MOTIVATION for READING: For IRL Book Club “The Bookies” (March).
WHAT’s it ABOUT: Four friends have been close since college. The most adventuresome and independent of the group dies before the book even begins; instead of sharing her losing battle with cancer and relying on these BFFs for support, she informs the other three with letters and includes her dying-wishes just for them. So this is the story of what the others do per their friend’s request. A story about love, grief and really living.
Upon her untimely death, Rachel left letters for her three best friends challenging them to face their biggest fears.
Sarah, an international relief worker, must travel half way around the world to track down the only man she ever loved. Stay-at-home mom Kate must confront her fear of heights by skydiving and soon finds that her new hobby is affecting her once-tranquil marriage. And Jo, a media mogul voted “least likely to breed,” is given the most terrifying assignment of all: caring for Rachel’s orphaned and grieving little girl.
Even as these women mourn Rachel’s passing, her legacy lives on and their lives are enriched by a friend who, in many ways, knew them better than they knew themselves.
WHAT’s GOOD: I do love a book that can be considered a “quick read”; action and emotions. Of course, I was punched in the gut and crying tears before page 30. I cried at the end, I cried some in the middle. I cheered a few times, I questioned some of the nuttier decisions and circumstances and I picked my favorites. LOTS of interesting discussion points about characterization for a book club.
WHAT’s NOT so GOOD: Well, I couldn’t suspend the belief that the instigator of these life-changing last-wish activities wouldn’t tell her best friends that she was dying. And I couldn’t believe they weren’t more angry about that. (And if I had to read one more time that Sarah was the daughter of a minister, I was going to chuck the book across the room. ‘Cept it was on my eReader and I don’t throw electronic devices. I really don’t throw books, either. Just an expression…)
“One memory kept haunting her – the image of Rachel, in full climbing regalia, grinning down at her from the top of a craggy rock face as Sarah struggled across a difficult pass.
Hurts like hell, doesn’t it Pollard? Push through it, kid, because heaven’s all the way up here.“
RATING: Three slices of pie.