Book Club Kit: Filaree

by Marguerite Noble
First Published: 1979
10 Copies & Reading Guide

Based on the life of Noble’s mother, Filaree tells the story of Melissa Baker. A women that survives childbirth and a loveless marriage to succeed in Arizona during the early 20th century.

Reading Guide:
Check out our Book Club Kit to view our Reading Guide for Filaree. It includes an interview with the author, discussion questions, and Read-Alikes.

Learn more about the History of Arizona:

Similar Reads:
These is My Words (Book Club Kit) by Nancy E. Turner
Half-Broke Horses (Book Club Kit) by Jeanette Walls
My Antonia by Willa Cather


2 comments on “Book Club Kit: Filaree

  1. Arlys Bright selected this book for our discussion group because she had attended a lecture by the author at the Arizona Historical Society in Tucson around 1985. She had learned that the book was based on Mrs. Noble’s family. Melissa was based on Mrs. Noble’s mother, Ben was based on her father, and “Baby” was Mrs. Noble. The book club members all had a favorable opinion of the book.

    Mrs. Noble had written the book because she felt the women of the West had not been given credit for their contribution to the West. Her family moved from Texas to Territorial Arizona in 1903. Baby was born in 1910. Ben was very cruel, often going on drinking binges. He would not let Melissa see her parents and sister (who had also moved to Arizona). He eventually moved back to Texas, abandoning his wife and children. The book shows how hard Melissa struggled to keep her seven children in school. It was a challenge to keep a roof over their heads and food in their stomachs.

    Barbara Warren, an Arizona City author who had interveiwed Mrs. Noble, supplied the members with photocopies of her interview and another interview by James E Cook of the Arizona Republic. The articles were very interesting.

    • The Boyce Thompson Arboretum Book Club enjoyed reading Filaree. The Book Club members are interested in learning more about Marguerite Noble and reading the interviews written by Barbara Warren and James E Cook.

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