Saturday, September 1, 2012

Book Review
September’s SheReads.org
Pick-of-the-Month



If you’re ever in the mood for heartwarming women’s fiction, you might want to mosey over to the She Reads Book Club. Each month a lesser-known new release takes a graceful swan dive into the spotlight.


The Meryl Streep Movie Club

by Mia MarchGallery Books, a Division of Simon & Schuster



In The Meryl StreepMovie Club four women come together under one roof for the first time in years to remember the meaning of family and individual strength. After a tragic accident, matriarch Lolly must raise not only her own daughter Kat, but also her nieces Isabelle and June. Love can only go so far across the gulfs etched between these women by loss. Secrets cripple their relationships, and identities are forged not from within but from perceptions about others that may or may not be accurate.

When, grown and each facing choices that could alter their lives, they return to the inn where they grew up—full of regret and nostalgia, and tender moments, too—Isabelle, June, and Kat find they understand each other more than they ever imagined. They’ll need that understanding and newfound trust to see them through Lolly’s announcement. Already what they believed about their matriarch has changed radically: when they learn her secret—her part in the accident of so long ago—they must face their past in light of their own life choices.

We are the choices we have made, a line from one of the Meryl Streep movies they watch and discuss together each week, tumbles through Isabelle’s head. Weeks ago, she caught her husband cheating, but that shock isn’t nearly as surprising as realizing—after all these years—that she can choose what she really wants in life. That she deserves to follow after her heart.

June’s life took a wayward fork long ago in college. The love of her life now, her young son, still can’t fill that hollow longing inside her to find the boy’s father, to give her son a family. Her quest to fill that void spins her in and out of romance and ultimately leads her back home.

Dutiful daughter Kat, a baker with aspirations of touring Paris and of owning her own confectionery located in the bustle and energy of a city that isn’t her hometown, must weigh the comfort of easy love with the emotional necessity of realizing her dreams.

And Lolly, stern, proud, stronghold of the family, must learn to rely on her daughter and nieces, to let them inside her self-sufficient exterior, long enough to receive their forgiveness.

Although Mia March's plot twists and turns are often predictable, even cliché, her characters are full of life and longing and can, if you let them, touch your heart.