Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Book Review: The Wednesday Sisters

Not long ago, I shared the book trailer for Meg Waite Clayton's The Wednesday Sisters. What did you think?

Well, if the trailer didn't entice you, I'm here to try to get the job done. I LOVED this book. I found it at Target on a Saturday afternoon. Started reading it about 11:15 that night. I finally forced myself to turn the light out around 3:30am, which the majority of the book knocked out. I woke up early, read a bit more. After church and a few errands, I finished it around 2pm. So I read the whole thing in about 14 hours, included sleep and a few other extraneous details.

The book is about a group of women in the 60's who meet each other on the playground while their children are playing. They eventually form a writing group, even though some of them haven't the slightest notion of actually being a writer. As an aspiring writer myself, I was inspired by the dedication and work ethic that the women possessed. What's more, they were writing exclusively in long hand, or on a typewriter. I find the task of editing drafts tedious with my computer. But the descriptions of one woman trying to retype a whole manuscript because of pagination errors--it just made my head hurt!

The characters are lively and very engaging. It's told from Frankie's point of view, but I felt as if I got to know each of the other women almost as well. Some of the women come to the group with little mysteries, which eventually come to light, but which kept me reading late into the night.

Clayton explores the idea of identity as the women wade through the waters of the women's movement. Some are more radical than others, but they all undergo a transformation as a result of their writing, their relationships to one another, and their reactions to the larger movement around them. When they first meet, they introduce themselves by their husband's occupation. Some of their marriages are good, others are pretty bad, but they all start out with their whole identity wrapped up in their husbands and children. By the end of the story, some of their lives have changed more drastically than others, but I believe they all come to have a new understanding of the lives they lead.

It was a great read, and I'm looking forward to Meg Waite Clayton's next book, The Four Ms. Bradwells!

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