Friday, January 22, 2016

Book Review: The Wednesday Group by Sylvia True

Media Type: Ebook (ARC)
Title: The Wednesday Group
Author: Sylvia True
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: Paperback; 288
Release Date: March 24, 2015
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Contemporary Fiction

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy richly written characters facing real life issues.

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon | BookLikes
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 Lizzy, a high school teacher, is married to a porn addict, who is withdrawn and uninterested in sex with her.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.

Oh, my poor broken heart. The Wednesday Group is Sylvia True's debut novel, but I can promise you right now that it doesn't read like one. It's stunning, and heartbreaking. I came into a story about women whose problems were far removed from my own life. My biggest worry was that I wouldn't be able to connect enough to really enjoy this story. Trust me, I shouldn't have had any doubts. True's characters came to life. They embraced me as part of their group, and I watched as they laid their hearts and their souls on the table for me to pick apart. Be warned, this isn't the happiest of stories. It is beautiful though, and so very important.

Gail, Hannah, Bridget, Lizzie and Flavia couldn't be more different from one another when the book begins. Learning each of their unique personalities was actually one of my favorites parts of this story. My heart was pulled in all directions while I slowly fell into each one of their lives. Some meek, some angry, but all stronger women then they could ever know. That is, until they came together as a group. I was so impressed at how bluntly, and yet at the same time sensitively, True tackled the concept of men with sex addiction, and how it affects their wives and families. I adored that she didn't lump all of these characters into one coping mechanism. She allowed them their own flaws, and poor decisions, which ultimately made this a much more satisfying story.

What's even more brilliant about this story is the simple fact that it's all forward movement. There's very little fluff, or filler. It's all decisions, consequences, and tons of human growth. Of course, while this was utterly satisfying to read, it also meant that it was emotionally draining as well. I ran the full gambit of emotions while I followed these women on their journey. I felt rage, despair, hope, and so much sadness that it almost overwhelmed me. If I can give credit where credit is due, Sylvia True definitely has mastered the art of pacing. It was perfection.

I can't state enough how impressed I was with The Wednesday Group. Where I started out wary that I wasn't going to feel involved enough, I ended up completely enmeshed in these women's lives. I can't recommend this enough.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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