heather Moore's books so this is my first glimpse into her mind. She is a fantastic author. This is not just a story about Athena, but a story about the love between a husband and a wife, and the truth about the obstacles we put in our own way in life. If you read no other books in this series, read this one. Moore will be on my short list from now on.
By Sheila, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Athena is the last book that takes place during the same time-frame as the first three books.All four books were written as a parallel series, not as a forward-moving series.They cover the same book club meetings and events in all four books. This last book is probably the most different from the other three. The main reason is that main character Athena kept to herself a lot more than the other characters in this series. While reading the other books, the reader could get the impression that Athena is cold and not truly interested in the book club. This is so far from the truth as you read this fourth book. Athena has a lot going on in her life. She is single, runs her own company and is very conflicted about getting married and having a family. Her Mother wants her to marry a nice, Greek boy and stay at home to have babies and take care of her man...just like she did in her life. Athena has been very critical of her parents and their marriage, but events happen that change her life. She meets a new man, very different than the man she has been dating previously. A death in the family and a major life decision make Athena face some of the harshest trials that life can bring.
I read Athena in about 12 hours. I was completely taken in with Athena's story. Heather Moore's expertise as a writer shows as she develops this character. The growth arc that Athena takes is so huge as she makes decisions that not only change her life, but those she loves. This book truly brought full circle the stories of the four women in this series. It felt so satisfying to finish this book and feel that sense of completion. The next four books in the series will be about four other book club members in a new time frame. Each of the authors will take on this new writing challenge.
I highly recommend Athena! This story is full of heart-wrenching moments, friendship at it's finest, and a love story that made me cheer, moan and melt. How is that for a combination? Athena's romance with Grey, the book store owner, has turned out to be one of my favorites for 2012.If you haven't started this series, pull out the tissues, reserve several hours to yourself and get ready to be pulled into the world of The Newport Ladies Book Club. You will find women of strength, strong friendships and stories that will make you look at your own life in new ways.
By Karen , Submitted on 2015-02-25
It is not often I can read a book that touches the sweetness and kindness of the human heart and soul. This book seemed to pull together all of the previous books written so far. I have read all of them and the women in the book club seemed more real, likeable, human, and someone I would like to be friends with. I felt this episode revealed the little acts of everyday kindness and the consequences as a result. I especially liked the agony Athena experiences and the journey she makes to self realization that she is worthy and capable of a fulfilling life. Where was Gray when I needed him years ago? This was a caring and deserving man. His past flaws are what made his constancy such a joy to read about. Actually I want more of Athena and Gray! I can hardly wait to find out the background stories for the rest of the Book Club. Hurry please!
By Jennifer, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Athena is a self-proclaimed bachelorette—it’s better that way—no one gets hurt. But when tragedy strikes, Athena realizes friendship and love is the only way she can pull through, and she must, for the first time in her life, risk opening her heart.
Athena is the fourth book in the Newport Ladies Bookclub series. If you are familiar with these books, you know that they are each stand alone novels that follow a group of women who have met at a book club.
Athena is the president of her own company. She is in her thirties, and has a comfortable, casual dating relationship with Karl. But when he wants their relationship to become more serious, she ends it and resigns herself to the fact that she is just not the right kind of girl for married life. She doesn't need anyone, and after watching the way her father dictated her mother's life, she is skittish about letting anyone close to her.
That was until she met Grey and started thinking that he was somebody she could get serious with. Grey is a sensitive character without being whiny or lame. I connected with him right away, and I also loved that he isn't perfect. He is a great romantic lead, because he's struggling with the idea of being close to someone just as much as Athena is.
When her mother dies, Athena finds herself relying on Grey to help her through not only her mourning, but the trials and complicated feelings of caring for her father.
I loved Athena. The characters were so complex and dealt with their realistic problems in a realistic way. It is beautifully written with a wonderful story, and by the end, I felt that the characters had changed and grown, and it was satisfying as far as character arc. There were parts where I teared up, and also places where I laughed out loud.
You can read more about the series: http://thenewportladiesbookclub.blogspot.com
By Kaye, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Athena arrives in my mailbox like a gift. I don’t even force myself to wait to begin reading. This is like catching up with old friends or a terrific talk-fest with good people I know who will share with me another side to the story. Let me at it.
Athena is a puzzle of a woman. She seems well-ordered and efficient, working as she does from her Newport apartment with the terrific view, making an independent decent living by keeping her online magazine afloat. Her first conflict is a breakup with her photographer that she has sort of dated coupled with a date her mother pressures her into going out with a “nice Greek boy.” She doesn’t seem to really connect with any of the men in her life, until she meets Grey who comes, we discover, with an issue of two of his own.
