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The reading group
Elizabeth Noble
Adult Fiction NOBLE

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Perfect indulgence for the eponymous set-or pandering to an anticipated audience? Or maybe both? As the London Evening Standard put it, "The blurb has [the author] down as a simple Surrey housewife who knocked this out between the Hoovering and the hot sex, but further investigation reveals her to be a veteran of book marketing married to the head of Time Warner UK." Go figure! Well, either way, this U.K. bestseller is a frothy page-turner that dissects the relationships, desires and discoveries of five English women, all members of a book club. Over the course of a year, the women read 12 novels (including Atonement, Rebecca and The Alchemist) and, through their playful but intimate discussions (few of which revolve around the books), they bond closely while coping with such matters as a philandering husband, a mother with dementia, a pregnant but unmarried daughter, an infertility crisis, a wedding and a funeral. It's a testament to Noble's characterizations and plotting that the novel is not overwhelming, despite its numerous (perhaps too many) points of view, complicated backstories and interweaving contemporary crises. Light but never flip, this is funny, contemplative and touching reading, and the group's familiar book choices allow readers to feel as if they're part of the gang, too, as they race to the end, eager to find out what happens, why it does and what it all means. Agent, Stephanie Cabot. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

When five women get together to start a book group, they never envision how their lives will change, become intertwined, and be reflected in their books of choice. Their meetings draw them into a surprising sisterhood as they work through a year of caring for an aging parent, unexpectedly becoming a grandmother, marital infidelity, a marriage gone stale, and infertility. Each chapter opens with the group's reading pick and uses it to frame the chapter, mirroring the plot and character development along a particular theme. Fast paced and funny, this is women's fiction worth staying up past your bedtime for. Noble's portrayal of each character remains steady throughout, and readers will readily relate to these women. Highly recommended for all public libraries.-Amy Brozio-Andrews, Albany P.L., NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Harriet
Female
Age: 30s
Married
Having doubts about her marriage.
Housewife

Nicole
Female
Age: 30s
Married
Married to a philanderer.
Housewife

Polly
Female
Age: 40s
Divorced
Paralegal

Susan
Female
Age: 40s
Married
Dealing with her mother's sudden failing health.
Businesswoman

Clare
Female
Married
Midwife



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