- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Gallery Books; Original edition (June 19, 2012)
- ISBN-10: 145165539
- Source: Publisher (for She Reads)
After their parents died in a car accident, June and Isabel moved into their Aunt Lolly’s inn on the Maine Coast, joining Lolly’s daughter Kat. This new living situation was a challenge for all of them especially Kat, who also lost her father in the deadly car accident. The three girls didn’t necessarily grow up with the strongest relationship but decades later, when Lolly requests that each of the girls return home to the inn, they each know the news must be major.
Each of the women have dramatically different lives. Isabel’s marriage is falling apart. She met her husband when she was a young girl, marrying young as well. They made a pact to have to children, a pact that she wishes she never made. June’s seven-year-old son, Charlie, is desperate to know more about the father he has never met, the father that walked out of June’s life before she had the chance to tell him about Charlie. She promises Charlie that she’ll find his father, a promise she has difficulty keeping. Kat still lives with her mother at the inn, serving as the local baker for the inn & the neighboring businesses. She’s been best friends with Oliver since they were six; now she’s been asked to raise their relationship to a whole new, more permanent, status. Finally, Lolly has always been the strong, perhaps cold, matriarch of the family. Her one soft spot: Meryl Streep movies.
When Lolly deals out bad news, news that will forever affect the lives of the three young women, they are forced to put aside their differences and do what is best for the family as a whole. While they never really visited much over the years, the news has bonded them, the Friday night Meryl Streep movie nights providing them an outlet to share their inner thoughts and feelings. The discussions they have over movies like Kramer vs. Kramer, Mama Mia, and The Devil Wears Prada allow them to find hope and a new direction and life.
While I did have a difficult time keeping track of all the characters at the beginning, within a few chapters I was able to differentiate them, with the help of a character map I created. Also, while I didn’t necessarily bond with any of the individual characters, they each taught me a important lesson: the value of family and understanding one’s own wants and desires.
The Meryl Streep Movie Club would make a perfect book/movie club selection for there is a wealth of subject matter to be discussed. The book includes an extremely resourceful book club guide at the end of the book to aid in/inspire discussion.
All in all, The Meryl Streep Movie Club was an incredibly heart-felt, rewarding read. It’s certainly a book that will give you a good cry, but like family, don’t we all need that every once in a while? Recommended.
Read an excerpt here.
If you have read this book, be sure to check out and participate in the She Reads September Book Club Discussion!