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Calling Invisible Women

3.38  ·  Rating Details ·  4,525 Ratings  ·  1,060 Reviews
A mother in her early fifties, Clover knows she no longer turns heads, and she's missed only when dinner isn't on the table on time. She feels like she may as well be invisible. But when she wakes up one morning to discover she really is invisible, she panics. But her husband and son don't even notice! Clover's friend, Marjorie, is quick to notice though. At least she know ...more
Kindle Edition, 274 pages
Published May 22nd 2012 by Broadway Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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Apr 24, 2012 Aryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"'[Y]our wife. Let's say she's been through menopause and she's being eaten alive by hot flashes so her doctor gives her some Premacore. After that the same doctor finds that her bone density isn't quite what it should be and so he gives her some Ostafoss as well. But on top of that she's a little depressed. Can you blame her? She's just been through menopause, and you're working all the time, so he gives her some Singsall, just a touch just to brighten up the picture.'
'She didn't pick th
Tara Bilbao
Jun 01, 2012 Tara Bilbao rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved so many aspects of this book. Yes, it asks us to stretch our imagination but not too far beyond what many of us older women have felt as we age. I was very pleased with the way Clover and Arthur's relationship was examined and also in the way it ultimately turned out. I am sure many women can relate to being taken for granted on a daily basis, yet still know that deep down our relationships are solid - unlike Clover's appearance.

I too remember the day I realized i was invisible. It was a
"I first noticed I was missing on a Thursday."

Clover (I love her unusual name!) Hobart had lived a full life. She was married to the same man since college, she had two point zero kids-one son, one daughter- and she was employed as a successful newspaper reporter before the dreaded Internet came into existence. Now she wrote articles on gardening.

She was 54 years old when she woke up on that fated day minus some physical body parts. In less than a week's time, she had absolutely, irrevocably an
I really liked the concept of this book. Women, after a certain age, are no longer valued as beautiful, intelligent, and interesting...even if they still are all of these things. They live in the backgrounds, taking care of the domestic details of a family's life. They feel invisible...and a small number of these middle aged women are actually BECOMING invisible.

I just wish she would've tweaked how she handled it a bit. I could see this being better as a short story, and that's coming from someo
Peggy Bird
Jan 14, 2013 Peggy Bird rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Several years ago I wrote an essay about getting more invisible the whiter my hair turned. In it, I proposed uniting all invisible women and kids, who are also usually invisible, so we could take over the world and make it better. It was one of those I'm-laughing-so-I-don't-scream-or-cry essays and it was included in an anthology aimed at women of, shall we say, a certain age.

A few weeks ago the editor of the anthology emailed me and told me about this book, saying I was clearly on to something.
Feb 18, 2017 Alena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I fully admit I added this novel to my to-read just because the author is Anne Patchett's mother. I'm definitely not sorry I did. It was an interesting and easy way to spend the day.

Clover wakes up one day to find herself invisible. (Not emotionally or psychologically, but physically). I eat that kind of premise up. From there, Ray is examining relationships and the emotional and psychological effects of being "seen" or not. Lots of great questions and discoveries but it felt a bit obvious.

Oct 17, 2012 Irene rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Fifty-four year old Clover wakes up one morning to discover that she is invisible. She still has substance. Her touch can be felt, her voice can be heard, clothes hang off her body, but she can not be seen. No one notices: not her husband who cradles her in bed or her young adult children, not the clerk who processes her dry cleaning or the women in her yoga class, not the GP who examines her or the nurse who takes her blood pressure. Only her best friend/neighbor and her mother-in-law notice he ...more
Jun 26, 2012 Robyn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, fantasy
Honestly I think the book flap was my favorite part. Well, that and all the invisibility. The way the book is presented I thought I was in for a woman who went unnoticed in her life for so long that she actually, physically became... invisible. I thought, because of the book flap, that she would use her new invisibility to learn more about why her family never saw her, and how her lack of physical presence would affect them. Nope. The book stays surface level and never truly delves into the real ...more
Nov 03, 2013 Salymar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Calling Invisible Women by Jeanne Ray is a unique novel that speaks for fulltime-taken-for-granted mothers who are all day doing household works and taking care of kids. It might sound really lame at first, but the twist is that, in the new millennium, majority of mothers are figuratively experiencing “invisibility” at home. For instance, (excerpt from the book) The boys can be looking at naked women on the internet and they don’t so much as twitch when I walk into the room. I can ask Steve (her ...more
Sep 29, 2013 Marianne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Calling Invisible Women is the fifth novel by American author, Jeanne Ray. Like many women in their fifties holding down jobs and looking after families, Clover Hobart has often felt like she’s invisible. Then, one day she wakes up to find she actually is. Invisible. However, no-one seems to notice; not her paediatrician husband, Arthur, not her adult children, Nick and Evie. In fact, only her best friend Gilda actually realises something is wrong. But quite by accident, Clover discovers other w ...more
At first the book bothered me, as I like realistic fiction. What? A woman becomes invisible? Come on! But I nevertheless got drawn in. Something Kafka and Nora Ephron might have teamed up on, with glowing results. True, it’s not as deep as Kafka or as hysterical as Ephron but still, it’s super well-written, funny, and a fast and easy read. And there is wisdom: aging women do deal with a kind of invisibility, and the author makes this fact both fun and empowering.
Ray is my new favorite author an
Aug 30, 2012 Booknblues rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine being invisible, what would you do? What would you wear? And everyone’s favorite question is it the super power you would choose. This is the intriguing premise that guides Calling Invisible Women by Jeanne Ray.

