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on 17 February 2008
I took a chance on this book in a charity shop and I was so pleased I did. It was delightful. It is a cross between `Desperate Housewives' and `The Friday Night Knitting Club'. I genuinely expected to open it, begin reading and think hmmm maybe this isn't for me and I was surprised. I loved it from the outset.

The characters are easy to imagine and I agree with the other reviewer that Gabriella and Midge always seem to be hovering on the outside and yet Midge is one I wanted to follow in closer detail. Doris is the one we get to know the most about and possibly the one I liked the least. The chapters are a satisfactory length whereby you feel you've read sufficient if you want to put it down to do something else, however I'm certain you'll find yourself wanting to read more.

You may even find yourself reading the books they discuss or even just nodding in agreement with some of the points they make during their get-togethers. I did feel a touch disappointed at the end as I felt I could have read a little bit more about the five women I'd grown attached two over the space of a few nights.

An enjoyable read after a heavier book beforehand (`The Dante Trap') and therefore very welcome. The epilogue concludes the book nicely and is written in first person by one of the characters whereas the rest of the book is in third person; a nice touch that really brought everything to an end.
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on 17 February 2008
I took a chance on this book in a charity shop and I was so pleased I did. It was delightful. It is a cross between `Desperate Housewives' and `The Friday Night Knitting Club'. I genuinely expected to open it, begin reading and think hmmm maybe this isn't for me and I was surprised. I loved it from the outset.

The characters are easy to imagine and I agree with the other reviewer that Gabriella and Midge always seem to be hovering on the outside and yet Midge is one I wanted to follow in closer detail. Doris is the one we get to know the most about and possibly the one I liked the least. The chapters are a satisfactory length whereby you feel you've read sufficient if you want to put it down to do something else, however I'm certain you'll find yourself wanting to read more.

You may even find yourself reading the books they discuss or even just nodding in agreement with some of the points they make during their get-togethers. I did feel a touch disappointed at the end as I felt I could have read a little bit more about the five women I'd grown attached two over the space of a few nights.

An enjoyable read after a heavier book beforehand (`The Dante Trap') and therefore very welcome. The epilogue concludes the book nicely and is written in first person by one of the characters whereas the rest of the book is in third person; a nice touch that really brought everything to an end.
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on 17 March 2004
This novel was like falling into a familiar dream. The characters were well portrayed, and it felt like they had been known to us a while before even reading the book. It is a spiritual journey that a group of women have to take whether they want to or not. It touches on the sensitive side of various situations that millions of women find them selfs in every day. This is a very easy romantic read that you can't help but to relate to in some way or another. The only niggle I have is with the unfair amount of focus that is put onto three of the women when there was five altogether. My feeling is that the characters: Gabriella and Midge could have been developed a little further, they seemed to linger in the background a bit. But overall a satisfying and enjoyable read. Will have to make an effort to read some other books by Mary Alice Monroe
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on 28 March 2015
This book has brought so many memories to my mind. Life is often a different path from what we expect and now in my 8th decade I enjoyed reading about many of my own experiences , The importance of being oneself especially when left to live alone and how to value each day we have and use it wisely to enrich our lives, Even the painful times can be used as a time to reflect and reassure us that love,laughter,life and friendship needs nurturing constantly .Thanks Alice Monroe for a great read.
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on 18 November 2013
I loved this book mainly because I identified with the main character and recognised lots of her difficulties but also because it was so well written. Each character was totally credible and the group as a whole was one that I should like to have belonged to!
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on 5 July 2015
A very engrossing read, right up to a slightly disappointing ending (hence the only 4 stars). However, based on this book, I will be trying some more from this author.
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on 6 October 2008
It was the title that attracted me to this book and I thought the quote from a different book at the beginning of each chapter was a clever idea for each one's theme. Unfortunately though I did not find the story at all enjoyable in fact it was just plain boring.
I really dislike writing a bad review as I know it is far from easy to write a novel and criticising one is something that I feel uncomfortable about.
The cover stated that it is `A remarkable novel of the power of friendship'. In my opinion it was far from remarkable, just stereotyped stories of five women who were friends and members of The Book Club.

There was Eve, unexpectedly widowed in her forties and suddenly finding herself struggling financially. Annie the successful career woman desperate for a baby before her biological clock fails her, suddenly has to come to terms with a much more serious health issue, than being unable to conceive. Doris is the mousey wife, with the demanding and bullying husband; who becomes so depressed on discovering her husband's infidelity. Midge the artistic free spirit whose mother suddenly decides she wants to be more involved in her daughters life and finally Gabriella the perfect friend, wife and mother, coping with a long term unemployed husband. To me this was just another conventional romance with absolutely nothing to surprise the reader.
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