Two English women, 30-ish best friends, start a book discussion group, inviting 3 others, various ages, to meet for good food and conversation at each other's homes, one weeknight evening for the next 12 months. An interesting list of their pre-chosen books, from Nora Ephron's "Heartburn" to du Maurier's "Rebecca," not all fiction, not all new, sets the stage. A brief list of the 5 women and their various family members, each with his or her favorite book or category, gives a snapshot of the characters' differences.
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The 5 are introduced individually as they race about, just before the first group meeting. After that, each chapter starts with a brief summary of the month's particular book, and the beginnings of the group's discussion. However, mostly we are immersed in the lives of the 5. Cofounders Harriet and Nicole develop serious doubts about their marriages. 40-ish Polly resists changing her single parent of teens role, and her friend Susan worries her way thru her mother's sudden onset of Alzheimer's. The less-well-known Clare tries to deal with being a childless midwife.
Major life decisions regarding child-rearing, pregnancy, remarriage, separation, aging parents and estranged siblings enter in, but sufficient quirks and humorous episodes bond the 5 to each other as they develop a support network.