The Blue Bottle Club by Penelope J. Stokes is a well-crafted piece. I also read another work by Stokes called Circle of Grace where she used creative techniques to tell the tale. Her writings seem to mirror life as she shows how the puzzle pieces fall together after her characters are confounded by life’s mysteries.
In this book, Brendan Delaney is a news reporter who is doing a story on a historic landmark that is about to be demolished in Ashville, North Carolina. It is a huge house that once belonged to the Cameron family and was later used for other city events. As she is about to leave the property, a guy on her crew gives her a blue-bottle that he had found in the attic.
She tucks it away and later discovers that it has four notes inside written by four teen girls. They each write what they would like to achieve in life and vow to remain friends on that Christmas Day in 1929, the year of the stock market crash.
It is now some 65 years later, and Brendan immediately wonders what became of the women who would now be in their 80’s if still alive. This story seems to pull on her and is just the impetus she needs because she has begun to lose her drive for her job and her faith had been waning for quite some time.
With her station manager’s approval, she takes on the momentous task of searching for Leticia Cameron, Adora Archer, Eleanor James and Mary Love. Did Leticia marry her beloved wealthy boyfriend and have lots of babies as she had vowed? Had Adora become a successful actress in Hollywood? Had Eleanor become a social worker like Jane Addams? And, had Mary Love become a great artist and painter as she dreamed?
Brendan, who rarely prayed had uttered the prayer,” Please God. Please let them still be alive.” After that, she followed a lead and went to a nearby church that the Archer family had once attended. She met the current pastor and sure enough, he referred her to Dorothy Parker, a senior in her 90’s who lived at the local home for the aged. From there, the door to discovery swung open as Brendan was pointed to the whereabouts of Leticia Cameron who was a short distance away.
Brendan’s journey begins as she hopes to interview each woman and see how their lives turned out. In her search for the truth, Brendan finds a new-found faith, friendships and a sense of belonging. But what happened in these women’s lives? Did she find them all still alive as she had prayed?
Read this remarkable story which is filled with life lessons, faith and perseverance. See how these four women’s lives turned out in the long run. The Blue Bottle Club is filled with many strong prayers and Brendan comes out much richer in the end.
The Rollin’ Stones song You Can’t Always Get What You Want best exemplifies the message of this book. Push play and enjoy this 1969 version of their song!
Lynn M. January 19, 2019