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September Brewery Book Club (fiction)

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We like to spotlight at least one Iowa-based story or one written-by-an-Iowan book every year and we are very excited that September’s fiction pick, Arrowood by Laura McHugh, is both. Fort Madison native McHugh set this “chilling, twisting tale of family, memory, and home” in the southern Iowa city of Keokuk, close to where she grew up. According to famous author Jodi Picoult, Arrowood is a “robust, old-fashioned gothic mystery has everything you’re looking for: a creepy old house, a tenant with a secret history, and even a few ghosts.” It tells the story of Arden Arrowood, come home after twenty years, bend on discovering what happened to her missing twin sisters.


FHB Book Club meets at 5:45 PM (non-fiction) and 7 PM (fiction) each 3rd Wednesday of the month. Anyone is welcome to come or not come based on their interest in that month's books. No commitment, no stress...just a chance to learn something new, share your opinions, and meet fellow supernerds. The book discussion is lead by our resident bookworm and brewery co-owner, Molly.

About the Book:

“Superb and subtle psychological suspense.”—Lee Child

A haunting novel from the author of The Weight of Blood about a young woman’s return to her childhood home—and her encounter with the memories and family secrets it holds

ITW THRILLER AWARD FINALIST

Arrowood is the most ornate and grand of the historical houses that line the Mississippi River in southern Iowa. But the house has a mystery it has never revealed: It’s where Arden Arrowood’s younger twin sisters vanished on her watch twenty years ago—never to be seen again. After the twins’ disappearance, Arden’s parents divorced and the Arrowoods left the big house that had been in their family for generations. And Arden’s own life has fallen apart: She can’t finish her master’s thesis, and a misguided love affair has ended badly. She has held on to the hope that her sisters are still alive, and it seems she can’t move forward until she finds them. When her father dies and she inherits Arrowood, Arden returns to her childhood home determined to discover what really happened to her sisters that traumatic summer.

Arden’s return to the town of Keokuk—and the now infamous house that bears her name—is greeted with curiosity. But she is welcomed back by her old neighbor and first love, Ben Ferris, whose family, she slowly learns, knows more about the Arrowoods’ secrets and their small, closed community than she ever realized. With the help of a young amateur investigator, Arden tracks down the man who was the prime suspect in the kidnapping. But the house and the surrounding town hold their secrets close—and the truth, when Arden finds it, is more devastating than she ever could have imagined.

Arrowood is a powerful and resonant novel that examines the ways in which our lives are shaped by memory. As with her award-winning debut novel, The Weight of Blood, Laura McHugh has written a thrilling novel in which nothing is as it seems, and in which our longing for the past can take hold of the present in insidious and haunting ways.

Praise for Arrowood

“This robust, old-fashioned gothic mystery has everything you’re looking for: a creepy old house, a tenant with a secret history, and even a few ghosts. Laura McHugh’s novel sits at the intersection of memory and history, astutely asking whether we carry the past or it carries us.”—Jodi Picoult

“An eloquently eerie tale.”—Booklist

“Poignant . . . lyrical.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A chilling, twisting tale of family, memory, and home . . . This engaging and thrilling tale about a young woman’s homecoming, the vagaries of memory, and the impact of tragedy on both a town and a family is a terrific choice for Laura Lippman and Sue Grafton readers.”—Library Journal (starred review)


The book is available in all print and digital formats as well as audio.

Earlier Event: September 18
September Brewery Book Club (non-fiction)
Later Event: September 26
The Gentlemen's Anti-Temperance League