*If you are new here, WELCOME! For A Boundless Place, I provide your book club with a brief summary, food ideas and a recipe, and discussion questions in that order!
Lately the world, or at least mine, has just been a little crazy. A Boundless Place, Pamela Stockwell’s debut, was exactly what I needed.
A quiet novel, full of characters dealing with real grief, it reminded me of other heartwarming books that I have loved. While reading, the book offered me a similar feel to At Home in Mitford, with a little more edginess (aka tragic character pasts).
A Boundless Place is the first novel I’m featuring for Book Club Bites’ collaboration with The Best of Women’s Fiction podcast and Hasty Book List.
If you haven’t read about what’s happening, check out more details here.
Be sure to listen to all that Pamela Stockwell has to say about A Boundless Place on the podcast: HERE.
Below, I’ve got a yummy recipe from Pamela herself plus book club questions for A Boundless Place! If you are looking for book club ideas and more, keep reading!
Check out these fun bookish gadgets…
Here’s a brief summary of A Boundless Place:
From the Publisher: “Twenty-four-year-old Violet wants one thing: to hide from life after her husband’s death left her reeling. But life has other ideas. Well, life and a certain seven-year-old neighbor.
Violet moves to Magnolia Avenue, a forgotten street in a forgotten neighborhood filled with forgotten mobile homes. It looks like the perfect place to retreat and lick her wounds. But it’s not long before her young neighbor, Arabella, enlists her in the rescue of the cantankerous old woman next door who has fallen ill. But if Violet thinks this is a one-off event, she’s wrong. Next thing she knows, she is entangled in the lives of several neighbors from grumpy Mr. Pritchard to the handsome GI across the street. Set against the backdrop of the 1969 moon landing when astronauts broke the boundaries of Earth, A Boundless Place shows what happens when people are able to break through their own boundaries and reach out to others.”
For A Boundless Place Food Ideas:
Throughout the book there are a number of neighborhood parties, which provide good options if you need dishes for your book club. Since this novel was set in South Carolina, there were plenty of southern dishes. Nick’s arrival brings Italian into the mix as well.
Here are a few of the food ideas from the pages of A Boundless Place:
- Pimento cheese sandwich and pepperoni and mushroom pizza after Mrs. McCabe comes home from the hospital
- Lemonade and cookies when Tommy works on Mrs. Mccabe’s yard
- Fried pork chops and gravy and green beans after Mr. Pritchard gets Sadie
- Lunar Landing Party – green bean casserole, potato salad, Nick’s pasta salad, deviled eggs, hamburgers, hot dogs and peach ice cream
- Mrs. McCabe’s birthday – bruschetta, antipasti skewers, stuffed mushrooms, Italian burgers, and cupcakes
- Nick cooks dinner for Violet- Osso buco with risotto and salad
- Violet cooks for Nick – chicken and dumplings
Pamela Stockwell was kind enough to share her chicken and dumplings recipe. And, let me tell you! I have had a lot of chicken and dumplings and, as simple as this was, it was SO delicious.
Even my husband (who prefers dough dumplings over biscuit dumplings) loved this. It’s sure to be a smash at your book club!
A few tips for cooking Chicken and Dumplings:
Here are a few tips for cooking chicken and dumplings.
- I prefer to remove all skin on my chicken so that the broth isn’t too fatty. But that is a personal preference.
- If you are in a hurry, two chicken breasts, two thighs, and two drumsticks will work instead of a whole chicken cut into pieces.
- Spoon the dumplings by 2 tbsp size or smaller as they will expand with cooking.
Whether you choose something from this list or try this fabulous recipe from Pamela, I hope these food ideas will get your creative juices flowing to host your book club for A Boundless Place!
Chicken and Dumplings Recipe:
Chicken and Dumplings
- 1 dutch oven
- 1 cut up whole chicken 3 to 3 1/2 lb
- 1 small onion sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 2 teaspoons parsley flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 5 cups water
- 2 1/2 cups Bisquick™ Original Pancake & Baking Mix
- 2/3 cup milk
- Parsley flakes for garnish
- Paprika for garnish
- Place chicken (remove giblets) in 4-quart Dutch oven along with onion, parsley, salt, pepper and water. Cover; bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer for 2 hours or until juice of chicken runs clear and chicken is at least 165°F.
- Remove chicken from Dutch oven. Strip the chicken from the bone and return the chicken to broth. Heat the broth to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Lower to medium low heat and cook about 20 minutes or until hot.
- In medium bowl, stir 2 1/2 cups Bisquick™ mix and the milk with a whisk or fork until soft dough forms. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto hot broth. Cook uncovered over low heat 10 minutes. Cover and cook 10 minutes longer. Sprinkle with paprika and parsley and serve.
More Fun from Pamela Stockwell:
Would you like to credit someone besides yourself for the recipe?
Just my mom!
Good food and a good book go hand-in-hand. What is your favorite food to enjoy while reading?
Wine and cheese
Did you sample any interesting food while researching this book? Or experience anything exciting while researching?
I researched but didn’t sample the risotto Nick makes. Perhaps I should!
(If you’d like to make risotto, check out this yummy version on Book Club Bites!)
A Boundless Place Book Club Questions:
*WARNING: May contain spoilers!
- Arrabella pushes her way into Violet’s life, despite Violet’s protests. Children can often pull us out of our comfort zones, grief, and etc. Have you ever had a child do this for you? Why do you think Violet can’t refuse Arrabella in the way she has others?
- Mrs. McCabe and Mr. Pritchard are set in their ways. Yet, there is more beneath their grumpy exteriors. What did you think of them at the beginning of the book versus the end?
- Violet has lived through traumatic events. How did you feel once you learned her story? Do you think she was better off after Sam’s accident or not? Could she have saved him (in more than one way)?
- Discuss the time period. Did you enjoy all of the historical elements in the book? What was your favorite?
- There are two fires in the book. But only one reconstruction. Discuss how community plays a part in the second fire. How important is community when we face tragedy in helping us rebuild? Is it possible to rebuild without it?
For more book club questions, visit Pamela’s website: https://www.pamelastockwell.com/a-boundless-place.
Find Pamela Stockwell
Pamela can be found at these places online!
Have you read A Boundless Place? What did you think? Did it satisfy you or were you left wishing for more? What are some similar books you’ve read?
Until next time, Happy Reading!
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