In a Book Club Far Away

Gallery. Apr. 2021. 400p. ISBN 9781982148096. pap. $16. F
Regina Castro, Adelaide Wilson-Chang, and Sophie Walden become firm friends when they meet in a book club as army wives at Fort East. But something happens that tears them apart. Eight years later, Adelaide tries to bring them back together by asking both Regina and Sophie for help when she needs emergency surgery. Moving back and forth between past (2011) and present (set in 2021), and among each of the women’s stories, the book illuminates their longings, problems, and happily-ever-after futures. Setting it in the near future does lead to a few clunkers, like a statement that the “pandemic last year” changed things, and the pace drags a little as Marcelo (Once upon a Sunset) drags out the details of the betrayal that broke up the friendship. But fans of book clubs will enjoy the discussions of the popular reading that Adelaide’s book club favors.
VERDICT While switching viewpoints between present and near past can be confusing at times, themes of love, family, and betrayal are clearly carried between both settings. Told in a straightforward style, this story of women’s friendship and commitment to the army lifestyle will appeal to fans of Kristin Hannah, Debbie Macomber, or Sarah Pekkanen.
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