Saturday, December 11, 2010
Great book club read...
I am a social worker so I was quite interested in this book because of the title alone. I was hoping it wouldn’t be a predictable love story and it went far beyond my initial expectations. Barbara was an educated college professor who became extremely depressed after her children left home. The depression was there all along but she managed to “put on a face,” as a lot of depressed people do. Yet once the children were gone she began having difficulty “faking it.” She went to work and home. It wasn’t until her husband realized there were no meals on the table waiting for him that his wife of many years needed help.
Barbara was married but spent most of their married life being a servant to her husband and being ignored by him. His life was separate from hers and she never questioned him about the things he did. She just let them be sinking further into herself. He was the popular outspoken one and she wasn’t. She didn’t attend events he invited her to because it reinforced how far apart their two worlds were.
Barbara had a life most would envy. A beautiful home, good children, a successful husband and a prestigious career made up her world. Friends were few and that was good enough for her. Despite what she had Barbara felt lost. At the suggestion of her disconnected husband Barbara went to a therapist to get help. What would happen next was extraordinary and of course, unethical. Barbara begins to find herself where she least expected it. Her life began to change on the couch in her doctor’s office.
The author told a love story that was funny and quite vivid. I could see the roads that she drove on in New England, the diplomas on the wall in the psychiatrist’s office that she squinted to read on her initial visit, and the beauty that lay within Barbara’s gardens. At times I could see both her joy and pain. Ms. Rose has an amazing ability of grabbing the reader’s attention quickly and drawing them in. I found myself laughing out loud at the author’s humor and feeling sorry for Barbara in other instances. In the end, I applauded her growth as I do Ms. Rose’s storytelling ability. This is a must read and is a perfect book club suggestion or Christmas gift for the reader in your family. What are waiting for? Go to the link on my page and buy it!