About the Book
Despite their differences, sisters Vianne and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Vianne is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Vianne finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her.
As the war progresses, the sisters' relationship and strength are tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Vianne and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.
Hardcover, 1st Edition, 440 pages
Published February 3rd 2015 by St. Martin's Press
Current GoodReads Rating: 4.53 Stars
This was my local book club’s January Book of the Month. It was recommended my one of the fellow avid readers in our group and we all took interest after her enthusiastic recommendation. I’m so glad we did.
The census from my book club was three five star reviews, my four star review, while the remaining half dozen said they couldn’t make it past the first fifty pages because it was too sad. Although that might have something to do with the majority of ladies in my book club being seniors who are surrounded by death, but they barely wanted to talk about the book because it was too sensitive of a subject.
The subject of discussion became death and transposing the books theme of reincarnation into the groups’ individual lives. There were several stories exchanged of how widows and daughters could sense their husbands and fathers in spirit, once as a dragonfly, and another through a penny. We moved on to reincarnation of dogs to wonder which of our dogs have impacted us so much that we might find them again in another one of their life cycles.
Well I had no idea before my book club meeting that this book was becoming a movie. I might have teared up a little while watching it for the first time, knowing now what some of the scenes will be leading to. I can guarantee that I will cry during this movie and most probably will try to go with my book club, so my husband is saved from attending a tear-jerker with me.
It's the most annoying question and they just can't help asking you:Why are you single?
On a brisk October morning in New York, Julie Jenson, a single thirty-eight-year-old book publicist, gets a hysterical phone call from her friend Georgia. Reeling from her husband's announcement that he is leaving her for a samba teacher, Georgia convinces a reluctant Julie to organize a fun girls' night out with all of their single friends to remind her why it is so much fun not to be tied down.
But the night becomes a wake-up call for Julie because none of her friends seem to be having much fun: Alice, a former legal aid attorney has recently quit her job to start dating for a living; Serena, who is so busy becoming a fully realized person that she can't find time to look for a mate; and Ruby, a curvy and compassionate woman, has been mourning the death of her cat for months.
Fed up being single in Manhattan, Julie sets off to find out how women around the world deal with this dreaded phenomenon. From Paris to Rio to Sydney, Bali, Beijing, Mumbai, and Reykjavik, Julie falls in love, gets her heart broken, sees the world, and learns more than she ever dreamed possible. Written in Liz Tuccillo's pitch-perfect, hilarious, and relatable voice,How to Be Single is the ultimate novel for the adventurer in us all.
Paperback, 404 pages
Published June 10th 2008 by Atria Books
Current GoodReads Rating: 3.29 Stars
The story starts with a woman getting out of a complicated long-term relationship and struggling to come to terms with her now single status. She then calls up her single friend, who calls up all her other single friends, to help get her out of her lull. She’s interested in how they each manage their single status and realizes that it’s not all it’s conveyed to be. The mismatched group learns to bond over the thing they all hold in common: being in their late thirties and checking the “Single” box. The story covers the up and downs of what single life holds before sending one of them off to discover how other parts of the world handles being single.
I’m mostly glad that How to Be Single didn’t ruin the title by each girl ending happily ever after with the love of her life. It was enjoyable to learn the different courtship rituals from several parts of the world and how they might view single women. It was a very light read, with a little humor mixed in throughout. It held some hope for love, but ended with each independent. It finished how it should with each trying so hard to find love, failing, then coming to the realization that if its meant to happen it will when you are least expecting it. It approached the clichés of the extremes women go to make things work when they are not meant to be or vowing celibate in protest. The story felt like a mixture of Eat, Pray, Love and Sex and the City. I gave How to Be Single three out of five stars because it fell short of my expectations on what they could have captured and how much it lacked a connection to and depth of the characters.