Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Newport Ladies Book Club: Olivia - Julie Wright

The Robbins household looks perfect from the outside: no dust, no stains, no wrinkles. Yet a glimpse into its heart reveals no laughter, no closeness, no joy. Olivia thinks that if she keeps everything tidy and serves delicious meals on time, family life is bound to get better. But when her husband, Nick, misses their anniversary, she realizes no amount of domestic success will compensate for failure in their marriage, or for her own failure to develop her identity-always busy as a mother, wife, and neighbor, she has forgotten how to be a unique and vibrant individual.

Determined to make a change, Olivia joins a local book club, where she nurtures new friendships and explores new ideas. But her growing confidence falters when Nick declares his independence- and while her new friends lovingly encircle her with support, only Olivia can reach into the depths of her fledgling self to find the faith, hope, and love her troubled family needs.

What a wonderful way to start of a new year of reading! Olivia, the first book in the Newport Ladies Book Club series, was an absolute delight. Yes, the characters face struggles, yes the book brought on some tears, but the optimism of Olivia, the main character, continued to shine through, despite the difficult times she faced.

I wanted Olivia to be one of my best friends, then I remembered, I had author Julie Wright as a friend, and she is as much like Olivia as anyone can be when it comes to optimism. How lucky can I be?

In the novel, we also meet the women who will be telling their own stories in the books to follow. Daisy, Athena, and Paige are already feeling like friends, and I can hardly wait.

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