They met once a week at the Yellowbird, sharing troubled pasts and hidden secrets. Billie is the enigmatic owner of the Yellowbird and a single mother. Gara is a successful psychologist who denies herself the help she so freely lends to others. Felicity is a brilliant attorney chained by the abuse and obsession of two men. Kat is an adventuress ...
They met once a week at the Yellowbird, sharing troubled pasts and hidden secrets. Billie is the enigmatic owner of the Yellowbird and a single mother. Gara is a successful psychologist who denies herself the help she so freely lends to others. Felicity is a brilliant attorney chained by the abuse and obsession of two men. Kat is an adventuress still running from her past. And Eve is an actress with a volcanic anger and blind ambition that could ultimately destroy the group. They are five women on the brink of change--headed toward new beginnings and betrayals.
Yet another fabulous Rona Jaffe novel! A wonderfully written story about five women and the difficulties they encounter and overcome. All of the characters are appealing; the storyline is moving without being maudlin. Five Women is thoroughly enjoyable and hard to put down. You will love this book, too!
Publishers Weekly, 1997-06-02 Tracing the lives of five women over five decades, Jaffe takes another insightful look at female relationships, continuing the tradition she began in The Best of Everything. The women here are rather unlikely friends, since they come from different social and ethnic backgrounds and walks of life, but Jaffe makes their weekly meetings at a Manhattan restaurant credible. Born just before or after WWII, all have survived difficult childhoods in dysfunctional families and romantic and marital heartbreak as they struggle to achieve independence and serenity. One has endured breast cancer, a topic rendered here with rare authenticity and candor. Jaffe adroitly spins their stories in alternating chapters. A pro at this game, she writes smooth prose, builds character out of experience, keeps the action moving in soap-opera fashion and even manages some surprises. She also eschews giddy namedropping, instead establishing solid details of time and place. Perhaps her best character is the least sympathetic: obtuse, obnoxious actress Eve Bader, who has neither maternal instincts (she begrudges every minute and dollar she spends on her daughter) nor self-knowledge, but whose brassy personality dominates the pages. The other women offer a representative sampling of the social forces, familial pressures and personal goals that have influenced women over the past 50 years: a three-time divorc?e whose guilt about her past colors her future; a black literary lawyer who betrays her tyrannical husband as her own mother had betrayed her father; a clinical psychologist still smarting from the departure of her husband after 22 years of marriage; and a Janis Joplin-type singer who has fallen to the depths and climbed back. To her credit, Jaffe defies the conventional happy ending and leaves most of her characters with their lives still in flux. Literary Guild selection. (July)
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