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BookBreak: A Museum Book Discussion Group

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Bring your lunch and join us for a lively conversation about Guests on Earth by Lee Smith. Copies are available at the Library, local bookstores, digital libraries, and online sources.

Evalina Toussaint, orphaned child of an exotic dancer in New Orleans, is 13 when admitted to Highland Hospital in Asheville in 1936. The mental hospital is under the direction of the Dr. Robert S. Carroll, whose innovative treatment for nervous disorders and addictions is based upon fresh air, diet, exercise, gardening, art, dance, music, theater, and other therapies of the day. Evalina is taken under the wing of the doctor’s wife, a famous concert pianist, and eventually becomes the accompanist for all musical programs at the hospital, including the many dances and theatricals choreographed by long-time patient Zelda Fitzgerald. Evalina’s role gives her access to the lives and secrets of other patients and staff swept into a series of events leading up to the tragic fire of 1948 that killed nine women in a locked ward on the hospital's top floor. (from publisher Algonquin Books)
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