New York Times Best Selling Author to Headline Mandell JCC Book Festival

Connecticut author Martha Hall Kelly will discuss her Latest Novel, ‘Lost Roses,’ at the Mandell JCC in West Hartford on the same day it will be released in paperback.


The Mandell JCC, in partnership with Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore, is excited to welcome New York Times best selling author Martha Hall Kelly to kick off this season’s book festival on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, at 7 p.m., at the Mandell JCC, 335 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford.

Kelly, who is a Connecticut resident, will lead a book signing and discussion about her latest novel, “Lost Roses, which will be released in paperback the same day.

“Lost Roses,” is the prequel to her New York Times and runaway bestseller “Lilac Girls,” which introduced the real-life heroine Caroline Ferriday. This sweeping new novel, set a generation earlier and also inspired by true events, features Caroline’s mother, Eliza, and follows three equally indomitable women from St. Petersburg to Paris under the shadow of World War II.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at www.mandelljcc.org/tickets.

One of the highlights of this year’s book festival is the popular “Hot Buzz About Books” event – scheduled for Thursday, June 18 at 7 p.m. at the Mandell JCC – which will feature a “speed-dating” style of roundtable discussions with Connecticut authors: Nicole Blades, Megan Collins, Matthew Dicks, Abby Fabiaschi, Carrie Firestone, Amity Gaige, Tracy Mehr-Muska, Jacqueline Raposo, Julia Tannenbaum, and Heather Webb.

The book festival also includes these great events:

  • Lynda Cohen Loigma, author of “The Wartime Sisters” and Jane Healey, author of “The Beantown Girls,” in Conversation with BookBarCT’s Jillian Puzzo on Tuesday, March 31 at 7 p.m. at the Mandell JCC. “Beantown Girls” follows three best friends from Boston who leave the USA to volunteer overseas as Red Cross Clubmobile girls. A novel of love, courage, and danger unfolds as World War II’s brightest American heroines take on the front lines. In “The Wartime Sisters” we meet Ruth and Millie, estranged sisters, raised in Brooklyn and each burdened with her own shocking secret, are reunited at the Springfield Armory in the early days of WWII. Resentment festers between the two, and secrets are shattered when a mysterious figure from the past reemerges in their lives. Both titles will be available for sale and signing at the event.
  • Stephanie Burt, author of “Don’t Read Poetry,” will be at the Mandell JCC on Sunday, April 26, at 1 p.m.In “Don’t Read Poetry,” award-winning poet, literary critic and Harvard Professor Stephanie Burt offers an accessible introduction to the seemingly daunting task of reading, understanding, and appreciating poetry. This book is a masterful guide to a sometimes confounding genre.
  • Mystery Night with… Hank Phillip Ryan, author of “The Murder List”; Cristina Alger, author of “Girls Like Us”; and Emily Liebert, author of “Pretty Revenge” will have a conversation with Alanna Goldberg, Wednesday, May 13, at 7 p.m. at the Mandell JCC. Join us for a thrilling discussion with three best-selling authors about secrets, suspense and storytelling.

Co-directors of the Mandell JCC Book Festival are Alanna Goldberg and Jillian Puzzo, and co-chairs are Kathy Binder and Kathy Fishman.

For more information, visit www.mandelljcc.org.

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