The Briar Club: A Novel (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

It's 1950 in Washington, DC and police are called to the Briarwood House to investigate a disturbance. When they arrive they find a body in the attic and none of the boarders are talking. I was fascinated by this look into the turbulent years when Senator McCarthy's baseless ravings against the "Red Menace" infiltrating our country and its eerie similarities to the current state of our nation. Despite the communist paranoia and racial tensions prevalent during that time, I longed to climb the stairs and attend one of the "Briar Club's" Thursday night dinners with this eclectic group who come together to form a strong sisterhood. By including the recipes from the dinners and what song should be played while eating the featured dishes, Kate Quinn allows readers to sit down and join the party. I highly recommend this wonderful book!

— Lisa


“Quinn evocatively balances the outward cheerfulness of the 1950s with historical observations exploring racism, misogyny, homophobia and political persecution in this sharply drawn, gripping novel.” - People Magazine

The New York Times bestselling author of The Diamond Eye and The Rose Code returns with a haunting and powerful story of female friendships and secrets in a Washington, DC, boardinghouse during the McCarthy era.

Washington, DC, 1950. Everyone keeps to themselves at Briarwood House, a down-at-the-heels all-female boardinghouse in the heart of the nation’s capital where secrets hide behind white picket fences. But when the lovely, mysterious widow Grace March moves into the attic room, she draws her oddball collection of neighbors into unlikely friendship: poised English beauty Fliss, whose facade of perfect wife and mother covers gaping inner wounds; policeman’s daughter Nora, who finds herself entangled with a shadowy gangster; frustrated baseball star Beatrice, whose career has come to an end along with the women’s baseball league of WWII; and poisonous, gung-ho Arlene, who has thrown herself into McCarthy’s Red Scare.

Grace’s weekly attic-room dinner parties and window-brewed sun tea become a healing balm on all their lives, but she hides a terrible secret of her own. When a shocking act of violence tears the house apart, the Briar Club women must decide once and for all: who is the true enemy in their midst?

Capturing the paranoia of the McCarthy era and evoking the changing roles for women in postwar America, The Briar Club is an intimate and thrilling novel of secrets and loyalty put to the test.

A beautiful, foil cover, first edition.

About the Author

Kate Quinn is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction. A native of Southern California, she attended Boston University, where she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in classical voice. A lifelong history buff, she has written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga and two books set in the Italian Renaissance before turning to the 20th century with The Alice Network, The Huntress, The Rose Code, and The Diamond Eye. All have been translated into multiple languages. She and her husband now live in California with three black rescue dogs.

Praise For…

“Quinn evocatively balances the outward cheerfulness of the 1950s with historical observations exploring racism, misogyny, homophobia and political persecution in this sharply drawn, gripping novel.” — People

"Compulsively readable, The Briar Club will find eager readers in those who love woman-led historical fiction with rich, appealing characters." — Booklist (starred review)

“[A] compelling story. This powerful, unforgettable historical mystery is for fans of Mary Anna Evans’s Justine Byrne series and stories with strong women characters.” — Library Journal (starred review)

“A stellar historical mystery Quinn elegantly explores issues of race, class, and gender, and brings the paranoid atmosphere of McCarthy-era Washington to vivid life. For Quinn’s fans, this is a must.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Quinn’s latest continues to uphold her reputation for grasping the complexities, nuances, and dynamism of the past. Really, this book is perfect.” — Literary Hub

“Kate Quinn’s The Briar Club not only presents a thrilling mystery, but also, and perhaps more importantly, a cast of characters readers will adore.” — ELLE.COM

Product Details
ISBN: 9780063244740
ISBN-10: 0063244748
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: July 9th, 2024
Pages: 432
Language: English