Once Upon a Book Club - Past_Boxes_Adult_2020
Hover over the photo of the wrapped gifts to see the complete unboxing underneath!

July 2020

images by @The_Bookish_Runner

    The Last Piece by Imogen Clark
  • Page 47
    "She pulled the photograph out. It was upside-down, so she turned it over. The image made her start and she let out a gasp. It was a simple, uncluttered, picture: a single bed covered with a white cotton counterpane and, sitting on that, a box about the size of a shoe box. It was decorated all over with pictures of yellow roses cut from wallpaper, faded now and curling in places near the edges, but otherwise looking well cared for, considering its age. Cecily would have known it anywhere."
    - a custom designed photograph to resemble the photograph Cecily found.
  • Page 97
    "Of course there was coffee. There was always fresh coffee at breakfast, or was that something else he failed to notice these days? She set her face in a smile, however, and cocked her head in the direction of the cafetiere. 'I can get it for you, Daddy,' said Hugo, and before either of them could stop him Hugo had slipped down from his place and was lifting up the full catetiere. 'Put it down, darling. It's hot!' Felicity said shrilly, standing to take it from him, but Hugo, anxious to show how very capable and grown up he was, turned quickly away from her and sent the cafetiere knocking into Richard's leg. The coffee splashed up and over his shirt."
    - a single-serve, glass and metal french press.
  • Page 186
    "As the bus beetled through the narrow streets to pick other passengers up, Cecily found her sunglasses in her bag and put them on. She held a clean tissue to her face but with a gargantuan effort she found that she was able to contain her emotion, not allowing it to overflow and impinge on those around her."
    - a custom printed pack of facial tissues, a custom printed sunglass bag, a cleaning cloth, and pair of black and gold cat eye glasses.
  • Page 304
    "'What on earth are you doing?' she asked as she took in the scene. 'I finished the jigsaw,' he said, his voice triumphant. Cecily saw that there was indeed a complete picture of Monument Valley sitting on her table. Except for one piece of sky. The green baize of the mat shone through where should have been cobalt blue."
    - a custom designed puzzle of Monument Valley exclusive to our box.

June 2020

images by @The_Bookish_Runner

    How the Penguins Saved Veronica by Hazel Prior
  • Page 9
    "My cane steadies me over the uneven turf and sand. I have brough my fuchsia gold-trimmed handbag, which is now floundering tiresomely against my thigh. I should have left it on the hook in the hall, but one never knows when one might require a handkerchief or a painkiller. I have also brought along my litter-picking tongs and a small refuse sack. It is a lifelong habit of mine to pick up litter because of something my dear father once said. It is a small act of remembrance as well as a token gesture to atone for the chaos left behind by the human race."
    - a roll of trash bags and a custom pair of salad tongs to resemble Veronica's litter picking tongs. The tongs were custom engraved with the quote "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone".
  • Page 108
    "I embark on a hunt for my reading glasses. After going through both my ruined scarlet bag and my rather less good but at least unvandalized fuchsia and gold hangbag without success, I delve into my suitcase. I discover the tin of fragrant Darjeeling in its depths but no reading glasses. The tea is some consolation, however."
    - a tin of Harney and Sons darjeeling tea.
  • Page 269
    "Dietrich comes to my room fairly often. He doesn't waste time in small talk or ask how I am. He knows I can't answer. "Mrs. McCreedy," he exclaims in a voice of eagerness, "I am going to read you another chapter from "Great Expectations". I'm sure you're going to like it." He clears his throat and starts without further preamble. "
    - a custom designed journal inspired by the Penguin Classic edition of Great Expectations.
  • Page 321
    "I know I will never see this penguin again, this small, stubby friend who has made a world of difference. He presses his head against my hand in a gesture of affection, as if he knows it, too. I touch my locket as it hangs there under my many layers of clothes, the metal smooth against my skin. It is tightly packed now. In addition to the four strands that were there before, there are two new specimens of human hair, plus a tiny tuft of fluff from a penguin."
    - a silver locket inspired by Veronica's that she mentioned throughout the novel. Inside the glass is two paper cuttings; one with a V for Veronica and one displaying the varying hair/feathers contained inside.

