By Invitation Only Book Club Kit

This post contains links to affiliate websites, such as Amazon, and we receive an affiliate commission for any purchases made by you using these links. We appreciate your support!

By Invitation Only by Dorothea Benton Frank is the official June 2020 pick for the Peanut Blossom Book Club for Recovering Readers.

A copy of the book By Invitation Only sits on the table.

It is officially Beach Read Season! If ever there was a time to read something light and happy, the start of summer is it.

This year, an actual trip to the beach may or may not be on your checklist. Whether you’re enjoying the sunshine in your own backyard or sitting by a pool, I’m sure you’re looking for an easy page-turner.

So when picking our 2020 book club line-up, I decided to pick a fun romance with a wedding theme for June. Little did I know at the time that many weddings are being postponed right now. My heart goes out to all the brides changing their plans but hopefully, that happy day will get back on the calendar soon!

If this particular title doesn’t float your boat, you may want to check out my best suggestions for beach reads this summer. Whatever you choose, I hope you enjoy your little reading break to kick off the summer!

Peanut Blossom Book Club

This book club pick is one of the awesome books from our sixth year of book club.

We’re still going strong! Want to join us?

You can join our book club for free by signing up for my email newsletter right here:

    What Is By Invitation Only About?

    “The Lowcountry of South Carolina is where By Invitation Only begins at a barbecue engagement party thrown by Diane English Stiftel, her brother Floyd, and her parents to celebrate her son’s engagement.

    On this gorgeous, magical night, the bride’s father, Alejandro Cambria, a wealthy power broker whose unbelievably successful career in private equity made him one of Chicago’s celebrated elite, discovers the limits and possibilities of cell phone range.

    While the mother of the bride, Susan Kennedy Cambria, who dabbles in the world of public relations and believes herself deserving of every square inch of her multimillion-dollar penthouse and imaginary carrara marble pedestal, learns about moonshine and dangerous liaisons.

    Soon By Invitation Only zooms to Chicago, where the unraveling accelerates. Nearly a thousand miles away from her comfortable, familiar world, Diane is the antithesis of the bright lights and super-sophisticated guests attending her son Fred’s second engagement party.

    Why a second party? Maybe it had been assumed that the first one wouldn’t be up to snuff? Fred is marrying Shelby Cambria, also an only child. The Cambrias’ dearest wish is for their daughter to be happy. If Shelby wants to marry Frederick, aka Fred, they will not stand in her way—although Susan does hope her friends won’t think her daughter is marrying more than a few degrees beneath her socially. At the same time, Diane worries that her son will be lost to her forever.

    By Invitation Only is a tale of two families, one struggling to do well, one well to do, and one young couple—the privileged daughter of Chicago’s crème de la crème and the son of hard-working Southern peach farmers.”

    Get your copy of the book here.

    By Invitation Only Book Club Discussion Questions

    I believe the best book club questions to spark a lively discussion in your group help readers make personal connections to the story.

    You can read about how to write the best book club questions on your own here, but hopefully these will get you started!

    Be sure to check out the official discussion in our book club group right here.

    Question 1:

    This month’s book centers on the chaos of planning a wedding and family drama as two different families come together. Do you have any wedding drama stories to share about your own wedding or a wedding you participated in?

    Question 2:

    Which of the characters do you most identify with and why?

    Question 3:

    Do you think a marriage between two people with such polar opposite families can be successful? Why or why not?

    Question 4:

    Do you think Susan was truly blind to what Alejandro was doing? Do you know anyone in real life who willfully ignored what their spouse was doing in exchange for a better life?

    Question 5:

    Judy and Susan are frenemies, have you ever had a similar relationship in your life? How did you handle your interactions with the other person?

    Question 6:

    Susan finds herself attracted to Floyd, have you ever been attracted to someone who is your own opposite?

    Question 7:

    One of the themes of the story is standing by your family through hard times, even when you don’t get along. Do you think this is an essential part of family life? Do you have an example you can share where you or someone in your family did the same?

    Question 8:

    Where do you think all of the characters are a year from when the story ends? Are they happy?

    Book Club Party Menu

    When planning a book club menu around By Invitation Only, why not cook up a low country feast?

    Start with my easy 3-ingredient seasoned boiled shrimp and serve it with Savannah red rice with bacon.

    Bake a batch of fried green tomatoes and serve them with pimento cheese spread or remoulade sauce.

    Finish the book club dinner with my southern peach cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

    Want even more ideas? Don’t miss these 30 Southern recipes everyone loves!


    You Might Also Enjoy

    If you loved By Invitation Only, you might also like these other romance novels and books set in the South:

    Share Your Thoughts

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *