Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Book Review: Secret Life of Book Club by Heather Woodhaven

The Secret Life of Book Club, by Heather Woodhaven
2015, 354p, Contemporary Fiction
My Rating=4 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the author for an honest review

Book Club Just Got Real.

Jeanine Phelps is tired of reading about other women who grab life and have epiphanies. She challenges her book club to live like the heroines in the books they love.

At first, seizing the day is pure fun until it generates an upset in each of their lives:
Jeanine’s husband is so inspired by her new vitality it triggers a bizarre mid-life crisis involving tacos.
Paula, the model PTA soccer mom, starts fighting with her man about the family printing business until she’s drawn back to her secret passion.
Kate, a single mom and teacher, can’t figure out if the rekindled friendship with the new museum creator is worth the romantic risk.
Anne, a mother of four babies, works to hold the book club together while trying to figure out her own identity.

When everyone wants to quit the challenge, the media’s spotlight makes it impossible. Can they rely on each other while keeping their priorities? And more importantly, is their sanity worth the chance to each become a heroine in her own life?

As a reader, I enjoy reading books that have book clubs in them. Whether that's the focus or a side story, I love them! In this story, the book club is the reason these women know each other.

Jeanine, Paula, Kate and Anne live in the same neighborhood and all have such different lives. They meet together to discuss books. After two years in their book club, Jeanine feels like they're acquaintances rather than friends. She brings up a challenge for the group to undertake which will require that they try new things. Little does she realize what massive changes this will bring for all of them.

Jeanine is a dental hygienist who feels like her life has become predictable and boring. When she shakes things up, her husband has a mid-life crisis which causes a lot of tension between them as he seems determined to live a dream he's apparently had for a long time but never shared with her. Paula works part-time with her husband and volunteers the rest of the time. She has a secret passion which almost destroys her marriage. Kate is a single mom and second grade teacher. She is reunited with someone from her past. She's confused as he doesn't appear to be what she thought and they both need to decide if a relationship is what they're looking for. Anne is a stay at home mom with four children under the age of four and is dealing with a major decision her husband made without discussing it with her first.

Through their experiences with their challenge, these women become friends and are there for each other as they're going through their individual struggles. I enjoyed getting to know each of them. This book deals with their relationships with each other and with the men in their lives. They were imperfect and had their ups and downs. Some were quite funny! I'm not personally looking to challenge myself the way these women did, but it was fun to read about their experiences! 

Heather Woodhaven earned her pilot’s license, rode a hot air balloon over the safari lands of Kenya, assisted an engineer with a medical laser in a Haitian mission, parasailed over Caribbean seas, lived through an accidental detour onto a black diamond ski trail in the Aspens and snorkeled among sting rays before becoming a mother of three and wife of one. She’s filled many jobs such as travel agent, business executive, children’s minister, aerobic instructor and preschool teacher. Heather channels her love for adventure into writing characters who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances.


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