May 2020

images by @The_Bookish_Runner

    Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon
  • Page 25
    "'You have a fine head of hair, John Lowry.' It is what she always says, yet she always wants to cut it off. She begins her work, snipping and clipping, until she sets down her shears, brushes off her apron, and lifts the cloth from my shoulders, shaking it briskly into the yard."
    - a pair of gorgeous gold toned scissors, inspired by the ones Jennie uses to cut John's hair.
  • Page 76
    "Surprise leaps among the light and shadow. His eyes cling to mine for a startled second, and he makes a sound like a laugh - just a puff of breath - but it doesn't turn up his lips or wrinkle his eyes. "You've got my attention, Mrs. Caldwell. But I'm not sure that's what you really want." He sets his coffee down and begins to rise."
    - a custom designed tin coffee mug, painted with a small scene representing the Oregon Trail (hand wash only).
  • Page 130
    "'Her hair was heavy...like a great rope. Or maybe it just seemed that way because I was small. I would stand behind her and put my hands in it, like it was the mane of a pony, and I would pretend to ride. Sometimes she would carry me on her back, but most of the time she would sit, her legs crossed, her hands in her lap, her body bowed forward so I could lean into her and hold onto her hair. More than once she fell asleep that way, nodding away as I pretended to ride. Then I would climb into the nest of her lap and go to sleep too.' When I give him the picture of a nodding Indian girl, a little boy at her back with his hands in her hair, a suggestion of a horse transposed over the top of them, he doesn't say anything, but he swallows, his throat working up and down. He rolls it into a scroll and wraps it with the others I've given him in a piece of cloth soaked in linseed oil and dried to make it resistant to water, and when he looks up to find me watching, he gives me one of his mother's crooked smiles."
    - a custom designed drawing of John and his mother as described in the novel, wrapped in cloth.
  • Page 328
    "They left Wolfe's body behind. It was a gift, a mercy to Naomi, and she is with him now. She washed him and wrapped him in a small woll blanket with a stripe of every color. Washakie gave it to her, and Naomi said it reminded her of her mother's coat, the coat of many colors, like Joseph sold into Egypt."
    - a multi-colored blanket inspired by the description of the blanket in the novel.

April 2020

images by @The_Bookish_Runner

    The Herd by Andrea Bartz
  • Page 97
    "I'd forgotten about it altogether until we ran upstairs tonight, my and Mikki's and Katie's feet a stampede on the wooden stairs, and saw Daniel crouched in front of Eleanor's desk, feeding a key into a locked drawer...I flicked the envelope open. Inside was a Post-it stuck to a scrap of computer paper, torn from a corner. Both papers had strings of numbers written on them. 527434340100 on the purple Post-it, 8914512191 on the scrap. They were both in the same handwriting - block numbers, not Eleanor's."
    - an envelope containing the purple post it and the torn piece of paper including the mysterious strings of numbers written on them.
  • Page 120
    "I stepped back and surveyed the bedroom, my chest throbbing, my thoughts a wail: Where are you, Eleanor? In the en suite bathroom, I poked at the makeup bag yawning open on the shelf. Lots of Gleam products - she practiced what she preached."
    - a custom designed makeup bag and set of makeup brushes inspired by the Gleam line of cosmetics.
  • Page 215
    "I crept back into my room and looked around, taking in the details, all the things Eleanor, once a living, breathing, red-blooded girl, had chosen, given places of honor in her bedroom. A Frida Kahlo portrait watched me coolly from above the door. Had Eleanor truly planned to move to Mexico, or was it a harmless fantasy?"
    - a beautiful Frida Kahlo 8x10 portrait we think Eleanor would have loved.
  • Page 283
    "'I'm gonna call a car, okay?' I said, and she stared blankly for a moment before nodding. She didn't move, so I turned toward the door. A few steps later my eyes fell on the craft organizer hanging from her closet door. I saw them all clustered in one pocket, like a deadly bouquet - shiny and sharp, the same tool I'd often seen in her overstuffed backpack on account of all the careful photo cutting she was doing. My chest turned to cold steel, and before I knew what I was doing, I reached out and touched the cap of one, the X-Acto knife's blade glistening below it."
    - a large, thick felt closet organizer perfect for your crafting supplies (or in this case, murder weapons).

March 2020

images by @The_Bookish_Runner

    Wildland by Rebecca Hodge
  • Page 115
    "Scott picked up the tangle of bracelets he had rescued from his cottage and held them for a long moment. He started to say something. Stopped. Malcolm expected some sort of complaint, but when he looked more closely, Scott seemed calmer, the touch of the bracelets perhaps a reminder of how much was at stake."
    - a set of bracelets belonging to Scott's daughter.
  • Page 169
    "Scott took a deep breath, obviously ready to argue further, but he froze. 'Wait, what's that?' He pointed down at the rocks below. 'That red spot.' Lou held the chopper steady. Pete pulled a pair of binoculars from a compartment beside him, held them to his face and squinted through them. 'Looks like a piece of cloth.' Malcolm found it - a tiny fleck of red among the brown, about two-thirds of the way across the swath of tumbled rock. Pete handed teh binoculars back and Scott seized them. He fumbled with the focus knob, taking so long to adjust it that Malcolm was ready to rip them from his hands. Finally, he nodded. 'Red with white flowers. It's Kat's hat.'"
    - a custom designed, red hat with white stitching that reads "Shh I'm Reading" inspired by the design of Kat's hat they spot in the rocks.
  • Page 262
    "Malcolm swallowed his irritation. Scott needed to stay focused; he shouldn't go haring off after nothing. He bit back the comment that rose to his lips. Scott was the one down there; he was the one with eyes on. 'Wait...let me get it...it's canvas.' A pause. 'It's part of Kat's bag!' The energy in Scott's voice came through clearly. 'Are you sure?' Malcolm remembered the bag. Some sort of school name on its side, with an eagle logo. Kat has been there. She and the children must have made it to the pond. 'Are you really sure?' 'Positive.'"
    - a dusky green backpack with the school logo printed on a removable sticker inspired by the bag Scott finds.

