Published:January 4th 2005 by Harper Perennia
Genre: Contemporary/ Women’s Fiction
Acquired: Charity Shop
Date Finished: 23rd May 2012Synopsis:
What starts out as a lark of an idea, born from a glass of wine and a need to socialize, turns into a forum for five very different women who walk complicated paths--but soon discover the power and importance of friendship.
What you expect is not what you get, but boy oh boy is it one hell of an addictive ride and a totally unputdownable book, that is both gut-wrenching and painfully beautiful. The Reading Group is a fantastic reflection on love, betrayal and the battles of family values and dividing friendships. The reality and bitter sweetness of life and all that drama it throws at you and the romance of reading which when blended together with the synchronicity of unfolding events grips hold of your heart and leaves you breathless.
When beginning this book I went into it with certain expectations. Like a typical chick-lit book about a reading group I did expect there to be a lot more reading and reflection and what I got was a totally different experience. We meet these characters whose lives intertwine on various occasions but are given glimpses into their private lives revolving around each book that they read throughout the course of the year. However the similarities are far and few between and merely stand as a stepping stone to propel the reader into a slightly alternative reality.
Speaking of characters with the exception of Clair [who I honestly should have connected with the most] and Susan [who I could feel for but not understand her situation] I really Loved getting to know each and every one of them and if I had to choose who my favorites were it would be Polly and Nicole, Closely followed by Harriet and Cressida. I felt every characters story was a valid story told and Elizabeth managed to tackle everyone without holding back where others books I felt have.
I enjoyed learning about the books; each month was refreshing for me seeing as though I have never even heard of some of the books. I decided to add them down to my wish list for later reference, but was disappointed [and this is the major letdown for me in regards to the books featured] that the endings and plots were discussed in too much detail, enough to ruin a later experience and frustrate me to the point off almost skipping those parts; that in truth are essence to the overall novel. Still I prevailed and moved past it to enjoy the story. Soon enough the monthly meets ups were just a finer point in the compelling story.
After a while it does get predictable, closer to the end, but honestly it was the right kind of book I was in the mood for at the time and if I had to read it again I think I would feel the same way. Overall I greatly enjoyed this book and would recommend it for fans of larger books who aren’t looking for a quick happy fix, but who like to delve into the relatable lives of mothers and wives.
I am giving this one 4 strong latte’s