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The Book Club

3.63  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,838 Ratings  ·  319 Reviews
With the help of one another and the books they read, the women of the book club move beyond their midlife crises to accept the challenges of change: the death of a husband, the pain of a child, and the loss of youth.
396 pages
Published 2003 by Mira (first published 1999)
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Tammy disregard this question. I was thinking five and typed in four.
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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3.5 stars.

I really like Monroe's writing style as I find it easy to breeze along and her character's relatable. I did not think this was one of her best, but still a feel good read. Five women have been in a social book club for many years. I would not say they all are good friends, but over the years the friendships seem to slip back and forth. This is what I enjoyed. These women reminded me of friendships I have had with different women....sometimes they are the best of friends, sometimes you
MsSmartiePants the candy...
I selected this book for my 'night' reading, aka reading before I go to sleep. I like to read light, funny and interesting books at this time, not thrillers or political subjects. Unfortunately, I often fall asleep during this time and it takes a while to finish a particular book!

In reading this book, I couldn't wait to get back to it and fought the Sand Man!

The story opens with descriptions of five women, each with varying issues confronting (or soon would be)them. I felt that the description
B the BookAddict

This book definitely wont be getting a standing ovation from me. This is hard to write; it's my first unflattering review but I have to be honest here. The plot is formulaic and the writing itself did not make the story outstanding. If I hadn't already lost interest by then, I really zoned out after Pg 134 where “Intelligence shone in his large, deep-set eyes and sensuality teased in his full lips”. Why do the men in these books always have sensual full lips? This is so over-done. The book was p
Dale Harcombe
Feb 11, 2014 Dale Harcombe rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One and a half stars
Let me say at the outset that I have read several books by this author and enjoyed them, so I was prepared to like this book despite some negative reviews. It started off okay for a light read I thought but disintegrated as it went along. I thought the premise of the book club wand the use of books would be interesting but in the end for me it didn't work and the 5 women in this book club I found annoying and unrealistic. I'm not really sure why I continued to read it, excep
Jul 06, 2009 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome book! These middle aged moms are all in new phases of their lives. Everyone can relate to at least one woman and what she is going through - relationships, empty nesters, death, illness, infidelity, job loss but the thread that runs through this story is finding yourself again as a woman. It made me think. I really enjoyed this book and will be looking at some of her other books.
Jan 02, 2012 Lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am embarrassed to admit I read this book. I had to skip so much- but unfortunately I was hooked with the prelude. The overall story of friendship was nice, but that's where it ends. So don't waste your time, there are so many wonderful stories out there about friendship and adversity weathered, my advice look else where for such.
Jan 14, 2012 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
The book encompasses the 5 separate lives of women who are best friends and in some cases, best frenemies as they meet for book club monthly. I found some of the characters in this book extremely annoying to the point that every time they came up in the story, I found myself rolling my eyes and heaving a heavy sigh. A few of the characters deliberately made their life dramatic, and as such, the book itself and its writing was dramatic too. One character in particular was very "tied up in a nice ...more
Sep 19, 2012 Tory rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I judged this book by its cover, literally. I am leery of any book that tells me on the cover how great it is ("The Book Club: A remarkable novel of the power of friendships"). Remarkable? Hm. Let me be the judge of that. While I wouldn't go so far as to say this is a "remarkable" story, it was enjoyable. An easy, breezy read to wrap up the summer with. The plot includes everything and the kitchen sink- cancer diagnosis, adultery, empty-nest syndrome, sexual identity questions, mommy issues, agi ...more
Dec 30, 2014 Amber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks-library
It is a pretty good read about 4 friends who are in a book club together who try to solve each others problems. Definitely check it out.
Sep 16, 2014 Meghan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fluff, library, american
Every summer I read really crappy books. It's like eating a bag of chips. You don't want to do it often, but on occasion, it tastes really good. Usually after a book of two, I'm satisfied and ready to go back to all those "important" books. Read too many, and it's like eating the entire bag. You feel sick and bloated afterwards and willing to swear them off forever (and by forever, I mean until the next summer).

