This is the story of three women moving from one phase to another in their life journeys, meeting for lunch to vent and learn and make decisions.
I would’ve liked more depth of character and personality in Joan, Ellie and Alice. I saw a lot of their behaviors but didn’t feel like I knew them very well. And because I didn’t know them, their behaviors annoyed me instead of endearing me, which is too bad because this could’ve been a terrific book.
Unfortunately, the book seemed more like a list of “sins” (in the characters’ eyes) — gambling, homosexuality, a woman making her own money — than a story of three authentic women.
It’s the late ’60s and five ladies who hang out with their children at a park in Palo Alto strike up a friendship. Ally, Kath, Brett, Linda and Frankie have different marriage situations, different backgrounds, and varied financial statuses, but they all want the same thing: to be noticed and appreciated.
The women decide to start writing — and sharing their work on Wednesdays at the park. As they navigate the world of literary critique without hurting feelings, they learn to love each other despite any shortcomings in their talent or personalities.
I just loved this book. It reminded me of my relationship with my sister and my best friends – always honest, sometimes abrupt or annoyed, always loving. These ladies were strong and independent, even as housewives in the 1960s. But they intelligently chose to rely on each other when a husband cheats, a pregnancy ends in miscarriage, self-esteem tanks, an old injury leaves physical and emotional scars, and breast cancer threatens to take a mother from her children. The women weren’t perfect. They judged each other silently, and supported each other out loud. But I guess you don’t really care what someone thinks of you when you’re suffering; you care how people treat you.
I think I mostly loved this book because the friendship was real – flawed and imperfect, but they always figured out what to do to move on from their mistakes. I laughed and cried at these five women sharing a relationship this special, while raising children, taking care of their homes and husbands, and dealing with the tragedies life threw at them.
The ending? Think Johnny Carson, blatant hilarity, and true love for our fellow man. I mean, woman.