February 2020

images by @The_Bookish_Runner

    Remembrance by Rita Woods
  • Page 37
    "Margot started. Her grandmother stood in the doorway, a wooden bowl of water in one hand, herbs tied with rough twine in the other. Under the stench of vomit and rot, Margot smelled lavender. They locked eyes, her grandmother's unspoken question writ clear on her broad face. Could he be saved?"
    - a wooden mortar and pestle set with a 'sprig' of lavender similar to the one Grandmere holds in this scene of the novel.
  • Page 101
    "Margot found a hollowed log. It wasn't quite big enough, but it would protect her sister in some small way from the animals and the elements, at least for a while. Gently she tucked pine boughs around her sister's body. Veronique had always like the smell of fresh pine. Then bending, she swapped the lockets Grandmere had given them, hers for Veronique's. They were identical, but she would always know this one belonged to her sister. In the end, she simply walked away - no more words, no more tears - because there was nothing else to do."
    - a gold, oval locket containing a 'lock of hair' reminiscent of that described in the novel.
  • Page 110
    "She rooted around in her pocket until her fingers brushed against the small wooden disk she'd taken from Hercule's shop, all she had left of him."
    - a small wooden disk (to be turned into an ornament for use after the novel).
  • Page 275
    "He placed a cup in her hand, then propped himself on the opposite end of the log. Margot inhaled the steam from the cup. She took a sip and sighed. The sweetness worked its way into her head, clearing her thoughts. David Henry chuckled. 'Apple tea. Good, ain't it?' he said. 'One of Remembrance's specialties.'"
    - a rose gold, vintage looking tea strainer inspired by the one David Henry may have used to make the tea, and recipe for Remembrance Apple Tea.

January 2020

images by @The_Bookish_Runner

    The Last Letter From Juliet by Melanie Hudson
  • Page 24
    "I took off my coat and lay it across the arm of a green velvet chaise lounge, then crossed to the window to close the curtains. A photograph frame sat on the windowsill. The black and white image inside was of a woman standing in front of a bi-plane, squinting slightly against the sun. There was a tag attached to the photo; I read it."
    - a beautiful wooden picture frame featuring the photo as described in the novel along with the small tag.
  • Page 138
    "'Join the ATA.' 'The ATA?' 'Air Transport Auxiliary. They deliver aircraft from the factories to all the air bases - move aircraft arund the country for maintenance, that kind of thing. They're letting a few women in as pilots now - I suppose they've got to, since there simply aren't enough chaps around to meet demand these days.' Janie grabbed her clutch bag, snapped open the fasteners, took out a newspaper clipping and rested it on the table in front of me. 'There you go.'"
    - an adorable faux-suede clutch bag inspired by Janie's bag, and the newspaper clipping.
  • Page 304
    "'That's my jacket,' I said, but she was already strapped in. She began to unstrap. 'No, don't worry. I'll fly in yours, but I need my compass. It's in the right pocket. Sorry, I know it's ridiculous, but I never fly without it.' She reached through her parachute straps and delved into the pocket."
    - a small gold compass engraved with the poem on the back just as described in the novel.
  • Page 391
    "'You're sure you want to go?' Juliet nodded and glanced around the desolate airfield. 'I'm sure.' Sam lifted Juliet into the seat and tucked her up with blankets before I could run after them and beg Juliet to change her mind, the sparkling Yellow Tiger Moth was speeding along the runway, and as I lifted my hand to cover the glare of the midday sun, I saw Juliet waving at me wildly from the front seat, her bright yellow scarf trailing behind her."
    - a gorgeous mustard yellow pashmina scarf with the words "Yellow Tiger Moth" stitched into the tag.
  • Page 395
    "'It's a letter from Juliet,' Sam said, sitting down on the rocks beside me and placing the envelope on my lap. Fenella made swift excuses to leave. 'I got one, too,' he said. 'She dictated them to the night manager at the care home. I read mine this morning.' He handed me the letter with a smile."
    - the letter from Juliet as written in the novel.