This was surprisingly not terrible. I can't really say much more than that. It's no T
Mar 30, 2014 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For Eve, Gabriella, Doris, Midge and Annie their monthly book club meetings are more than a book discussion, but a bonding of friendship and loyalty. They shared watching their families grow, heartaches they've experienced and now share the changes occurring as they reach middle age. Eve has lost her husband suddenly to a heart attack, and must find a way to care for her teenage children and find a job to support her family. Gabriella's husband has lot his job and she is working more and more ho ...more
Oct 17, 2013 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 21, 2016 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I gave this book a 4, perhaps partly out of sentimental reasons. It's the last book "my" book club is reading before disbanding and this seems like a good one to end on as it outlines what is good, and important, and unique about sitting down with a group of women with different perspectives and in different places in their lives and just listening.
Had to grab a book in the airport as I'd forgotten mine!

Like Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons and The Jane Austen Book Club, I really liked the female relationships in this book. Of course, revolving around books just made it more fun :)

There were a surprising number of errors in this copy and I'd log them on, but I handed this to a flight attendant when I finished it.

Also to note: there's a Tattered Cover store in Concourse B of the Denver International Airport. No need to buy books
Jan 27, 2016 Tonya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The is my favorite Mary Alice Monroe book. Explores friendships with books. What more could one ask for!
Lisa O'dea
Didn't care for it to much, my book club has more drama!
Dec 03, 2014 Tammy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
wow! This is one of those books I hate to put down and hated to let it end. The author stated it best in her closing.
"All stories come to an end. that moment when we sigh and close the book, perhaps sit back in our chair and rest our palm over the cover, is met with quixotic emotions, On one hand we're satisfied if the author successfully tied up loose ends, turned a memorable phrase and rewarded the hero's moral choice with her hearts desire. Yet we're also saddened that the adventure is over."
Ket Lamb
Nov 03, 2014 Ket Lamb rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Book Club is a breezy story about five middle-aged Chicago women who confront the changes in their health, relationships, and dreams while they occasionally discuss novels. Eve Porter must deal with her handsome husband's sudden death. Ambitious Annie is faced with huge obstacles when she finally tries to start a family. Doormat Doris is the perfect wife, but that doesn't mean she has the perfect life. Bohemian Midge has carved out a peaceful creative existence until her mother threatens to ...more
Oct 06, 2008 LindyLouMac rated it did not like it

It was the title that attracted me to this book and I thought the quote from a different book at the beginning of each chapter was a clever idea for each one’s theme. Unfortunately though I did not find the story at all enjoyable in fact it was just plain boring.
I really dislike writing a bad review as I know it is far from easy to write a novel and criticising one is something that I feel uncomfortable about.
The cover stated that it is ‘A remarkable novel
This book surrounds the lives of five friends who live in the Chicago area and have a monthly book club. The novel opens with the death of Eve's husband and the turmoil this throws into her life. Her friends attempt to rally around her and her children, but have their own strife. Annie is struggling to have a baby, Gabriella is working extra shifts to support her family after her husband loses his job, Midge, an artist is dealing with her mother moving back to Chicago and in with her, and Doris ...more
Mandy Radley
Jan 18, 2016 Mandy Radley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Book Club the story of Eve, Doris, Annie, Midge and Gabriella and the challenges and changes they are facing in their lives, together with the books they read. I've had this book ages and lent it to a colleague at work who really enjoyed it and so instead of then putting it on the 'swap a book' table at work at the end of the year decided to read it myself. I'm glad I did.
Jan 24, 2016 Kristin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable read about a group of women who meet and bond over a love of books. Each has their own struggles in life and come from a variety of backgrounds. The story focuses on the members and their relationships and very little about the title/type of book they are reading.
This reminds me of "The Jane Austen Book Club" by Karen Joy Fowler, which I would also recommend (the movie is very good too).
Oct 07, 2009 Brittney rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A group of women who form a book club and all of their adventures as their lives all fall apart and then try to put them back together. There were some very nice parts to this book and good, sound life lessons. Very predictable and very ho-hum, I guess for me. As someone who has had (well, still ongoing) one bout of being rocked to my core by life (my middle child being diagnosed with autism) I could empathize with the women dealing with their life-altering situations. They chose to move forward ...more
Jen Urness
Jun 09, 2011 Jen Urness rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was not one of the greatest books that I have ever read, but it was very good with a very strong message, one I can relate to. It makes one realize what an important role friends play in one's life. It also makes one think how important it is to make your life your own, be yourself, live your life, have dreams, and make those dreams come true. All it takes is one event, someone else's action, to turn one's life upside down, inside out. "I choose to live. Each day to the hilt. I want to ...more
Denise Westlake
Friendships were easy when life was going smoothly.. what was hard was to be there for your friend when life got rough and the friendship wasn't neither easy nor fun."
Dec 25, 2015 Alvina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sebenernya saya baca versi terjemahan, tapi ga nemu edisinya euy di GR.

