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review: Angry Housewives Eating Bon-Bons by Lorna Landvik

Written By: Word Nerd - Jul• 21•12

Angry Housewives Eating Bon-Bons

Lorna Landvik

Ballantine Books/fiction

Release Date: February 3, 2004

The women of Freesia Court are convinced that there is nothing good coffee, delectable desserts, and a strong shoulder can t fix. Laughter is the glue that holds them together the foundation of a book group they call AHEB (Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons), an unofficial club that becomes much more. It becomes a lifeline. Holding on through forty eventful years, there s Faith, a lonely mother of twins who harbors a terrible secret that has condemned her to living a lie; big, beautiful Audrey, the resident sex queen who knows that with good posture and an attitude you can get away with anything; Merit, the shy doctor s wife with the face of an angel and the private hell of an abusive husband; Kari, a wise woman with a wonderful laugh who knows the greatest gifts appear after life s fiercest storms; and finally, Slip, a tiny spitfire of a woman who isn t afraid to look trouble straight in the eye.
This stalwart group of friends depicts a special slice of American life, of stay-at-home days and new careers, of children and grandchildren, of bold beginnings and second chances, in which the power of forgiveness, understanding, and the perfectly timed giggle fit is the CPR that mends broken hearts and shattered dreams.

This is not so much a novel as a collection of personal vignettes as told by the individual characters.  The shifting point of view is initially confusing, but soon settles into a comfortable rhythm.

It does have a bit of a “Desperate Housewives” vibe, with the notable exception that the main characters truly care about each other.  All of their flaws and foibles are laid bare with surprising results.

My verdict:  Read it.  Once I settled into the rhythm of the book, I found it very enjoyable.  Perhaps my favorite part of the book is that chapters are prefaced with the date (the story spans 30 years), the book club selection, the hostess and why they chose that book.  I love the little bit of history wound into the fiction.

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