Tuesday, March 6, 2012
OLIVIA, by Julie Wright
The book is the first of The Newport Ladies Book Club series, which consists of four books, written by four different authors, following the stories of four women who are drawn together by their love of reading. Each book is written from the point of view of a different woman in the book club. These four authors promise that if we read all 4 books, we will learn the whole story of each of the women. They also say that the books don’t have to be read in any particular order. That is a good plus.
This is what the cover says. Olivia finds herself frustrated with her marriage after she worked herself to exhaustion to make the perfect anniversary dinner for her husband and he forgets to show up. When he neglects to even apologize to her she realizes how frayed and weak her home and family life have become. She realizes that in order to please those around her she has forgotten how to be true to herself, and as she makes small changes to make more time for herself, she begins to fight for what will bring the family closer together instead of what will make things the most comfortable for everyone. Her small changes include her deciding to rekindle her old love of reading and join a book club.
While Olivia realizes she loves and wants to take care of all the children in her family including her step-children something is preventing her husband from doing the same. The harder she tries to reconcile her husband with his children the farther he pushes her away, until finally he decides to leave her. She is only able to hold together with the help and kindness of those she has met in the book club. At first it is awkward to reach out to these women she only just met, but they quickly become a support structure for one another as each one of them is put through a refiner's fire.
Just reading the cover made me want to read the entire book. I had no idea I would be drawn into the character to the point that I didn't want to put the book down. I first wanted to read this book because of a book club that I belong to. Don't get me wrong I like my book club, but the one in this book is ideal. Every women needs such an outlet.
As I got to know Olivia more she at first reminded me of some women I know. Many women almost kill themselves trying to please their husband and children, and never quit reach their expectation. I was excited to see Olivia realize that she needed to do something for herself. Olivia became true to herself, and fought for what would bring her family closer together. Things became difficult at times for herself, but she persisted. Julia made a believable character, one that I grew to love and admire.
I'm anxious to see what the other women in the series are like. It is a series that I will tell my book club and friends about.
You can see more by connecting to the Newport blog:
This link explains how the series works. http://thenewportladiesbookclub.blogspot.com/2011/09/how-does-series-work-anyway.html
Have fun reading the book. You'll be glad you did.