Persahabatan memang mudah saat hidup berjalan lancar. Yang sulit adalah untuk tetap menyertai sahabatmu saat hidup penuh tantangan

Eve baru saja kehilangan suaminya yang meninggal karena serangan jantung ketika mengisi sebuah seminar di luar kota. Semuanya begitu tiba tiba. Eve bahkan menyesalkan pertemuan terakhir mereka yang dingin dan angkuh. Tak ada kecupan mesra atau ungkapan rasa sayang. Dan setelah melalui bulan bulan
Actual Rating: ***1/2

Another women's book club story that had all of the usual heartaches and life complications; however, Monroe's writing made working through the tangle of story lines well worth the reading time.

Opening Lines:
Eve of Return
January 7, 1998
Tonight, I will return to my Book Club.

On books and memories...
We can all laugh now when a book makes reference to the Baltimore catechism or flocks of nuns shrouded in starched wimples and jangling rosaries. We relish books that bring
Feb 09, 2014 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Five women in the Chicago suburbs meet monthly to discuss books, as well as their trials and tribulations, struggling with motherhood, the loss of a loved one, career trouble, and illness. Their friendship sustains them and the books they read feed their souls.
I did not expect to get so wrapped up in the lives of these women, whom I initially considered bored and wealthy bourgeoisie, without problems I found relatable, but I did end up caring, and rooting for each of them. Even though I still th
Oct 27, 2009 Caryl rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I rarely rate anything this low, but the ways in which it is poorly written are almost too numerous to mention. I think perhaps she wrote with the idea of "leave no cliche unused," among other things. It's a fast read, at least, and it does bring out nearly every issue concerning women and marriages that one could think of--in case one hadn't thought of them before.
I've read a couple other books by this author and with a title like this one has I figured it would be really fantastic. I believe my preferences at this time just lie down a different road than this author's. The members of the book club and their lives were just a little unbelievable for me.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Dec 24, 2015 10:14AM  
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  • The Woman Next Door
  • The Lives of Danielle Steel: The Unauthorized Biography of America's #1 Best-Selling Author
  • Still Talking
  • Summer of the Red Wolf
New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe found her true calling in environmental fiction when she moved to coastal South Carolina. Already a successful author, she was captivated by the beauty and fragility of her new home. Her experiences living in the midst of a habitat that was quickly changing gave her a strong and important focus for her books.

Mary Alice Monroe writes richly textur
More about Mary Alice Monroe...

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“Age is real life is short. It's foolhardy to deny it. We grow up, our bodies grow frail, death is coming. There's so much I want to do!
There's a whole world out there I havent seen, ppl I havent met and who havent know me.
God, there 're a million books I want to read.
I dont want to sleep... I want to be awake.
This is my life - I want to live it”
“All stories come to an end. That moment when we sigh and close the book, perhaps sit back in our chair and rest our palm over the cover, is met with quixotic emotions. On the one hand, we’re satisfied if the author successfully tied up loose ends, turned a memorable phrase and rewarded the hero’s moral choice with his heart’s desire. Yet we’re also saddened that the adventure is over. Sometimes when we see that we only have a few pages left we slow down, savoring each word, staving off the” 1 likes
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