Read: July 6 - July 24
Format: Paperback 406 pages
Source: My Shelves
Subject: friendship, bankruptcy, cancer, non-communication,marriage
Category: Love and Marriage: a lifetime commitment
Challenges: 11 in 11, 75 Book, TIOLI, BOYS
Have you ever picked up a book knowing exactly what you expect from it and get that and so much more? For me, I knew when I picked up this book, that I was reading a romance, so I expected love and marriage and I got that. But what I also got was a kick in the teeth because of what it showed me about myself and others.
This is the story of 4 girls who grew up together and how through thick and thin they stick together. Their lives are all different but when trouble strikes they bond together and carry on.
Cassie, an ER nurse, is almost raped but is rescued by a big burly biker. A friendship develops and the two spend the summer visiting all over the Sonoma Valley on Walt's Harley.
Julie, a stay at home mother of 3, is married to Billy, a firefighter, and even though their love and marriage are strong, their financial situation is not, fighting constantly to make ends meet.
Marty, a hairdresser, is married to Joe, also a firefighter, and together with their son Jason, live in nice house and have all the toys that most men have - boat, big screen TV, etc.
Beth is a OB/GYN Doctor who shuts herself off from men because her previous fiancé left her after she had a battle with breast cancer in her mid-twenties.
Each of the character's stories could have been a book on their own but the tales are interwoven so that the comparisons of their lives is front and center.
SPOILER - I don't like to put spoilers in my reviews but in this instance, it wouldn't be fair not to. The reason why this book kicked me in the teeth is that it showed the characters' flaws and made this reader, at least, stop and think. Cassie doesn't want to get romantically involved with Walt because he's not what she envisioned the man in her life should look like. Billy is forever optimistic and gets a rude awakening when he realizes that the world doesn't react to a positive attitude. Marty and Joe hear but don't listen. Beth feels that she can't burden her friends with her problems but is there to help with theirs.
I can't believe how much this book made me stop and think about the people in the world around me. Our world/society seems so intent on physical appearance - that the people that are beautiful inside seem to be lost and that means we are missing out on so much. A possible attitude can be helpful but it is important to be realistic as well. Our relationships could be infinitely better if we learned to listen better - shouldn't this be a class in school? Lastly, I now understand an old saying I heard "A trouble shared is but half a trouble, a joy that's shared is a joy made double." If we are willing to help our friends and family through hard times, why should we expect them to be any different in helping us if we have hard times. This really was a very thought provoking book. Very well-written.