The catalyst in this story—as we already know from the first three books in the series—is the death of Athena’s mother in a car accident. As Athena picks up the pieces of her life she takes on the added difficulty of caring full time for her aging father who is struggling with Alzheimer’s disease. Her well-ordered life spins out of control as she wrestles with real challenges and sorrows and, frankly, matures into a woman that has much to give and more depth than we thought.
Award-winning writer Heather Moore has crafted a character with depth and growth to spare. She uses a light touch with the pain and sorrow that necessarily surrounds the situation but lets us also feel the depth of Athena’s conflict as she wrestles with her own Greek tragedy surrounding her mother’s untimely death. Enter the bookclub and the books they examine together.
Concepts from the discussions help the main character’s growth. I like that. Even though we have looked at these books in the three previous volumes of this series I stay eager to see what Athena’s thoughts and understandings will be. In fact, I looked back in my notes with some previous questions I had and found one of them answered in this book. I find that careful attention to detail immensely satisfying.
So, with another winner in Athena, we are on to the next four books in the series, and to the next four months in their lives. Thank you, Athena, Paige, Daisy, and Olivia. We are eager to get to know your other friends, Ruby, Shannon, Ilana, and Victoria. Long live the Newport Ladies Book Club!
By Stephanie, Submitted on 2015-02-25
""Three! Four! Five! Six!" My class chanted in unison, but it sounded more like we were just grunting."
Athena was another great book in the Newport Ladies Book Club. Athena is a smart, and sassy, businesswoman with a successful online business. She worked hard to get where she is and she feels happy. Everythings going well. Until the convenient boyfriend wants more from her and accusses her of not being well-rounded. This leads Athena to buy a book to prove she still reads. While in a local bookstore she's introduced to two things that will change her life: the bookstore own and a bookclub.
In Athena's personal life, she's worried about her father who has dementia and her mother as the caregiver. When a tragedy strikes, Athena must rely on other's for help and support, a hard choice for independant Athena.
I enjoyed the romance in this book! :)
I also liked how Athena's perceptions changed throughout the book, in every aspect of her life: romance, family, friends, work etc. Athena is a well-rounded character, very enjoyable to read, even in the hard times.
By Rachel, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Athena is book 4 of the Newport Ladies Book Club. Like the other books (Olivia, Daisy & Paige) they follow the same time period, but they don’t have to be read in order to understand the series or characters.
At first, I found the book a little slow and hard to get into the story line, but realized the character herself, Athena, is “boring” at first because she has allowed her life and schedule to be the same thing day after day. She works alot so she rarely has any opportunities to do anything else. When she decides to make some changes in her life, like joining a book club and reading books based on a strangers (Grey) recommendation, the book gets more interesting.
I also liked that this book seemed to have less of the other characters involvements (probably because Athena kept more to herself) so you don’t read a lot of events that are mentioned in the other 3 books of the series. In other words, you don’t feel like you are reading one of the other books all over again.
I liked that this book showed Athena’s struggles to change and to understand her parents’ marriage and illnesses. I can’t even imagine trying to take care of a sick parent, especially one that could be violent or not even remember you!
Heather Moore did a wonderful job of expressing Athena’s emotions and struggles. Although I couldn’t relate to Athena’s experiences like I could with some of the other characters, the book itself and the emotions was very well written!!
I cannot wait to read the other set of 4 books, to be released in 2013. The other set of books will not cover the same time period, so the characters we have come to love in the first 4 books will be mentioned and we will see how their lives have changed!!
By Lucinda, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Athena is my favorite in the Newport Ladies Bookclub series. I love Athena. Heather brought Athena to life for me. Her trials, her strengths, her weaknesses and awakening to experience a truly full life. Read this book you will love it and love Athena.
By Colleen, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Accused of being a workaholic and hermit, Athena takes that as a challenge to change some things in her life. First and foremost to read a book other then her magazine. That's when she meets Grey (Owner of a little bookstore). He brings new insight into Athena's world. With her Mother's passing and now having to take care of her ailing father, will she muddle through somehow by herself, or will she let others in, who are willing to help her drastically changing life?
I loved this fourth addition from the Newport Ladies Book Club! I learned so many new things about Athena, and was pleased with the outcome! Each book held something great. I can most relate to Athena being close to her age. I loved seeing her relationship grow with the other ladies and how supportive they all are for each other, even though they didn't know each other at first. I have never heard of the books that they read in the book club (except for the last (The Help) that they actually didn't start to read yet) but I enjoyed how each book had an impact on each reader. I may need to read those books now.
This isn't the end of the Book Club series. Keep a look out for the next 4 books, which will come out at different times next year. With all new point of views from Ruby, Shannon, Ilana, and Victoria. We of course have met these women in this first set of 4 already out. It will be fun to see what they all have to share in their own lives.
Pick up Olivia, Daisy, Paige, and Athena today and get caught up!