Crimes Against a Book Club Review
By Alexis Mercer
It was my turn to pick for Book Club. That is always the most stressful of months in the Club. You want to pick something that everyone will love. And even though I never associate a “bad” book with the person who is picking it, I always feel like that will happen if I choose a total dud. The pressure was on.
Coming fresh off Room, which was jarring, deep and disturbing, I desperately wanted to pick something light, humorous and fresh.
I’m not quite sure this book qualifies as anything but light.
Crimes Against a Book Club, by Kathy Cooperman, is a book I had been hearing about repeatedly since it was published in May of this year. It was described as “lighthearted” by Real Simple, and as having a “rock-solid plot” by RT Book Reviews.
Sounds just like the kind of book I needed to recover from the last choice.
And I was picking a book about book club for book club. Perfect, right?
Not so much.
Two friends, who were college roommates at Harvard, but who now live drastically different lives near La Jolla, San Diego, are both in need of money. Annie is looking to fund her son’s therapy for his recent diagnosis of autism. And Sarah, who just quit her job as a high profile lawyer, wants to fund another round of IVF treatments to have a baby with her husband. So they come up with a business scheme to sell homemade face cream to the wealthiest women in La Jolla, including those in Annie’s book club.
Annie has a background in chemistry. Sarah is the charismatic salesperson who befriends many of the women. And so their adventure in selling beauty products begins.
The strength of the novel is the characterization of Annie and Sarah. Both are immediately likeable and their struggles in life are realistic and relatable. Annie’s mother is another intriguing, all-too-realistic character whose personality makes the reader laugh.
Being able to read through it quickly, without much thought, would be another plus.
Maybe because I am a teacher, or maybe because I am a mother, I found the diagnosis of Annie’s son by her teachers and a school psychologist in one hour to be so asinine I couldn’t quite get past it.
And while some aspects made you groan in a kind-of-funny way, most of the plot was a little too dramatic for my tastes.
It seemed very The Real Housewives-ish to me, though I'll admit I have never actually watched an episode so I can't be sure.
Book Club meets on Monday. I hope I’m not thrown out for having chosen this one.
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