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Reading Groups

Scandal and Taboo: Revisiting the Bestselling Novels That Shocked America with Donna Raskin

Two Sessions Saturdays, 1:00 pm EDT - 2:30 pm EDT July 27 to August 24, 2024

The Center for Fiction

The ‘With Books’ option includes both titles required for this group with a 10% discount from our Bookstore.

Meeting Dates:
7/27 & 8/24
In Person at The Center for Fiction

When these two novels were published, the public found them shocking and couldn’t stop buying or discussing them. Forever Amber, outsold every other American novel in the 1940s despite being banned in Boston. Peyton Place, published in 1956, was also scandalous, due to its descriptions of sex and shocking “adult” behavior (there is an interesting dichotomy between the adults and the teenagers in this book). It’s summer! Let’s read these perfect-for-the-beach novels and discuss whether they hold up and how they reflect their time.

Participants should read Forever Amber in advance of the first meeting.

What to expect from this reading group: Some historical context is provided followed by a guided discussion of the novel’s themes and craft.


Led by

  • Donna Raskin

    Donna Raskin

    Donna Raskin

    Donna Raskin is the senior health and fitness editor at Runner’s World and Bicycling magazines. She has led numerous book groups at The Center, based on a variety of themes, including genre, setting, food, and novellas.