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Summary

Discover this moving story of five remarkable friends as Mary Alice Monroe, the New York Times bestselling author of The Beach House, explores the power of friendship with tenderness and honesty.

On the surface, it is a monthly book club. But for five women, it is so much more. For Eve Porter, whose husband’s sudden death cheats her of every security she had planned on, the club is a place of sanctuary. For Annie Blake, a brilliant attorney intent on starting a family late in life, it is the chance to finally let down her guard and dream of other possibilities. For Doris Bridges, it is her support group as she acknowledges her dying marriage and finds the ultimate freedom in her husband’s betrayal. For Gabriella Rivera, the "perfect" wife, mother and friend who offers support to everyone but is afraid to ask for it herself, it is a sense of community. And for Midge Kirsch, an artist who has always lived her life against the grain, it is a haven of acceptance. 

They are five women from different walks of life, embracing the challenge of change. And as they share their hopes and fears and triumphs, they will hold fast to the true magic of the book club - friendship.

©1999 Mary Alice Kruesi (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

Critic reviews

"Monroe's new novel opens as five friends, all members of a monthly book club, face turning points in their lives. Eve's husband dies suddenly, shattering her comfortable lifestyle, while Midge's mother makes an unannounced and unwelcomed reappearance. Annie finally feels ready to have a child, only to find her health and her marriage in jeopardy. Gabriella strains to make ends meet after her husband is laid off; Doris slides into depression as she tries to deny signs of her husband's infidelity. Sometimes close to and sometimes at odds with each other, the friends struggle to face harsh realities and, in the process, gain new independence.... Monroe offers up believable characters in a well-crafted story." ( Publishers Weekly)
"Monroe makes her characters so believable, the reader can almost hear them breathing.” ( Booklist)

What listeners say about The Book Club

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Profile Image for Fran Foster
  • Fran Foster
  • 07-02-16

Beware: Title Is Deceptive !!

What would have made The Book Club better?

An exploration of the characters' interest in each other and books.

What could Mary Alice Monroe have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

She could have written a book about women who are friends, who enjoy reading and discussing books, stories, plots, etc., together. The characters in this book are not friends, they don't even like each other. A book club - don't think so - there are no discussions about any particular book, only an occasional reference by title.

What didn’t you like about Deanna Hurst’s performance?

Her narration was dull and flat. It is difficult to distinguish one character from another.

What character would you cut from The Book Club?

Doris - she is more interested in showing off her china and table settings than being "friends" or in literary pursuits; she is a 50 year old woman who speaks in clichés about the activities of her husband's mid-life crisis as if it were not patently obvious he is having an affair - his interest in pornography for example, silk boxers - please Doris - get a clue !! Eve - hopelessly naïve about her own husband's extra-marital affair - the weeping red head at his funeral, condoms in his overnight bag, pictures of another woman in a locked box - OMG. Her pretense of a year-long period of grief is unbearably tedious. Annie - is this woman stupid ?? She is an attorney by trade and any first-year law student could have told her - "do your research lady" - having a child at 40+ years of age and all she can do is complain about what is required to accomplish that goal ??

Any additional comments?

Forget about this one - save your money, time and attention. Check out a library copy of "The Jane Austen Book Club" - delightful book. Unfortunately, the narrator spoils it.

4 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Andrea
  • Andrea
  • 25-01-13

Female friendships endure and thrive

Enjoyed overall. Another book about female friendships--all five women have very different lives, yet have a wonderful bond. Worth a credit if this appeals to you.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-01-13

Very Interesting Read

What did you love best about The Book Club?

The story was interesting. Not at all what I expected from the title.

What did you like best about this story?

The way the author developed each character, with the exception of Midge. I didn't really understand what happened to her in the end. In addition, the characters were more mature. I rarely find authors that develop interesting characters over 45 years old.

What about Deanna Hurst’s performance did you like?

Her voice was clear and crisp.

If you could rename The Book Club, what would you call it?

The Book Club - Revealed

Any additional comments?

The book was a nice surprise. Initially I wanted to return the book. After a few chapters I was drawn into the storyline and the characters.

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  • Gail Robin
  • 25-10-19

Loved it!

I feel like the book club ladies are my new best friends. Thoroughly enjoyed the entire story. The narration was wonderful I loved Deanna’s voice. Thank you Mary Alice for writing this story, it touched my heart.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-04-16

Easy to Predict!

The dialogue between the characters was not reality. Not how a typical conversation would go between friends and seemed so mechanical. You easily knew how the book's direction was going and easily predict each and every next line. No surprises here.

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Profile Image for Thomas
  • Thomas
  • 10-02-13

BORING!!!!!

This book was a complete BORE! Save your money. No excitement, drama, or anything. A Long, drawn out, Bore, I couldn't even finish it.

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  • Janet
  • 04-09-22

Friendship journey

This is a fabulous journey that women should read with their friends and daughters.

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  • Jane McDonald
  • 19-07-22

Vapid and banal.

Don’t waste your time. If people were really this shallow, what a waste life would be.

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  • Nekharpa
  • 06-03-22

Depressing book

I cannot force myself to finish this book. It is full of miserable people. The author seems to think unhappy people have absolutely no joy in their lives. The misery is exaggerated by encompassing all of their experiences. I’m done.

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  • Follow me on IG @itsnanatoyou
  • 28-07-21

Beautiful

Such a wonderful story. I don’t know if it has been made into a movie but it should be everyone would love it. It is detailed and thoughtfully written. I have found myself in each character ❤️