I always have my eye out for new Australian fiction, and have been becoming more and more interested in stories about women and female friendships, so when I saw The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club by Sophie Green was available for request on NetGalley I had a feeling it was going to be a perfect read for me – and it definitely was! In fact, the day that I finished reading this I went out and bought myself a hard copy, and two friends have already borrowed it to read too.
Like I said above, I’m becoming increasingly interested in stories about women and their lives and friendships lately. This was a fantastic one. Being centred around a book club means that all the characters had to have in common was an enjoyment of reading, so in other ways they could be very different. This meant that we meet women of different ages and backgrounds and situations, who are going through a lot of different experiences that are common in women’s lives. The book felt cosy, but a bit serious/heavy too – through these women we experience the loss of children and partners and parents, and even the loss of oneself into motherhood/being a wife (and then finding yourself again on the other side).
It also explores on the actual friendships – dynamics between groups of friends and between family members, and what we share and hide from each other, and (my favourite) how women support each other. In case you can’t tell, I found it utterly charming and equally heartwarming and heartbreaking and hopeful.
I’ve been seeing this book everywhere since it came out a few weeks ago, and I think it will be a big hit at Christmas time – I feel like the range of situations the women are in make it a great read for an equally broad audience. I do have a couple of read-alikes for this one – other books that used multigenerational group of women in a friendship to explore similar issues:
I gave this 4.5 stars (is it ridiculous if I give quarter stars so I can go to 4.75?)
The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club by Sophie Green is out now from Hachette. I received an e-book copy in exchange for an honest review, but only chose to read it because it sounded like something I would enjoy (life’s too short to read books we don’t think we’ll enjoy) – and I enjoyed so much I went out and bought myself a print copy so I could share it with my friends. All opinions on my blog are my own, and I wouldn’t tell you it was good if I didn’t really think so. =)