Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Book Club by Mary Alice Monroe

The Book Club by Mary Alice Monroe follows the lives of five very different women that have found solace and friendship within a monthly book club. It was the first selection of the book club I started in January 2104, and it was a great read.

Each character: Eve, Doris, Annie, Gabbie, and Midge, are each faced with major events in their lives that completely shatter the comfort of how things "are sup
posed to be."  And as it is with all groups of women, there is plenty of dissension in the group - working moms vs. stay at home moms, moms rejoining the work force with children that just don't understand, high powered business women that learn having children does not make you weak, ingratiating wives that finally realize their husband is a jackass, and free-thinkers willing to forge a new path; these personalities don't always meld.

While the monthly book club meetings are what bring the women to each other's table, it's really just the frame for the enduring friendship they forge as they face these turning points in their lives. The books themselves don't always connect to the struggle at hand, but a piece of them does - a quote here, a plot point there. The particular mention of Kate Chopin's The Awakening I thought quite apropos as all of these women are coming to grips with a new way of living (but they don't escape from it quite like Edna Ponteiller!)

The characters are believable and the story is well-crafted. After the book club meeting, we all felt like we needed to know more about the outcome of a few players because their story grabbed our hearts, but an author can only put so many words on the page.

A definite "thumbs up!"

Happy Reading!

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