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Monday, April 25, 2011

The Reading Group: Book Review

I picked up The Reading Group by Elizabeth Noble after reading Things I Want My Daughter to Know by the same author for our book club. The book is about five women who take part in a reading group (duh) and follows their lives over the course of a year. The women don't all know each other in the beginning, but after the trials and tribulations of the year, they become fast and close friends. Of course, the books they read just so happen to mirror the lives of some or all of them.

This book is good in theory, but I found it kind of boring. Not only do you follow the stories of each of the five women, but also their husbands, their kids, their mothers, their sisters, etc.. I found it very difficult to keep everyone straight in the first half of the book. The writing seemed to get a bit better in the second half, and the storyline focused more on the women themselves and their relationships to one another.

One large problem (and I found this with Things I Want My Daughters to Know as well) was that, even though sections were entitled "Nicole" or "Polly", the story may or may not be told from their point of view. Noble also used time-stamps for some section titles, making the reader anticipate some sort of event...which never happened. This all added to the confusion.

I'm giving this book a 2/5.