Saturday, June 7, 2014

Book Talk - The Reading Group

I read The Reading Group, by Elizabeth Noble, for my book club in March.  I didn't fall head over heels in love with this book, but it was good.

The premise is that five women get together once a month to read talk about a book they've read.  Outside of the  book club they have, the story talks about each of their individual lives.

Outside of the reading group, some of the topics that are discussed include:

* Teen pregnancy
* Infertility
* Affairs
* Divorce
* Miscarriages

The primary characters are:

* Clare
* Nicole
* Harriet
* Polly
* Susan

In the beginning of the novel, we meet Clare, who is working as a nurse in a birthing unit in a hospital.  We learn that this is particularly hard for her because she has been trying to have a baby, but keeps having miscarriages.  She and her husband have been together since they were in high school. and since they've been together she has always wanted to have a baby.

Clare and Elliot's story segues into Polly and Cressida's story.  Polly and her husband are divorced and their kids split time with them.  Cressida, their daughter, is a freshman in college.  Polly notices that Cressida has been acting distant and strange, but can't figure out why.  Finally it comes out that Cressida is pregnant.  She didn't want to say anything because she was worried about how her parents would react.

At first, Cressida says that her boyfriend Joe is the father.  She, however, has been avoiding her mom and brother, because she doesn't want them to find out who the father really is.  Finally, the truth comes out that the real father is Elliot.

In the end, Cressida has Elliot's baby and splits up with Joe, Elliot and Clare get divorced, Clare moves back in with her mom and the book club loses a member.

The thing that really bothered me about this book was this: At the beginning of each "month" there would be a section where they were all sitting around talking about the book they had just read.  However, the author DOES NOT tell you who's talking.  She literally gives no indication of who is saying what about the book.  This was very irritating to me.  I am the type of person who wants to know who's speaking in a book.  Not only is it good writing to tell the reader who's speaking, but it also gives us a sense of the characters' personalities.

Overall, based on the writing and predictable storylines, I would give this book a C-.

No comments: