Lorna Landvik's Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons is about book clubs -- the camaraderie, the friendships and the lifelong bond created among members.
Itís a testament to the power of women, the sisterhood and the support they can give to each other through the joys and terrors of life. The books are a backdrop to the story and the book club intended for book discussions, eating, wining and conversing is fun, but the stories of the five women are what make the story so heartwarming, uplifting and inspiring.
Book clubs mean different things to different people, but for the women on the suburban street of Freesia Court in small-town Minnesota in the 60's, their book club is a lifeline.
Faith, a woman who hides her shameful past behind her life as a suburban housewife and a mother of twins, puts it best:
"Öwhen I finally got smart enough to go to a therapist, she asked me how I had held things together all these years. It didnít take long to come up with an answer. ĎThatís easy. I belong to a book club.í"
For Merit, who is shy and suffers both from low self-esteem and the rages of her abusive doctor husband, the ladies become family as they practically wrestle her away from the physical and mental hell she has endured for years.
For Slip -- activist, adventurer, social changer -- itís an opportunity to convert more women into paying attention to the political and social changes needed in the nation. For Kari, the introspect, and Audrey, the daring sex kitten with the low cleavage, itís an outlet for their loneliness and isolation.
The five women have had very different lives, but behind each of their smiles are stories and secrets.
The book spans forty years as the women smoke and drink and bond. The book club survives through the hippie world of the sixties, the political awareness of the seventies, the fashion of the eighties and finally the nineties. The books they pick to read are an odd assortment, sometimes picked by the hostesses for the wackiest reasons:
Hotel by Arthur Hailey ("it is a bestseller"); Soul on Ice by Eldridge Cleaver ("because we white Americans donít know diddly"); and On the Road by Jack Kerouac ("sexy-looking writer").
Or Main Street by Sinclair Lewis ("help understand Minnesota more") and Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion ("thought it had something to do with Christmas").
Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons is relevant today; there are many subdivisions and streets with groups of women who live near each other, raise children and talk about books, even in a culture flooded with various forms of media, some more intrusive then others.
Landvik is also the bestselling author of Patty Janeís House of Curl and Your Oasis on Flame Lake, among others. She is an actor, playwright and proud hockey mom.