rating: 4 of 5 stars
I picked up this book up after hearing the author talk briefly at a Kepler’s Books book club event. It was set locally and was about the relationships between a group of women. Since I enjoy character driven books, I was interested enough to take a further look.
This synopsis is from Meg Waite Clayton’s website:
Five women, one passion, and the unbreakable bond of friendship
When five young mothers—Frankie, Linda, Kath, Ally, and Brett—first meet in a neighborhood park in the late 1960s, their conversations center on marriage, raising children, and a shared love of books. Then one evening, as they gather to watch the Miss America Pageant, Linda admits that she aspires to write a novel herself, and the Wednesday Sisters Writing Society is born. The five women slowly, and often reluctantly, start filling journals, sliding pages into typewriters, and sharing their work. In the process, they explore the changing world around them: the Vietnam War, the race to the moon, and a women’s movement that challenges everything they believe about themselves. At the same time, the friends carry one another through more personal changes—ones brought about by infidelity, longing, illness, failure, and success. With one another’s support and encouragement, they begin to embrace who they are and what they hope to become, as The Wednesday Sisters welcomes readers to experience, along with its heroines, the power of dreaming big.
What I liked best about the book was how I could relate to the characters. I could relate to Frankie in her situation to a wife at home while her husband rides the roller coaster of a Silicon Valley startup. With Brett, it was being the nerdy one in a group of non-technical women. With Ally, it was wanting so badly to feel like I belong. The 5 women were all drawn in such detail, and were such distinct characters, that I think most adult women will find something to relate to in one or more of them.
I also really enjoyed watching them move through a different era.The narrator reflected back on the differences between then and now, and I appreciated the perspective.
There were other aspects of the book that didn’t work as well. Although it engaged my brain, my interest, and my sympathy, it never quite engaged my heart. Something (that I can’t identify) about the writing kept me at a distance from what should have been very emotional events.
This would make a great book club book for a club that likes tie themselves in with their reading– to use their lives to get insight into the book and vice versa. I think many book clubs would find it worth discussing.
All in all, I found it a very good read, and I will be interested in reading other books by this author.