Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Bitches of Brooklyn by Rosemary Harris

Now, don't hesitate to pick up Rosemary Harris' The Bitches of Brooklyn just because of the title.
This isn't a "Housewives of..." book. It's a story with quite a twist. It's also the story of women who have been friends since high school. And, of course a group of five teenage girls with their own clique have to have a name for themselves. They chose "The Bitches of Brooklyn".

Tina Ruggiero, Jane Monaghan, Clare Didrikson, and Rachel Weiner were friends, but when Abby Daniels moved to town, she completed the group. She made each person feel as if they were the most important person in the world. After high school the group drifted apart, but at their fifteenth high school reunion, they found they still enjoyed each other's company. Now, for the past six years, they've rented a bungalow at the beach for a weekend, where they relax, get away from husbands and boyfriends, drink wine, and have snarky conversations. But, this year is a little different. Abby doesn't show. Instead, she sends a gift basket with a note. "Apologies for the short notice but I won't be making our little reunion this year. I've run off with one of your men. Abby."

Harris digs into all the reactions women can have after receiving this note, from anger to jealousy to fear. They worry about their own relationships, and, as time goes on, they worry about Abby. It's at this point that some of the reactions become funny. Harris knows how to examine actual human emotions, and point out the humor. Even with their deep friendship, the women can pick on each other's spouse. It has to be someone else's man, doesn't it? And, when they fear for Abby, they show up at a small town police station to check on a dead body and ask about missing persons.

With the women out of town for the weekend, their men are out of town, too. So which man took the opportunity to run off with Abby? I'll admit I had a tough time remembering who was who for a while, particularly while the women were at the beach house. Some characters stood out more than others. Although their backstories eventually were revealed, it was Jane Monaghan with her complicated relationship with two men that stood out for me. I would suggest a chart as to which woman is married or living with which man. Saying that, The Bitches of Brooklyn is an enjoyable book.  Rosemary Harris tells the story of a group of women whose lives might not be what they appear to be on the surface in a novel with unusual twists and delightful, funny scenes.

Rosemary Harris' website is www.rosemaryharris.com, or you can find her at facebook.com/RosemaryHarriswriter.

The Bitches of Brooklyn by Rosemary Harris. Chestnut Hill Books. 2013. ISBN 9780989697019 (paperback), 338p.

*****
FTC Full Disclosure - I was sent a copy of the book, in hopes I would review it.

2 comments:

Beth Hoffman said...

I actually laughed out loud at the title! Very catchy.

Hope you and the kitties are staying warm, Lesa!

Lesa said...

We are when I'm home, Beth. That space heater in my office, though, needs to work a little harder. (smile) Actually sitting by big windows is the problem. The space heater works as hard as it can.