This is told from multiple narrators. Isabel (whose husband has just had an affair), her sister June (single and raising a child on her own) and their cousin Kat (who has just gotten engaged to her perfect boyfriend Oliver and who has almost immediately wondered if she made the right choice) have just moved into the inn that their aunt/mom Lolly runs. Lolly has cancer and the prognosis is not good. Each woman has ample reason to feel unsettled even besides the fact that Lolly will likely die.
What helps? Lolly’s habit of a movie night. The actress of choice during the course of the novel is, of course, Meryl Streep. The movies picked: The Bridges of Madison County, The Devil Wears Prada, Mamma Mia!, Heartburn, Defending Your Life, Kramer vs. Kramer, Postcards From the Edge, It’s Complicated and Out of Africa (with Julie and Julia getting an honorable mention). Each movie becomes not only an escape from their lives and problems but also a valuable opportunity to discuss the characters’ choices and what they would do.
When I read the synopsis for this book, I knew that I had to read it. I love stories told from multiple perspectives and one that centers around a film club? Yes, please!
Lolly believes (as I do) that movies can take you out of your life for a few hours and those hours can make all the difference. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve chosen to watch a movie (or read a book) to get out of my own head for a little bit.
I completely loved this book (which, as a warning, is nearly impossible to stop reading, so maybe start it on a Friday afternoon? But be prepared to lose all weekend. And be prepared to want to spend the entire FOLLOWING weekend watching some Meryl Streep movies. (Incidentally—and this is a minor point—but no Doubt? But I’m hoping that what that REALLY means is that there will be a sequel. Lord knows there are enough Meryl Streep movies for at least two more books!)
I will admit that it was almost impossible for me not to love this book. One of the characters manages in a bookstore and again, it’s a movie about women who love movies. (And family members who slowly are able to become friends.) These are all things that completely appeal to me. ;) But I think anyone would love this book. Its themes are relevant to everyone: learning to live without someone, finding what you want in love and life, overcoming things you don’t think you can.