"Kline's latest novel (after "Bird in Hand") weaves contemporary and historical fiction into a compelling story about loss, adaptability, and courage. Molly is a rebellious 17-year-old foster child sentenced to community service for stealing a copy of "Jane Eyre". She finds a position cleaning out the attic of Vivian, an elderly woman in their coastal Maine town. As Molly sorts through old trunks and boxes, Vivian begins to share stories from her past. Born in County Galway, she immigrated to New York City in 1929. When her family perished in a tenement fire, she was packed off on one of the many orphan trains intended to bring children to Midwestern families who would care for them. Each orphan's lot was largely dependent on the luck of the draw. In this, Vivian's life parallels Molly's, and an unlikely friendship blossoms. With compassion and delicacy Kline presents a little-known chapter of American history and draws comparisons with the modern-day foster care system." ~ Publisher's Weekly, Christine Perkins, Bellingham P.L., WA
Brian Denyer, of the ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE OF NORTHWESTERN CONNECTICUT, INC., will present a program about French paintings exhibited in Connecticut museums, including Farmington’s Hill-Stead Home, Hartford’s Wadsworth Atheneum, and Yale University’s Art Galleries, with artistic and historical details.
Mr. Denyer was a teacher of French for 33 years at the Taft School, instructing courses from the beginners level up to French literature. He also taught Advanced Placement courses, and for ten years he served the College Board as a corrector of these exams. At Taft, he also directed the school’s away programs (notably, School Year Abroad) and led students to France during the summer. In each of his French courses, he added a mini-program of French art. In addition, he coordinated trips to various Connecticut art museums for the school.
He is active with the local Alliance Française, Naugatuck’s Whittemore Library, and the local Senior Center. He is the author of several French workbooks and a book on soccer, and now in retirement , he participates in local creative writing groups. He writes poetry in both English and French, and has made poetry recitations in both languages. He also enjoys oil painting, particularly landscapes.
Film showing of Belle, directed by Amma Asante and starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Matthew Goode, Emily Watson, and Tom Wilkinson. Although Dido Elizabeth Belle, an eighteenth century English woman of mixed race, is raised in privilege by her aristocratic great-uncle and his wife, she is denied a proper social standing because of her skin color. But when Dido falls in love with a young idealist lawyer who aspires to create positive change, she finds herself caught between two worlds.
"The pleasures of Jane Austen and the horrors of the British slave trade make a surprisingly elegant and emotionally satisfying fit in Belle." --Variety
"Amma Asante's Belle is like a Jane Austen novel spiked with an extra shot of social conscience." --Entertainment Weekly