The Dirty Book Club
I am a HUGE fan of Book Clubs. I think everyone should be in one, and I'd be in 20 if I could find enough people to be in them with me. So, this book by bestselling author Lisi Harrison, of YA Monster High and The Clique fame, really caught my eye. A big Thank You to Netgalley and Gallery Books for sending it my way!!
The Dirty Book Club starts off by introducing us to a group of girlfriends in the 1960's who start a secret Dirty Book Club. They will wrap their books with the cover of a prim and proper housekeeping title, and meet once a month at the full moon to discuss what they've learned. And once all their husbands have died (because the men always go before the women), they vow to drop everything and run away to Paris together.
The book then skips to modern day, and we meet M.J., a career woman in New York who is grieving for both the loss of her family in a car accident and what she perceives as the loss of her career. She decides to relocate to her hot boyfriend's home in California, and lick her wounds. In an effort to meet people, she befriends Gloria...the mature woman next door. When Gloria drops everything and runs off to Paris with her girlfriends after her husband dies of a heart-attack, she leaves a letter on M.J.'s doorstep...passing on her membership to the Dirty Book Club.
We are then introduced to a new generation of the Dirty Book Club. Four women who have nothing in common, and aren't sure they want to be in a book club...or be friends. Can they learn anything from the notes that the previous generation left behind? Is there wisdom to be found in Fear of Flying or Fifty Shades of Grey? And can M.J. truly become a happy and fulfilled California girl, or will she run back to New York??
I really enjoyed this book, although I think I found the bits surrounding the older generation of women a bit more interesting than the present day ladies. I liked the idea of these ladies secretly meeting, martini and Salem Light in hand, discussing all of the things they'd read in whispered giggles with each other. The whole idea reminds me of late nights at my house in North Dakota, drinking wine with my girlfriends at my Wine & Words book club, laughing over something incredibly naughty. It's the best of the Book Club cliche, really.
But to me, this was a fun book. It had it's serious moments, and at times it was a little disjointed, and the plot/dialogue got a little wonky. But if any of you ladies out there are looking for pure entertainment, this book has it. It made me want to start my own Dirty Book Club, complete with Ya-Ya level smoke-blowing ceremonies under a full moon.
And I may be a little nutty, but I've never handed out a gift-bag like one of the characters in this book did. Feel free to thank me for that later. Or maybe not...it depends on how you look at it.
This novel really has a little bit of everything in it, from infidelity and work/home drama to domestic abuse and hidden homosexuality. It really covers a lot, but does it in a way that doesn't feel too heavy handed or melodramatic, with some of the bigger issues coming in letters that were written by the older ladies, that are being read by the younger ones during their meetings. I think it was a clever way to keep that generation of original DBC women still in the picture, while staying in the modern timeline.
For me...I considered this book to be one for the win column. One could probably pick at it...and some of the things others found issue with, I found endearing. You can maybe tell the author has been writing YA books for a while. But, I was just smirking so much while reading it, my eyes didn't rest long on the flaws.
So, how do you feel about Book Clubs? And would you ever consider a Dirty Book Club?? Oooh, and more importantly, do you think you can learn anything from Fifty Shades?!? LOL 😁 Let me know in the comments!!