Monday, October 14, 2013

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik

I first read Lorna Landvik's Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons ten years ago, and reread it for book club
this week. I still found myself crying over parts of it. It's a novel that carries five friends from 1968 to 1998, with all the changes that come about through cultural changes and lifestyle changes. Best of all, the device to bring these friends together is a book club.

With Faith as the overall narrator, each woman's voice is heard as she picks a book for the discussion. But Faith is the one who introduces the book, writes the epilogue, and tells of the night the friendship began in the middle of a snowball fight. That night, the frustrated young mother of twins who had recently moved to Freesia Court met the women who would see her through the years. There's Aubrey, the bold woman who thinks you can get away with a lot with attitude. There's beautiful Merit, mother of gorgeous daughters, but a woman living with a terrible secret. Kari, the oldest of the group, is a widow who misses her beloved husband. Slip may be under five foot, but she's a warrior at heart. And, then there's Faith herself, hiding her past from everyone, even her husband. It's books and friendship that gets these women through the tumultuous years of their lives, from childbirth to divorce to careers and grandchildren.

The book club started as a monthly escape from children, providing an opportunity for the women to have intelligent conversations. It continued as a book club while the books discussed reflected American society, from  On the Road to Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex but Were Afraid to Ask to Stephen King. The 60s meant Vietam; the early 70s meant protests and Nixon. The 80s brought changes to everyone's life.

Even ten years after publication, I find myself fascinated by the books discussed, and how they reflect American life. And, I still like these five women, and Grant, the man they finally allow in their closed circle. Their arguments, their lives, and their friendship are realistic. And, I still have a favorite woman, Slip. She was my favorite the first time I read Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons, and she remains my favorite. It's hard to dislike a woman who thinks Genesis should be changed to say, And God created read by.

Lorna Landvik's website is

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik.Ballantine Books. 2003. ISBN 0345475690 (paperback), 483p.

FTC Full Disclosure - Library book


Joe Barone said...

This is one of those books whose title alone probably helped it sell a million copies.

Beth Hoffman said...

I read this book eons ago. Thanks for rekindling my memory!

TFJ said...

Love everything Lorna Landvik has written. Thanks for reminding me that this book in particular is worth re-reading.

Just checked her website and she's self-published a book that I'm off to find --- Master of the Universe.

My all-time favorite opening sentence is from Landvik's Tall Pine Polka. I'll leave it to all to go get the book and see if you concur.

Lesa said...

Well, it certainly made me pick it up the first time, Joe!

Lesa said...

Fun book, wasn't it, Beth? At the same time, it had moments when it was very moving.

Lesa said...

I'll have to go look for that book, TFJ.

Karen C said...

Oh, Lesa. Your review is sufficient to make me add it to my reading list!

Lesa said...

I hope you like it, Karen!