Monday, March 30, 2015

The Wednesday Group by Sylvia True

5 Star

Gail. Hannah. Bridget. Lizzy. Flavia. Each of them has a shameful secret, and each is about to find out that she is not alone… Gail, a prominent Boston judge, keeps receiving letters from her husband’s latest girlfriend, while her husband, a theology professor, claims he’s nine-months sober from sex with grad students. Hannah, a homemaker, catches her husband having sex with a male prostitute in a public restroom. Bridget, a psychiatric nurse at a state hospital, is sure she has a loving, doting spouse, until she learns that he is addicted to chat rooms and match-making websites. Lizzy, a high school teacher, is married to a porn addict, who is withdrawn and uninterested in sex with her. Flavia was working at the Boston Public library when someone brought her an article that stated her husband had been arrested for groping a teenage girl on the subway. He must face court, and Flavia must decide if she wants to stay with him. Finally, Kathryn, the young psychologist running the group, has as much at stake as all of the others. 

As the women share never-before-uttered secrets and bond over painful truths, they work on coming to terms with their husbands’ addictions and developing healthy boundaries for themselves. Meanwhile, their outside lives become more and more intertwined, until, finally, a series of events forces each woman to face her own denial, betrayal and uncertain future head-on.

Kathryn - 5 Star

The Wednesday Group cover called out to me and I put it on my reading list on a whim. I wasn’t actually sure I was going to enjoy the novel based on the synopsis but it sounded different and I thought I would give it a shot.  In turns out that I was surprised all the way through this novel.  Not only was the subject matter original but the author managed to make a really difficult topic readable, relatable, educational and emotional all at the same time. Her characters were immediately fascinating and there were a few giggles between the ladies despite the circumstances in which they were brought together. 

I found the bouncing between voices a touch distracting at first but, as each voice was interesting, I soon found myself accepting the format.  I don’t actually think it could have been written any other way.  Each voice provided another layer and it would have never have had the same depth without the changing scenes.  There were so many secrets and hidden lives and they were all brought together by a seemingly experimental therapy or sharing group because of their spouses’ sex addiction issues.

The problems were varied and the stages of their relationships were all different (some had children, others did not) and as the novel progressed we were brought further into the four main character’s lives. I was mostly drawn to Hannah as she was the only one with children- the impact of her marriage difficulties were really well shown on the children- it was difficult to read some of the scenes with them.

The Wednesday Group is a very well thought out novel with fascinating characters dealing with very difficult situations. I was riveted and hopeful for each family throughout.

Thank you to St Martin's Press for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

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