Have you ever bought a book because you liked the title or the photo on the front? I picked this up at Half Price Books because I liked the title: Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bon. As I began reading there was something familiar about this book. Maybe it was central character was married to a pilot? My ex is a pilot. Maybe it was the fact they lived in Minnepolis and I had lived in Minnepolis. Maybe it was because one character shared my daughter, Kari’s name with the same spelling. Or maybe it was the fact it was a group of women who had a book club for 30 years and I played Bunco with a group of women for 13 years. While all of the above is true, I realized about midway through the 2nd chapter I had already read this book.
I could have put it down but it’s been awhile so I decided to read it again. I mean I have read the entire Poldark series twice. I’m glad I decided to read this again. I am always amazed at how God uses books, even humorous fiction, to speak to me.
There are five women living on a cul-de-sac and it follows their lives from the 1960s through the 1990s. Some of its beautiful and some of it is very ugly. I saw a little of myself in each of the characters. Faith the main character, her husband being a pilot (there was NO similarity between her loving and faithful husband and my ex except their jobs), her feelings of inadequacies, fear of the empty nest and displacing anger. Audrey is the resident sexpot and mother to 3 boys. I related to her love of food, her love of men and the sadly the belief that her husband would be faithful because they had a fabulous sex life. Slip, the neighborhood crusader and I bonded over frizzy hair and the battle it creates daily. I also tend to get on her soapbox about the inequality between men and women.
Merit, the beautiful, talent and physically abused wife hit me on several levels but mostly her inability to please a demanding and angry husband. While my ex wasn’t physically abusive, he did play head games everyday with me and convinced me I was worthless. And she was the mother of daughters with an intense desire to protect them and I am the same. Last and not least is Kari, the slighter older widow who only became a mother slightly later and through adoption. I indentified with her intense desire to be a mother and her love of sewing. I can’t imagine my life without my daughters. Kari also loved to sew and made things not just for her daughter but for her friends and their children. I did the same thing for years and have just started sewing again.
This book doesn’t just look at the happy side of suburban life. No one is perfect and no one has a perfect life, perfect children or perfect husbands. The author also shows that sometimes friendship is difficult, demanding and hurts. Unfortunately for me my friends didn’t come through the fire. They bailed at the first opportunity. It did make me miss having friends because they are supposed to be a support system. It made me miss the social aspect of friendship, the food, the laughter and the secrets.
*Fair warning: I will say I cried a couple times while reading the book because it touched me on such a personal level.