Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Wellesley Wives by Suzy Duffy
From the blurb:
Popsy Power - a Boston society-wife and her best friend, Sandra seem to have it all with billionaire husbands and beautiful daughters. But things change. From Bollinger to basic-wage, it's a roller coaster for the ladies who lunch. When the daughters land in a heap of trouble too, it's hardly surprising that their mother should worry about the next generation of Wellesley Wives. Life can't always be fun in the sun, but that's why there's fur! Sit back, relax and enjoy the wonderful world of the Wellesley Wives.
This book is a character study of four women, all at different points in their lives, infused with humor, fun and strong emotions, perfectly paced to showcase friendships, love and strength in adversity and pain.
Popsy, Sandra, Rosie and Lily are at the center of this book, all with their own stories to tell, yet all connected to each other through blood or friendship. As we initially meet them, with their fancy cars and beautiful homes and rich lives, you'd think they have everything you ever wanted, and that their lives are perfect.
Suzy Duffy intelligently and delicately introduces adversity and pain into each of the women's lives. Sandra loses her husband to Lily. Popsy loses her husband to a heart attack. Rosie fears losing her husband due to his desire for a Swingers Club vacation. Lily realizes that the man she thought she knew is not what she wanted after all. Add to that a bankrupt business and a sudden lack of money, all four women struggle to make sense of the abrupt changes in their lives. As Rosie and Lily deal with losing their father, Popsy struggles with the loss of her husband of thirty years, and Sandra rages at her cheating husband and the unfairness of being replaced with a younger woman.
As each women deals with their own individual hardships, they find that the journey is what makes live beautiful, not the destination, and that they're stronger than they think.
The author created such likable characters that I found myself really caring about all of them soon into the book. Popsy's warmth and loyalty, Sandra's rage but strong friendship for Popsy, Rosie's fears and self-doubts, Lily's confusion and guilt, were all realistically and beautifully described.
Rich, vivid writing, poignant moments and great dialogue made this an outstanding study in how to persevere when your life changes abruptly. I cheered for each one of them by the end.
The men in this book almost play supportive roles, yet are intricately interwoven with the women's journeys.
Jack, Sandra's husband, is described as a misogynist, a bitter, 'old' man. And yet, there are moments when he shines nonetheless, even though they are few and far between.
Peter, Popsy's husband, is larger than life and seems to think himself invincible. He's wrong.
Rosie's husband initially seems like a cad, trying to convince his wife that having sex with random people in a Swingers Club vacation is the right way to spice up their marriage. He also learns by the end of the book how wrong he was, and has the good sense to admit it.
Matt, Sven, Shane - they all have a purpose in this story, and they fit that purpose beautifully.
The book teaches us that money isn't everything, and that our lives can change in the blink of an eye. And that love and friendship and the support of good friends are more important than all the money in the world.
I was initially a bit wary about the frequent POV changes, but they really worked for this book. They overlapped as needed, but each POV told the story of the woman in question, with excellent descriptions to the workings of their minds, and how they see the world around them.
Nicely done, Ms. Duffy. I am looking forward to the next book, Newton Neighbors.
I received a free ARC directly from the publisher in exchange for a review. A positive review was not promised in return.
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