20-20 Book Discussions

…using historical fiction to compare the 1920’s to current events and issues.

Each discussion is on the third Thursday of the month, at 3:30 PM.

Sep 19 – Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell: American Agnes Shanklin finds herself a witness to the 1921 Cairo Conference – “a peace to end all peace” that established the modern Middle East, including Syria, Iraq, Palestine and Israel.


Oct 17 – The Tilted World by Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly – A prohibition story of murder, moonshine, and unexpected love during the 1927 Great Mississippi River Flood, which left hundreds of thousands of people homeless. Themes: racial inequality, legislation of morality.


Nov 21 – Witness by Karen Hesse – The KKK flourished in the mid 1920’s, riding the wave public fears and reactions to the Wall Street Bombing, anarchism and the wave of immigration during and following WWI. This small volume, told in verse from multiple perspectives, looks at the KKK in a small New England town. Themes: us vs. them divisions, immigration, racism

Dec 19 – The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty illustrates how rapidly everything, from fashion and hemlines to values and attitudes, was changing at this time and what a vast difference it all made for narrator Louise Brooks and her young charge, Cora Carlisle. Themes:rapid change, the Modern Woman, celebrity, media


Library Director at Pomfret Public Library