Sunday, December 30, 2007

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons

by Lorna Landvik

Started: 17 December 2007

Finished: 30 December 2007

It’s not a book I’d choose from the title, but titles can be deceptive. It’s the name of a book club, Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons. However, even that is somewhat misleading. Or do I mean a misnomer? But although the book purports to be about a group of ladies who meet monthly to discuss books, very little actual book discussion happens in this book.

This is a book about something much more important. It’s about five extraordinary women: Audrey, Faith, Kari, Merit and Slip. It tells the story of their intertwining lives, families, loves, pains, joys and discoveries spanning a period of thirty years. They are neighbors, friends, mentors, sisters and soul mates to each other.

The book opens with the knowledge that one of these five friends is in the hospital and her fellow Angry Housewives have gathered round in support. Their free and easy camaraderie as they banter back and forth sets the stage for the rest of the book—the birth and unfolding of their friendship. As the years go by, the books come and go and so do children, husbands, food, vacations, bad habits and many memories, but the friends stay true to each other through all their many varied experiences.

What I enjoyed most about the book was identifying with the different ladies at various times in their lives. My favorite of the five was Faith. She was the most developed character; the rest seemed one-dimensional—which is still quite an accomplishment given the time span and what the author was trying to accomplish. What can I say? I like my characters to have depth, be multi-faceted and to have to struggle with and within themselves.

I was disappointed that there wasn’t more about the books the ladies read. And I did find it highly unlikely many of those books actually were read given the usual level of conversations in the book. Face it—those were some tough books. Also, little to nothing was said about the dynamics of the how, when, and where of reading, finishing and comprehending in the days of pre-Internet. These ladies weren’t unintelligent, but I still have trouble visualizing them persisting with the books listed. So please forgive the booklady her technical observations; those minor criticisms aside, I loved Angry Housewives—the book, the club and especially the friends.

I do enjoy books—there is no denying it. Some people might think I even love books. But that would be a mistake. I love people and I like things. Even the booklady knows that one person –whoever it might be—is a million times more precious than all the books in the world.

And some people are very special. The person who recommended and loaned this book to me is one of those dear friends! Thanks for the tip, for the enjoyment of this book and the even greater blessing of knowing you!


No comments:

Post a Comment