A heartbreaking novel about mothers, daughters and secrets

Subscribe: itunes | Google Play Music | How to listen The final pick of Group Text, our monthly column for readers and book clu...


The final pick of Group Text, our monthly column for readers and book clubs, is Esther Freud “I couldn’t love you more” a novel about three generations of women struggling with secrets, shame and an inexorable bond. Elisabeth Egan, editor at the Book Review and the mastermind behind Group Text, talks about the novel on this week’s podcast.

“It’s this incredibly powerful story about mothers and daughters,” Egan says, “and also an interesting and really heartbreaking look at what was going on in Ireland at the time that really lasted for about 100 years, where the Catholic church ran the – they were like prisons – for women who had problems one way or another, they forced the women to change their names and give up their babies.

Credit…Jillian edelstein

Philip D’Anieri visits the podcast to discuss his new book, “The Appalachian Trail: a biography”, including what drew him to the sprawling subject.

“It’s a place that gives us the opportunity to examine the intersection of the built and the natural,” says D’Anieri. “It’s a place that we consider natural – it’s the outdoors, you can hike, you can connect with the natural world – but you also had to build it: you had to build shelters, a route. had to be determined, the land had to be owned. This tension is something that has always interested me.

Also in this week’s episode, Tina Jordan reflects on the history of book review as she celebrates her 125th birthday; Alexandra Alter has news from the publishing world; and Gregory Cowles and Lauren Christensen talk about what they read. Pamela Paul is the host.

Here are the books covered in “What We Read” this week:

We would love to hear your thoughts on this episode and the Book Review podcast in general. You can send them to books@nytimes.com.

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