Tuesday, June 1, 2021

The Break-Up Book Club by Wendy Wax

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I had to start my summer reading in May when I purchased this novel and couldn't be disciplined enough to wait for June. 

I've read a number of Wendy Wax novels and am never disappointed. Her latest, The Break-Up Book Club was the perfect read to finish up on a holiday weekend and darn it all, gave me a few book recommendations, too. 

There are quite a few characters telling their stories in alternating chapters: Jazmine, Judith, Erin, and Sara are the main characters. There's also Dorothy and Meena, and Annell.  It may seem like a lot of characters to keep straight, but it's really pretty easy. Annell owns the Between the Covers bookstore where their monthly book club meets. It sounds like a dream place (for me, it certainly is!) and the book club sounds pretty wonderful, too. It is the landing space for all of these women who live around Atlanta, Georgia and at first don't have much in common except this book shop and book club. However, friendships form and the book club becomes a support group, too--in the best possible way. 

Jazmine is a sports agent, and wildly successful, too. Judith is in a long marriage and has found out her husband is bored but sticking with the marriage because it's comfortable. Erin is engaged to her childhood sweetheart, who has been signed to the Atlanta Braves baseball team and is having second thoughts about marriage to Erin. 

Sara, oh, poor Sara. She's married, but her husband has taken an out of town job that keeps him away for weeks at a time. His mother Dorothy lives with Sara after having surgery. They have a frosty relationship. When Sara finds out the truth about her husband, it flips her life in ways she never imagined. And it changes her relationship with Dorothy, too. 

Each chapter is told in the alternating voices of Jazmine, Erin, Sara, and Judith. Over the course of many months, the women all experience highs and lows as their lives change and they empower themselves to take control of their happiness. There are some sad moments, but a whole lot of happy moments, too. The monthly book club meetings keep everyone connected and the friendships formed are what help each women navigate big life changes. 

If you're like me, you'll also take note of the books they read and add a few to your TBR list. I've been part of book clubs for over 20 years, and it's always fun to pick out reads and get together to discuss. And yes, books help bring people together. That's just part of their magic. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this read and just as a warning if you read the author note at the beginning you may get a little weepy. My heart goes out to Wendy Wax. Bless her. 

Add this to your summer read list! I find novels about books, libraries, bookstores and book clubs irresistible. I'd love to craft a post about all the titles I've read that fit this particular sub-genre. Add that to my summer to-do list!

Rating: 4/6 for an enjoyable novel about friendship, a book club, and women coming into their own power. I gulped it down! 

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