While I was expecting along the lines of Fay Weldon’s The Life and Loves of a She Devil, I was pleased to find that Jeanne Ray’s Calling Invisible Women was more sunlit and less grim. I was also very pleased to find that this was a book which I picked up and could not put down unt
Jacquelynn Fritz
What would you do if you woke up one morning and you were invisible? Panic, this is what Clover does. Worse yet, only her best friend notices. Clover's husband is to busy with his practice, her son is worried about finding a job, and her daughter is at college.
She's reading the paper and notices an ad for a support group for invisible women. There she learns she's not alone and that Dexter-White a drug company is responsible. The women found that if they took Premacore, a hormone replacement,
Jun 11, 2012 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book as an ARC from Read-It-Forward. I had read the author's first book, Julie and Romeo, about 10 years ago on the recommendation of my mother-in-law and while it wasn't my usual choice, being very much a woman's book, it was light and enjoyable enough.

Calling Invisible Women was an absolute delight! It is the story of 50-something Clover Hobart who has a busy physician husband and two grown children (one in college and one unemployed two years post college and living at home).
Jan 09, 2014 Carmen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Women with a sense of humor
I was surprised I like this book so much. Going off a "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" idea, Jeanne Ray purports that women who are ignored and unappreciated will turn invisible. This book only concentrates on middle-class, straight women, but I'm sure women of all kinds are turning invisible in this universe. Well, maybe not, because it turns out that all women who are disappearing are on a specific combination of pharmaceuticals: antidepressant, botox, hormone-replacement, and a calcium supplement.

Ms. Yingling
Dec 28, 2013 Ms. Yingling rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clover wakes up one morning and cannot see herself in the mirror. Thinking that she is perhaps having a stroke, she asks her college graduate son (who has moved home because, as a women's studies/history major, he can't find a job) if he can see her, and he doesn't even notice she's not there. Nor does her busy doctor husband. Her good friend, Gilda, does, although her son doesn't. Not quite sure what to do about this turn of events, Clover eventually finds a meeting/support group for invisible ...more
Kathryn Bashaar
This book was light and fun, like Ray's other books. It played on the notion that older women are metaphorically invisible: no longer seen as sexually desirable or interesting in any way at all. I have certainly experienced that myself. Seriously, people will be walking right towards me and, unless I get out of the way, they would run me right over. It's like they don't see me. The boss I had at work right before my present one NEVER ASKED ME A SINGLE THING ABOUT MYSELF IN TWO YEARS. So, it is a ...more

The premise here is great. Really great. The execution? Not so much. I enjoy magical realism and I will go along for the ride, but then the things that need to be realistic really need to be so. Like when the protagonist's family finally realizes she is invisible and they don't lose their shit completely? Unrealistic. Like the pat resolutions to life's problems? Unrealistic. Look, I was an amotivated, unemployed young adult as well, and this is not so cleanly rectified as with an
Jann Barber
Oct 03, 2012 Jann Barber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't know if this book will be more meaningful to "women of a certain age," but I found it to be absolutely delightful while also making several good points.

Clover Hobart is in her early fifties and is shocked to find that she can't see herself one day after showering. She reappears, but when it happens again and she doesn't reappear, she knows something is wrong...really wrong.

