Friday, July 7, 2017

Book Review: "The Secret Life of Book Club" reviewed by Elizabeth Richards

I chose “The Secret Life of Book Club” because the title intrigued me, and the description sounded like a story I could relate to. I kept reading because it was engaging enough to keep me off Facebook and because I began to feel like the characters were people I knew in real life. 
Those two things make me consider a book a great read. When I can’t stop reading because I feel invested in the lives of the characters, and when I get to the end of a book and feel sad that I won’t know what happens to them next, I know the author has done their job well. In the case of this book, by Heather Woodhaven, both of those things were true.  

The plot was simple, but captivating. The women in the book club, disenchanted with some aspects of their lives, take on a challenge to break out of their comfort zones and try new things.  In doing so, they discover more than they bargained for about themselves, each other, and the men in their lives.  

Reading about each adventure, I could imagine myself right there with the women. With hilarious situations, that were realistic enough to believe they could happen, the author brought me on a touching and thought-provoking journey. I love a book that not only entertains me, but makes me consider my own life as well. “The Secret Life of Book Club” did that well. There were questions the women asked themselves that I think all women in my age range find themselves facing, along with relationship and communication difficulties that are so common in modern life. 

The book was light, but deep enough to cause me to take a look at how I’m living my life, and look at where some changes could be made. It inspired me to consider new things, to make a “summer bucket list,” and to actually get started on it instead of just tucking it away and forgetting about it.

 I have two minor criticisms of this book. One is the sudden change of a secondary character’s first name halfway through. One of the drawbacks of a Kindle is that I can’t simply flip pages to verify that my memory was correct. But I also can’t let it go until I know, so this discrepancy interrupted the flow of my reading until I could confirm. 

The second issue I found was that the foreshadowing of one major event was so obvious that I knew what would happen from the first time it was mentioned. I like hints, and I often figure out what will happen ahead of time, but I prefer to be kept wondering a little longer.  

“The Secret Life of Book Club” fits firmly in the women’s fiction genre. The resolution at the end was happy, but also realistic - rather than a fairy tale happy ending. It made me want to follow the lives of these women for longer, to know if they continued their learning journey or settled back into their old ruts. Luckily for me, there is a sequel, so I can do just that.

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