Tori Hoeschler's Reviews > The Reading Group

The Reading Group by Elizabeth Noble
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Feb 01, 10

Read in May, 2009

Reads Like a British Soap Opera
When I lived in Ireland, one of the things that continued to elude me was the nationwide obsession with the two major soap operas, Coronation Street and Eastenders. Unlike the soap operas of the United States, wherein the entire cast is impossibly beautiful and a typical episode might involve a transvestite giving birth to an alien, the British soaps are cast with everyday people involved with everyday, mundane activities. Turn on the “telly” and buckle your seatbelt, kids: Today on Coronation Street Sir Charles continues his quest for a postage stamp whilst Mary Sugarbottom struggles to come to grips with the recent discovery of curdled milk minutes before her friends arrive for tea. Seriously?
You’re essentially watching scripted reality television with ugly poor people.
In any case, The Reading Group has a similar feel in that it you’re reading about the day-to-day goings on of 5 women, their families, their failing relationships, and their monthly book club. There is a lot of description, relatively little dialogue, and enough female musings to send someone straight into menopause.
Now, where a plot twist in Coronation Street might involve a power outage at the local grocer, the plot twists in Reading Group involve slightly more titillating topics of teen pregnancy, Alzheimer’s disease, infidelity, etc. I liked this book because I have a hopeless love for all things UK and I was in the right “mood” for it. But honestly, this is not a fast read, nor is it fun, uplifting chick-lit (it actually gets really depressing at some points). But overall I will say it was a satisfying read.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
Suggested With: White wine and a lazy afternoon.
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