This review is of The First Wives Club by Olivia Goldsmith. I wrote this review in February of 2014.
While I was aware of the movie The First Wives Club, I’ve never seen it (is Bette Midler in it?) and didn’t know it was based on a novel until I heard Sarah Wendell (author of Everything I Know About Love, I Learned from Romance Novels) talk about it on NPR. Wendell recommended it highly, so I sought it out on BookMooch.
Wow! This novel is awesome fiction. The characters are complicated. None are totally good or totally evil; all are fleshed out and flawed. The plot has many twists and turns to keep the reader guessing about what will happen next. (I never saw the ending in the very last paragraph coming.) The writing is accessible but not boring or trite.
True, the story centers around three rich women in New York City in the late 1980’s. I can’t say I usually care much about rich women or their problems, so it is a testament to the wit and writing ability of Olivia Goldsmith that I could barely put this book down after reading the first page.
This book is light reading, yes, but not drivel or mindless fluff. It examines the role of women once they slide into middle age. It challenges the late 80’s quest for “success” at all cost. It gives us three kickass female characters who demand vengeance when the men in their lives do them wrong, three women who dare to break out of the roles their society mandates for them.
Sure, read this book on an airplane or at the beach or while in bed recuperating from a cold, but do read this book!