"Realistic depiction of four friends"
They have been the best of friends for thirty-nine years
and on Mary Sue's forty-fifth birthday, they celebrate it
at the lake cabin of Dixie's father's. It is a bittersweet
time for them as well as Pamela and Gretchen because the
next day Mary Sue is going in for a radical mastectomy.
Mary Sue's boyfriend Walter is supposed to show up but when
Dixie calls him he says he is not coming.
Dixie, knowing how hurt Mary Sue will be, blackmails
Walter into coming but when he arrives, Mary Sue is drunk
and unconscious. Walter trips while arguing with Dixie and
Gretchen, and breaks his neck. To spare them all
embarrassment, the women put him in his car and roll it
into the lake. During the following year, heartache,
happiness and sorrow hit the women, but mostly Walter's
death hangs over THE GIRLFRIENDS' CLUB like the Sword of
Readers who are fans of Belva Plain and Barbara Delinsky
will want to read THE GIRLFRIEND'S CLUB. The story is a
realistic depiction about four women who let nothing get in
the way of their friendship though the reasoning behind
burying Walter in the lake seems shaky in spite of the
quartet suffering from shock. This very gritty novel
doesn't have a happily ever after ending but it is a book
that will satisfy anyone who has known pain in their life,
which is just about everyone.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted April 10, 2002
Writing in the bestselling tradition of Barbara Delinsky
and Patricia Gaffney, Judith Henry Wall, in her new novel,
The Girlfriends Club, has crafted a wry and moving story of
four women who have been best friends since childhood.
Through the years, and through many spiritual crises --
including the recent divorces that three of them have
endured -- they have given one another emotional support.
But when they are forced to share a secret that threatens
to disrupt their lives, each of them begins to wonder if
this bond of friendship that has held for almost four
decades will be strong enough to withstand the strain.
On the eve of Mary Sue Prescott's forty-fifth birthday, she
is joined by her three closest friends, Gretchen, Pamela,
and Dixie, at the lakeside cabin that has been their refuge
for years. This meeting of "The Girlfriends Club" -- as
they jokingly call themselves -- is not, however, strictly
a celebration, since the following morning, Mary Sue is
scheduled to undergo a mastectomy.
At the same time that they are dealing with Mary Sue's
operation, another crisis arises, requiring the three women
to make a decision that results in a haunting and
How these friends individually deal with their terrible
secret, while going on with their lives, is a reflection of
how each has coped with the traumas and stresses of the
Pamela, the only one of the four still married, lives in a
state of perpetual fear that she will upset or embarrass
her older husband, a respected judge, who is both rich and
controlling, and who disapproves of Pamela's "divorcée"
Gretchen is fearful as well, but her anxiety stems from her
concern about her future following a particularly
acrimonious divorce that has left her both bitter and
distrustful of all men.
Dixie, more amicably divorced, has gone on with her life --
at least up to a point. There is a man in her life again,
but she keeps him a secret from her friends because she has
broken one of their taboos by having an affair with a
For Mary Sue, divorce has been especially painful, as she
has not stopped caring for her former husband. A devoted
wife and mother, she was devastated when he left her for a
sexy, much more sophisticated widow. Now, afraid not to
have a man in her life, Mary Sue has talked herself into
dating again, even if it means settling for an abusive
How these women deal with their personal secrets and fears,
and with the trials and tribulations of growing older and
trying to find a place in a world in which everyone seems
to be younger and prettier and sexier, is at the heart of
The Girlfriends Club. It is a story told with compassion,
humor, and absolute truth, one that explores the dynamics
of friendship, and the secrets both shared and held in
their hearts, as four women learn that it is never too late
to live, to trust, and to love again.