Barnes & Noble Presents The Secret Book of Flora Lea by Patti Callahan Henry as Their May 2023 National Book Club Selection

Press Release

The bookseller invites readers to join the free virtual event

on Tuesday, June 6th at 3:00 PM ET

New York, NY – May 3, 2023 – Barnes & Noble announces The Secret Book of Flora Lea as their May National Book Club pick and welcomes readers to join author Patti Callahan Henry at a free live virtual event. The author will answer questions from the audience and participate in a lively roundtable conversation with Shannon DeVito, Senior Director of Books at Barnes & Noble, and Miwa Messer, Executive Producer of Poured Over, the B&N Podcast. Attendees must register via Eventbrite to access the livestream on Zoom.

“A sublime blend of historical fiction and fairy tale, much-loved author Patti Callahan Henry has created her best work in The Secret Book of Flora Lea,” said Shannon DeVito, Senior Director of Books, Barnes & Noble. “She again proves herself as a thoroughly gifted and lyrical novelist, swirling mystery and magic around a pair of unforgettable sisters. It’s the kind of book that begs to be read, re-read, and discussed. It is a pick that is both satisfying and memorable, and I can’t wait for readers to be wholly transported.”

After fleeing to the English countryside while the world descends into war, Hazel distracts her younger sister Flora from the encroaching violence by dreaming up fantastical stories of a far-off place accessible only to them. Twenty years later Hazel, now a grown woman with an enviable life and trajectory, is sent spinning when a mysterious book shows up on her doorstep. The story within tells of a magical land — the very one Hazel had created, and that was known by only one other person, long-missing and deeply missed.

The Barnes & Noble Book Club selects a newly published work of fiction each month, chosen by their booksellers to provoke, engage and enthrall book lovers. The Barnes & Noble Exclusive Edition of The Secret Book of Flora Lea features specially designed endpapers and an exclusive bonus essay. Leading up to the event, readers can share their thoughts and engage in conversation on social media using the hashtag #BNBookClub. During the livestream readers are encouraged to participate in the discussion and submit questions to be answered throughout.

“Like most book lovers and writers, I spent my childhood hiding in the corners of bookshops like Barnes & Noble, a place where the world seems limitless in its possibilities, and where the imagination runs free,” said author Patti Callahan Henry. “To say I am thrilled that The Secret Book of Flora Lea is the May National Book Club pick for Barnes & Noble is an understatement: I am honored and grateful. This novel, and the mystery at its center, are natural outgrowths of my belief in the power of story, and my love of books, fairy tales and the mystery of the natural world. Thank you, Barnes & Noble for choosing The Secret Book of Flora Lea and for being a beacon and respite for all readers and writers."

The word-of-mouth recommendations of Barnes & Noble booksellers have sparked ardent praise from readers nationwide, turning great novels into bestsellers. Previous Barnes & Noble Book Club selections have included: Hang the Moon by Jeannette Walls, The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead, The Testaments by Margaret Atwood, The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller, One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle, Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin and The Cloisters by Katy Hays.  

All Contacts

Shannon DeVito

Senior Director, Book Strategy & Customer Experience

Barnes & Noble, Inc.

About Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble, Inc. is the largest retail bookseller in the United States. The Company has approximately 600 bookstores across the United States, as well as its online bookstore at, the Nook Digital business which offers both e-books and an audio book subscriptions service, the SparkNotes educational service, stationery and gift retailer Paper Source, and the publisher Union Square & Co. General information on Barnes & Noble, Inc. can be found on the Company's website at