I'm working my way through my goal of reading 52 novels and/or book length collections in 2009. Anyone else have a New Year's Resolution that they're still keeping up? Anyone else remember their resolutions? I know I had a second one but, short of going back through my blog, I can't recall what it was.
Book #28 of the year: What She Wants by Cathy Kelly.
If you have ever been confused about what the genre of "women's fiction" constitutes, read this book; What She Wants sits smack dab in the middle of the genre. The novel focuses on a married woman in her late thirties with two small children and that woman's friendships and relationships with her husband, her sister, the people she thinks are her friends and the people who end up becoming her true friends. "Women's Fiction" = all about the relationships ... and not in a predominantly romantic way.
The novel was charming, witty, and a nice 600 page diversion. Definitely a "summer" read though perhaps not as fluffy as I'd like for a "beach" read. The book didn't bear a book club sticker and I can see why: it was too enjoyable. To traverse into the world of book-club-ness the novel needs to have some darker theme that would upset you if you heard about it happening to your neighbor. The only time such a thing occurs in What She Wants is when a traditional Irish Catholic mother stops talking to her daughter because the daughter wants to marry a divorced man. And -- unless you're still upset about things like the reforms of Vatican II -- that's probably not upsetting to you.
One of the more enjoyable aspects is that the novel is set in Bath, London and the rural countryside of the County Kerry, Ireland. It's like a vacation where you don't have to sort your shampoo into three ounce bottles.