REVIEW: THE BOOK CLUB, BY MARY ALICE MONROE

 

On 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—friendship.

 

 

My Thoughts: From the very beginning of The Book Club, I was drawn into the lives of the five women facing life and its challenges, and how their love of books was just a tiny piece of what held them together.

Their stories flow alternately, and we see how their lives intersect, especially when they come together in times of joy and times of trouble.

Set in the 1990s, in suburban Chicago, the author shows us their lives in great detail, from the ordinary moments to the tragic ones. In the very beginning, at Tom’s funeral, something happens that puzzles a few of the characters, and I kept waiting for that secret to reveal itself, for the reader to find out what that was about. I had my suspicions, but they wouldn’t be realized until the story began to draw to an end.

A story of friendship, struggles, transitions, and a celebration of life…at times the tale was tedious, but the emotions and situations were real, spotlighting all the flaws of ordinary people and the choices they make along the way. 4.0 stars.

***

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