Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Book Review: The Reading Group

I enjoyed this book more than I initially expected that I would. When I first started, I had to keep going back to the beginning to review the characters. Elizabeth Noble starts with a couple of pages listing all the characters and their family members, as well as everyone's favorite book. Then she has a table of contents, showing which books they read each month for their group. I find this list to be helpful. It gave me the option to read the books prior to reading this novel. I didn't want to read any of the books and I had read one previously. Throughout the story, spoilers are given for most of the books that they read. This could be frustrating to someone who wanted to read the book they were discussing but never got around to it. It could also be nice for someone who wants the Cliff Notes version of a book so that they can sound cool discussing it with their friends (or their own reading group).

Anyway, the story follows a group of women through a year in their lives. Each woman deals with a series of ups and downs and is faced with making a difficult decision. Some decisions have moral implications. Their spouses, siblings and some of their children even loan their voices to this story. It is easy to follow and stay interested throughout the story. Each woman has a different voice and they all come together nicely. It's nice to see how they support each other and learn more about their situations and personalities, just through the books they read. I don't know if I'd categorize this as light summer reading because some parts are a bit heavy and sad. It's worth picking up though and by the end, you feel like you've made some new friends and may become inspired to start your own reading group. (Thanks to the P.S. section, there are tips for how to do this!) I'm definitely interested in reading more books by Elizabeth Noble in the future. I also know that if I started a reading group of my own, it would be all about chick lit!

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