Review :: A Month of Sundays :: Liz Byrski

I love a book about a book club – apart from the fact that I love reading about books, I think uniting a group of individuals based on their love of books is a great way to bring together such a variety of characters who wouldn’t necessarily spend time together otherwise and who can therefore be really different from each other. So of course Liz Byrski’s new novel A Month of Sundays appealed to me right away, and I was delighted to receive a copy in the mail from Pan Macmillan.

Here’s the synopsis from the Pan Macmillan website:

For over ten years, Ros, Adele, Judy and Simone have been in an online book club, but they have never met face to face. Until now…
Determined to enjoy her imminent retirement, Adele invites her fellow bibliophiles to help her house-sit in the Blue Mountains. It’s a tantalising opportunity to spend a month walking in the fresh air, napping by the fire and, of course, reading and talking about books.
But these aren’t just any books: each member has been asked to choose a book which will teach the others more about her. And with each woman facing a crossroads in her life, it turns out there’s a lot for them to learn, not just about their fellow book-clubbers, but also about themselves.

I have also written before about how much I enjoy books about women’s friendships and I really loved seeing the friendships between these women grow as they got to know each other and open up more and more. I thought it was super clever the way that the women use their book choices to learn more about each other, and the way that we get to know them (and they learn more about themselves) with each book club discussion they have.

One of the things that I think comes across really well in A Month of Sundays is how we are our own worst critics – each of the women has something about them that they see as a failing and that they think the other women will judge them for, only to find that their friends are completely forgiving and supportive about it. That’s not to say that everything went smoothly for them – I really enjoyed seeing these women argue, hurt each other’s feelings, apologise and move on.

I also really liked that this book is about a group of older women, which is something I don’t think we see very often, and that although they had been through so much in their lives, they still didn’t have it all worked out. I think we sometimes feel that as adults we should have more control over our lives, or be more confident in ourselves, or know what our style is and so on, so I found it kind of comforting to see women in their seventies still struggling with these issues.

Overall, I thought this was a sweet and comfortable read, and I gave it 3.5 stars.

***A Month of Sundays***
Out now from Pan Macmillan Australia
On Goodreads
Source: Thanks so much to Pan Macmillan Australia for sending me a free copy!
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Read harder challenge:
This one meets prompt 23: A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60

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