Monday, May 24, 2021

The Break-Up Book Club by Wendy Wax

Every month, an unlikely group of friends gets together at their local bookstore to talk about books. Sara, Judith, Jazmine, and others pick a new book each month and then spend an evening together, eating and drinking, and talking about said book. 

Judith, a middle-aged woman with grown kids and a husband who takes her for granted; Jazmine, a sports agent and single mother; Sara, who works part time at the bookstore to kill time while her husband is out of town for work. They would seemingly have nothing in common. 

Even newbies to the group like Erin, the young assistant who recently started working for Jazmine, and Dorothy, Sara's mother in law, find friendship and hope in the group. 

Each is facing different challenges in life but with their books and their reading friends by their sides, they find they can overcome just about anything. 

I love, love, love Wendy Wax's work. And I really love when her books revolve around books. Like this one!

But in addition to the books, it's the characters that really get me. Here, Wax has created a number of fully realized characters with their own unique stories and voices to tell them. 

And it's the connections between these women that I especially loved!

As I mentioned, this is a motley group. And there are more to the group than just the ones I've mentioned, including Jazmine's best friend, Judith's best friend, a pair of twin siblings, a fashion designer, an EMT, a golfer, and the bookstore owner herself (hopefully I got them all!). While the narrative does alternate between just Sara, Erin, Judith, and Jazmine's perspectives, Wax does a truly fabulous job of giving voice to each of the other members of the group as well. And that's a pretty big accomplishment! Developing even one main character can be a challenge for some. Never a challenge for Wax, however!

The whole group is a bit of a found family. A support system, working behind the scenes that comes through for each and every one of our narrators in the ways that they need them to. Which is saying something considering that in both Erin and Judith's positions, their own family and friend groups fall a little bit down on the job!

I've been purposely hazy about the actual plot points for each of the narrators. This is because I kind of dove into this one with very little knowledge of the book. Wax is an auto read for me, so I didn't read the book description at all and I truly enjoyed the journey of getting to know the characters without any teasers to get me started. 

The Break-Up Book Club is a fizzy and fabulous feel good read about female friendships and connections. 

Order a copy from your favorite indie via Bookshop!

I want to add a little note here, because the intro to the book was a harsh reminder of the events we're still going through to some extent. My most heartfelt condolences to Wendy Wax. I truly hope that the people in this book are based, at least in part, on the friends that she has around her in her own real life. And I truly hope that for anyone who has struggled in any way through these times. 

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