Saturday, 2 May 2015
The Wednesday Group by Sylvia True
Published by St Martins Press
Purchase from Amazon here
My Rating: 4 stars - a great and unique story
Gail. Hannah. Bridget. Lizzy. Flavia. Each of them has a shameful secret, and each is about to find out that she is not alone… Gail, a prominent Boston judge, keeps receiving letters from her husband's latest girlfriend, while her husband, a theology professor, claims he's nine-months sober from sex with grad students. Hannah, a homemaker, catches her husband having sex with a male prostitute in a public restroom. Bridget, a psychiatric nurse at a state hospital, is sure she has a loving, doting spouse, until she learns that he is addicted to chat rooms and match-making websites. Lizzy, a high school teacher, is married to a porn addict, who is withdrawn and uninterested in sex with her. Flavia was working at the Boston Public library when someone brought her an article that stated her husband had been arrested for groping a teenage girl on the subway. He must face court, and Flavia must decide if she wants to stay with him. Finally, Kathryn, the young psychologist running the group, has as much at stake as all of the others.
As the women share never-before-uttered secrets and bond over painful truths, they work on coming to terms with their husbands' addictions and developing healthy boundaries for themselves. Meanwhile, their outside lives become more and more intertwined, until, finally, a series of events forces each woman to face her own denial, betrayal and uncertain future head-on.
From author Sylvia True comes The Wednesday Group, a captivating, moving novel about friendship, marriage, and the bonds that connect us all.
What a brilliant and original idea this is! I loved it! Five ladies bought together when they discover their husbands have a sex addiction. I wasn't sure what to expect, and thought it might just be a tacky lurid account of sexual encounters...how wrong I was. The Wednesday Group is a gripping and delicately told story of women who have been betrayed by their husbands.
Through the book we get to know each of the women, how they have been betrayed and the impact it has had, both on their relationships, but also on the women themselves. What I loved was that these are not weak subservient women, they are strong and successful in their own right, yet are of course still vulnerable. Each situation was quite complex and gritty. I liked the way the author made me feel like I could connect with each woman's situation and empathise with them but not in a pitying way. Yes, I felt sorry for them as it must be an awful situation to be in, but the women were more real than that, so at times I didn't particularly like them, or felt annoyed at their behaviour, which got me questioning their relationships and pondering whether they played any part in their husbands behaviour. As the book progresses we also begin to see just how far into recovery each of the men are, and some of their behaviour has consequences that spread far wider than just within their marriage.
Each chapter alternated between the women, which I really enjoyed. It allowed me to focus on them and get to know them as an individual and as a couple which then helped me relate to them. That said, some really powerful stuff happens when the women come together as a group, and I enjoyed the strength that came from them supporting eachother. I love books which have groups of women who are all different but inspire and look out for eachother, I definitely found that with these five ladies. There is emotion and at times I felt anger, sadness but also strong and determined when reading.
I found the book totally compelling. I was hooked and found it hard to put down. I wanted to know not only their story, but what would happen next, I have a very clear image of how I believe I would deal with finding out my partner was cheating, let alone a sex addict. But this story really made me question whether I could actually forgive and forget, and is cheating always a reflection of being a failure, which is how I imagine I would feel if it happened to me and I found out.
Gritty, compelling, emotional, uplifting and empowering, this is a fantastic read. I really would recommend The Wednesday Group. I am looking forward to seeing what Sylvia publishes next.
Thank you to the publisher who kindly provided a copy of the book in return for an honest review.