Thursday, March 27, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: The Book Club by Mary Alice Monroe

The Book ClubOn the surface, it is a monthly book club. But for five women, it is so much more. For Eve Porter, whose husband's sudden death cheats her of every security she had planned on, the club is a place of sanctuary. For Annie Blake, a brilliant attorney intent on starting a family late in life, it is the chance to finally let down her guard and dream of other possibilities. For Doris Bridges, it is her support group as she acknowledges her dying marriage and finds the ultimate freedom in her husband's betrayal. For Gabriella Rivera, the perfect; wife, mother and friend who offers support to everyone but is afraid to ask for it herself, it is a sense of community. And for Midge Kirsch, an artist who has always lived her life against the grain, it is a haven of acceptance

They are five women from different walks of life, embracing the challenge of change. And as they share their hopes and fears and triumphs, they will hold fast to the true magic of the book club and friendship.

*4 stars*

I really enjoyed this book. It was a light, easy read, but still managed to keep me suckered in.
The 5 ladies included Eve Porter, Annie Blake, Doris Bridges, Gabriella Rivera and Midge Kirsch. The last two were only minor characters in the scheme of things, and parts of me wish that Monroe develed deeper into their characters.
Midge is an artist who has perpetually been single. This is not forgotten by her mother, who suddenly decides to move in with her. At first the dynamic between mother and daughter is like you would expect, I mean what 50+ woman wants her mother telling her what to do. The perpetual singledom had Midge question her sexuality as well. Again, this isn't really a main character, so she was only added as a filler in most cases.
Gabriella seems the most relatable of the 5. Mother of a few too many kids and a wife to a husband who just got laid off, turns into the sole breadwinner. She tries to keep it all together and to put out a positive front to her friends, and I mean what person hasn't had to act all together when their home life is chaotic.
Doris Bridge. What a bitch.  Well she starts off bitchy. She needs to have everything perfect, friends, family, house parties, etc. But she doesn't really think she needs to take care of herself, she's 'let herself go' and well her husband cheats on her. Through the book club and the support of the other 4 women, she realizes this has been the best thing for her and its given her new life.
Eve Porter, husband finally dies. She doesn't take it well, mainly from the guilt. They weren't the Happy in love couple they put out. But, still your husband dies, it hurts. She withdraws, but with the book club, and friends she allows her self to heal. Eventually finding new love- which her kids oppose.
Annie Blake is the go-getter lawyer. Her and her husband seem to have this perfect, sexy relationship. Then they decide they want kinds. Turns out, its harder to get pregnant than one thinks. They face some challenges and all that stuff.
I liked how the book club, while it was a prominent feature in each of the women's daily life, it was more so the friendship that they acquired through it. They felt safe and accepted in this circle, some more tight knit than others, but again, what big group of friends are all equally close? This is the part I enjoyed the most. Also it was interesting (and not surprising, as we all do it) to see that every women tried to put on a mask that everything was hunky-doorie and great. That they never faced any problems. We all do that. And its sucks. We should feel comfortable enough with our friends to be like 'you know what my life is shit, that's why I'm acting like a shitty friend right now, but thanks for being there for me regardless'
I do recommend this book, nothing to go buy immediately, but if you happen to see it in line at the check-out, pick it up.

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