Thursdays at Eight
Every Thursday morning at eight four women meet for breakfast, talk about their week and lives, and renew their friendship. They are completely different yet they complement each other. Clare is trying to get over her bitterness from a nasty divorce and care for her older teen aged sons. Liz is a hospital administrator, a widow and alone at home for the first time in her life. Julia's children are younger teens, happily married, owns a small knitting store, and unhappily discovers she is pregnant. Karen is the young struggling actress who barely gets along with her mother and sister and is a substitute teacher to pay the bills while waiting for her break.
Clare is bitter because his husband Michael left her for a younger woman and destroyed their family. Her college son can't forgive his father. Her high school son wants to reach back out to his dad without hurting her. She may be devastated, but she doesn't want to come between her sons and their father - even if he ruined their lives. She's trying to move on now.
Liz's husband died in a car accident six years earlier. Now her daughter's family (and her grandchildren) have moved to Oklahoma. Her son has finished college and moved out. She's adjusting to a new personal life. Fortunately her job goes well despite its pressures. One of her bigger problems is the doctor who is egotistic, often rude to the nurses, a womanizer, and keeps asking her out.
Julia hasn't been feeling well. Her husband and children supported her when she opened the knitting and yarn shop. When she learns she is pregnant with two teen aged children, she resents the baby. How will she keep her store going? What will her children do? Her husband is excited. She's still trying to adjust.
Karen always wanted to act. Her mother doesn't understand. At her parents' insistence (and monetary backing) she earned a college degree. She uses it for substitute teaching, the pay that keeps the food on the table while she continues to audition for jobs acting. She's nothing like her "perfect sister" Victoria, who married a lawyer and has a young son. But Karen needs to learn what she really wants and how she can help her family.
Thursdays at Eight is a book about strong women and their relationships. Debbie Macomber took the idea from her own women's group. These women support each other in ways they didn't expect before meeting in a journal writing class. The book is a feel good women's novel that extends further.
Not all the stories have happy endings but reflect real life. It's not easy being almost forty, settled in your life, and discovering you're pregnant. Having your husband end a long time marriage and business partnership for a 20-year-old would make many women mean-hearted toward him. Discovering your life is moving on and you're ready for a new phase in your life is a frightening proposition. If you're sure your mother and sister don't respect you, it's hard to learn that they need you and you need them despite everything.
Macomber doesn't dig as deep into theses women's live as she could, but enough to make this a heart warming story that is a satisfying read. Women can forge strong bonds. Thursdays at Eight show influential these bonds can be. It's a "real life" novel that leaves you feeling good.
These reviews are personal opinions only and in no way reflect other readers' opinions of the books discussed.
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