Neither her hard-working husband, Arthur, nor her back-at-home-due-to-unemployment son, Nick, notice anything differ
Gwyneth Stewart
The main character of this story, Clover, is a fifty-ish wife and mother and under-employed journalist. She steps out of the shower one morning to find that she has become invisible. Stranger than that, neither her husband nor her young adult children notice (her best friend does, though, right away). Stranger still, she finds that even in her smallish Ohio town, there is a whole community of invisible women.
This book does require a certain willing suspension of disbelief, but also expresses we
This book was a little entertaining. It tried to be realistic, but it certainly was not. Pharmaceutical companies hiding knowledge, padding statistics, and abusing this kind of information is not unrealistic, but in our day, whistle-blowers sure would have brought such problems to light much sooner than a few women pursuing such justice in the time the book portrays. With how heavily regulated clinical research is, this wouldn't happen. I know because I work in the industry and often can't fully ...more
Jun 17, 2012 Naomi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this book was out of my normal genre, I found myself really liking this short read. I liked it enough that I will probably read some of the author's other books. Who can't relate to this book when you have been married forever and are mommy and wife. I just loved the antics and interactions of these women and with Clover and her family, who don't realize she is "missing"! The writing is just plain fun, as well. On what could be a real downer topic, Ms. Ray keeps it extremely light. I fo ...more
Amy Neftzger
I picked up the book because the concept intrigued me. A woman wakes up one day to discover that she's become invisible and no one notices, least of all her husband. One of the things that appealed to me is that I think this is often true - many women as we become older also become somewhat invisible to those around us. I enjoyed this book, which tackles the subject in a lighthearted manner. In no way is this a fault - in fact, I think it's a strength. I like the fact that I can laugh over a som ...more
Jun 01, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd venture to guess that most of us have felt invisible at one time or another. Having said that, however, I suspect that those of us who are wives and mothers may consider this more of a chronic condition. That makes this book very relatable.

There's an actual story here, not just an allegory. It's told with satire and touches upon social norms, women's roles, drug companies, etc., but at its core, it's about self-worth. Ray's depiction of invisibility is spot-on, from its characteristics to t
May 23, 2012 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
First the bright red cover caught my eye while browsing new books at the Library. Then, the blurb on the book flap captured my interest. I can relate to feeling invisible at times! Here goes....hope it's fun!

Update: Yes, it was fun! Jeanne Ray challenges 'invisible' people to re-direct their energies in a positive way & discover a new passion for living through this delightfully funny and thought provoking novel.
A silly premise with a lot of depth. This was a great read for book club and sparked interesting conversation as most of us are getting to "a certain age" where we are (or feel, at least) less noticed. This book made me realize how little we notice and listen others as we go about our daily lives . . . we get so focused on ourselves that we often forget to SEE someone else.
Jul 23, 2012 Mandolin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Somewhere along her journey from star reporter to stay-at-home doctor's wife, Clover Hobart slowly disappeared. Giving her life to her two children and her husband, she lost herself in the process. Only when she physically disappears, however, does Clover realize how little the people around her even notice. Thankfully, a twist of fate brings Clover into contact with a small group of other women who have suffered the same fate. Ranging from previous television personalities to high school teache ...more
Aug 04, 2012 Jak rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 03, 2015 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
50 something year old Clover wakes up one day...invisible. Literally, not just figuratively, invisible. However, no one seems to notice! Not her busy husband, her stressed son, or her flighty daughter. With her newly opened eyes, she learns she is not alone. Women across the country have been turned invisible and no one notices!
It was an interesting read. It could have been better. The writing flowed smoothly but didn't bring me in. The main character sings the praises of her children a bit muc
Jul 04, 2012 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clover Hobart wakes up one morning and discovers that she's invisible. She rushes to get comfort and support from her best friend who notices her invisibility immediately, but her family doesn't have a clue. Will they ever figure it out? While the invisibility is a broad easy to see metaphor for how women are ignored and overlooked in society, it worked as a comedic device. After all, how many women have never felt invisible? For those who could relate, the book was very amusing. It was good for ...more
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Bound Together: Calling Invisible Women Discussion 71 137 Jan 19, 2013 08:12AM  
Read It Forward: * CALLING INVISIBLE WOMEN by Jeanne Ray 1 30 Jun 27, 2012 07:41AM  
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Jeanne Ray is the New York Times bestselling author of Julie and Romeo and four other novels. She worked as a registered nurse for forty years before she wrote her first novel at the age of sixty. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and her dog, Red.
More about Jeanne Ray...

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“You're just going to bear witness to his life. I think sometimes that's the greatest gift we can give one another.” 4 likes
“I first noticed I was missing on a Thursday.” 3 likes
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