This book sat on my to be read shelf for many months before I finally felt compelled to pick it up recently. I'm glad I did, because it did wind up being an interesting, enjoyable book, though it wasn't as awe-inspiring as I hoped it would be. Then again, because it was about a group of women set in the 60's, I kind of hoped that it would be as wonderful as The Help. I'm starting to think that's not possible.
This was a good read in its own right. The basic story is about a group of women who happen to meet in their neighborhood park, and discover that they love books. They wind up becoming a writing society, inspiring each other to put pen to paper and just write. They share their works with one another, they critique them, and of course life gets in the way as well, as it so often does.
The characters are well shaped, and they each experience the turbulent late sixties and early seventies in different ways. Reading this book made me realize how much I've forgotten from history class about the plight of the womens' rights movement. I think this book would make a great choice for a book club, with lots of interesting issues for discussion.
I have to say, I felt awfully inspired when I read this book. I wanted to rush out and start my own writing society, try to get back into fiction writing. I wrote my first book at 13. It's garbage, total garbage, but I still have it. All 437 pages of it. I've written several short stories and novellas over the years, ceasing some time not long after I graduated from college. I think I started to feel like my writing wasn't amounting to anything, wasn't any good, and so I slowly stopped. In the last year, with having started this blog and going back to journaling every day, I'm starting to feel like I'm rediscovering the writer I once dreamed I could be. And maybe one day, I'll manage to write something I'm proud of again. I can dream, can't I? I sure can, and this book, though I know it is entirely a work of fiction, makes me feel like I can do more than that.