Friday, February 10, 2012
Let's start with the blurb:
The Robbins household looks perfect from the outside: no dust, no stains, no wrinkles. Yet a glimpse into its heart reveals no laughter, no closeness, no joy. Olivia thinks that if she keeps everything tidy and serves delicious meals on time, family life is bound to get better. But when her husband, Nick, misses their anniversary, she realizes no amount of domestic success will compensate for failure in their marriage, or for her own failure to develop her identity-always busy as a mother, wife, and neighbor, she has forgotten how to be a unique and vibrant individual.
Determined to make a change, Olivia joins a local book club, where she nurtures new friendships and explores new ideas. But her growing confidence falters when Nick declares his independence- and while her new friends lovingly encircle her with support, only Olivia can reach into the depths of her fledgling self to find the faith, hope, and love her troubled family needs.
I love to find a new series and the Newport Ladies Book Club doesn't dissapoint. Each of the books in the series is written by a different author: Julie Wright, Josi Kilpack, Annette Lyon and Heather B. Moore. Gals we al know and love--So far, so good. The books each focus on a different woman in the book club and we get to see their lives intertwine as they struggle through trials and find support in each other. The really fun thing for readers is seeing the characters' lives weave together throughout all four books. By the end, we'll have the whole picture--exciting, right? I think so.
The first book, is about Olivia. She is the classic "Donna Reed" perfectionist with a clean house, handsome husband, beautiful kids, home made Halloween costumes, and delicious family dinners. But we come to find out that Olivia is trapped in a seemingly loveless marriage with a husband who is increasingly distant to her. Determined to make her family perfect, she delves deeper into motherhood, housekeeping and cooking and doing so, fails to develop herself as a person.
The book club not only gives her the opportunity to make new friends that she can lean on for support during her trials, but through reading and discussing the books, she gains perspective through self-introspection and realizes that she needs to change. She learns that the things she has seen as her weaknesses are actually her strengths and sets out to make her family life better.
I have to say, this book was hard to read. I was teary most of the time as I watched Olivia struggle, but in the end, I felt such triumph as she found her inner strength and changed things for the better. That's what I enjoyed about it, the personal connection I felt with the main character, and subsequently for her family members, book club buddies and even her husband. It was extremely tender and so well-written. I love Julie Wright's books and this one didn't dissapoint. I can't wait for the next one--Daisy will be out this June!
The Authors have a cute blog where you can read about the series. I love that it tells what books are going to be discussed in each book (does that make sense?) So, it's like WE are in the book club, too!