Life doesn't always go as planned. Lolly Weller, her daughter Kat, and two nieces Isabel and June, know this all too well. Fifteen years ago the unexpected happened, leaving these four women struggling with grief.
Lolly doesn't like the fact that after her daughter and nieces grew up, her family is not as close as it once was. She has an announcement to make and thinks it is the perfect excuse to call the girls home.
Isabel is married and living in Connecticut. She's known her husband since she was sixteen and considers him to be her rock. Lately, though, their marriage feels strained and Isabel wants to tackle the problems so they can move forward. Her husband, however doesn't share her desire to make their marriage work.
June, Isabel's younger sister, is a single mother. Not so long ago, she had a promising future: valedictorian in high school, Columbia University student, and a future in publishing. That changed the moment she met the mysterious John Smith. Now, June is working at an independent book store and barely can make ends meet. Charlie is asking questions about his father which sends June on a quest to reconnect with John.
Kat, Lolly's daughter, never moved away from her hometown. She's best friends with the boy next door and everyone is expecting them to marry. Kat has dreams of her own and marriage certainly isn't part of them. At least not now.
When Lolly makes her announcement, these women are drawn closer together. Family bonds are strengthened with the help of the fifth, silent character: Meryl Streep. The women watch Meryl Streep movies together and discuss how each movie is relevant to their lives. Past regret, guilt and hurt resurface allowing for self-exploration and change. For me, this was what I enjoyed most about the book. I definitely could relate to tying in a movie to your life. I often do this with music. There are songs I listen to when I'm having a bad day, songs for relaxation, songs for when I'm sad, etc. Music definitely speaks to me, just as Meryl Streep's characters spoke to these women.
I have to admit, my first impression of The Meryl Streep Movie Club was a breezy, light read perfect for a hot summer day. I was pleasantly surprised that it was much deeper and tackled issues such as: infidelity, single parenting, self-discovery and one more, but I won't say. That would spoil the book!
The Meryl Streep Movie Club is March's debut novel. I'm looking forward to reading more by this author. Recommended.
Pub. Date: June 19, 2012
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Women's Fiction
Source: Print copy provided by the publisher