Friday, April 30, 2010


If I had been told that the premise of this novel was that a group of five women meet and form friendships at their kids' playground and then decide to form a writing group - with three of them ultimately becoming published authors, one an excellent book editor and the fifth the author of an unpublished novel - I would have thought it preposterous. Except for the fact that "The Wednesday Sisters" actually is based on a true story.

Along with three other women, author Meg Waite Clayton formed a very similar writing group. All four members eventually published articles, essays, stories and novels. Real-life friend and fellow writing group member Brenda Rickman Vantrease is the author of "The Illuminator", a marvelous book about a 14th-century medieval manuscript illuminator and his lady love.

I highly recommend "The Illuminator". In fact, I suggest you seek it out instead of "The Wednesday Sisters", which is a vastly inferior book. It was interesting, however, to see these women through the sixties and seventies as they discover Women's Lib. Other than that, you have the usual divorce, breast cancer scare, infertility and other women's issues that seem to permeate any book about a group of modern-day women, especially book club groups.
Not only do the Wednesday Sisters write books, they also read them. Their list of favorites is published at the back of the book. Many books on their list are also ones I would list: "In Cold Blood", "To Kill A Mockingbird", "Great Expectations", "The Great Gatsby", "The Bell Jar", "Rebecca", "Breakfast at Tiffany's", "The French Lieutenant's Woman." But some others on the list? "Love Story"?? C'mon! And although I respect Frankie, who is the unspoken head of the Wednesday Sisters, I cannot abide the fact that her model book was "Middlemarch".

1 comment:

jane davenport said...

Thanks a lot for your interesting blog.

I have been fond of Christine de Pisan for quite a while reading a lot about her life. In "Le livre de la Cité des Dames", she mentions Anastaise praising her skills as an "enlumineresse".

I advise you the reading of the ebook "Anastaise, the Sharpened medieval Quill" by A. Warwick.
The historical fiction deals with the “querelle du roman de la rose” and the ideas of Christine de Pisan and her role in the Court of King Charles VI.