The Blue Bottle Club — Penelope J. Stokes

“The Blue Bottle Club” was the first major hit for Christian author Penelope J. Stokes and has won her fans from far and wide. stokes It’s Christmas Day, 1929, and four friends have gathered together in an attic to share their dreams. The stock market has taken a dive and life is uncertain for all of them, so they decide to make a pact that they will always be friends, that they will support each other, and that they will see their dreams fulfilled.

Letitia goes first. She takes out a piece of paper and reads what she has written: “I, Letitia Randolph Cameron, on this twenty-fifth day of December, 1929, here set forth my dream for life – to marry Phillip Clifton Dorn and bear three children and give my live to make them happy and productive members of society.” The other girls think she’s setting her sights too low, but she knows what she wants.

Mary Love doesn’t want to get married. She wants to live alone, in a place that’s all hers, and become an artist.

Adora wants to be an actress on Broadway, or maybe even go to Hollywood and star in one of those new talking pictures.

Eleanor is shy to share her dream, but then whispers that she wants to be a social worker.

Letitia brings forth a cobalt blue bottle and the girls each place a piece of paper inside with their dreams written on them. The bottle is then placed in the rafters high above their heads, out of sight. “Hidden from view, holding their dreams, secret and sacred, awaiting the future.”

The book then shifts forward in time to 1994, where we meet Brendan Delaney, a reporter who has been asked to cover the demolition of Cameron House, one of the more famous historical homes in the area. Through a series of unusual events, the blue bottle falls into her hands, and she opens it to read the words written by the four young women so many years ago. She decides to find them and see if they really did achieve the dreams they had recorded so long ago.

Brendan sets out on this quest, not knowing what she’ll find, but she comes home so much richer than she began. Some dreams were fulfilled, others were not. Did these girls find happiness or heartbreak? Once they reached their goals, did they find them to be empty, or did they attain everything they had wished for? You’ll have to read the book to find out, but it will be well worth your while.

(This book was published in 1999 by Word Publishing.)