What’s It About? (From Booklist)In this intricate tale of love, loss, and redemption, Wolitzer, author most recently of The Doctor’s Daughter (2006), tells the story of three women whose paths cross during a summer in the Hamptons. Lissy Snyder, an insecure second wife, is uncertain of her place in her husband’s heart and feels intimidated by her stepchildren. To help cement her position in Hamptons society, Lissy decides to host a book club for other young socialites and hires an eccentric former English professor, Angela Graves, to lead the group. Angela guides her pupils through books such as Madame Bovary, inspiring both Lissy and her day girl, Michelle, to reexamine their relationships with the men in their lives. Meanwhile, Angela herself is haunted by a years-old love affair. Wolitzer’s subtle analysis reveals the underlying hopes and tensions that guide each woman’s daily life as she struggles to come to terms with her own choices and mistakes, led, in part, by the heroines of the books Angela has chosen.
Why This? This one was a no-brainer for me since I love reading book where the characters mention or discuss other books, so it should be even better when the characters are discussing other books in a book club. It’s also fun to see the parallels between the characters in the book and the characters in the stories that they are reading. Most of the books that I have read which I read that have lots of references to other books have been non-fiction, like Reading Lolita in Tehran, which I loved, and How To Read and Why. This definitely falls into the less serious side of that category and I am looking forward to learning about the women and hear all about the books that they are reading. I’ll probably save it to read as a treat after I’ve read some heavy titles.
I just finished my Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger and there were a ton of references to other book. Some were discussed and others just mentioned. That made reading the book a lot of fun. Do you like it when books discuss other books? What books have you read which reference lots of other books?