What It’s About:
M.J. Stark’s life is picture-perfect—she has a dream job as a magazine editor, a sexy doctor boyfriend, and a glamorous life in Manhattan. But behind her success, she can’t shake a deep sense of loneliness. So when her boyfriend offers her a completely new life in California after a promotion does not go her way, she decides to give it try. Once there, M.J. is left to fend for herself in a small California beach town, with only the company of her elderly neighbor, Gloria.
One day M.J. receives a mysterious invitation and a copy of Prim: A Modern Woman’s Guide to Manners. She recognizes the book as an outdated classic, but when she opens it, she discovers that it’s actually a copy of Fear of Flying by Erica Jong and the invitation is to join Gloria’s secret book club—one that only reads erotic books. Out of curiosity, M.J. goes to the meeting at a local bookstore, and discovers three other women who have also been selected by the club’s original members—who have suddenly left the country to honor a fifty-year-old pact. As these unlikely friends bond over naughty bestsellers, each woman shares not only the intimate details of her own sex life, but all areas of her life. Inspired by the characters in the novels they read—and the notes passed down by the club’s original members—the new members of The Dirty Book Club help each other find the courage to rewrite their own stories and risk it all for a happy ending.
Guest Reviewer Tom’s Thoughts:
Lisi Harrison’s The Dirty Book Club is a sublimely well-crafted story and incredibly fun; it is just an all-round great read.
From the secrets of the Club passed down through a generation we are treated to a powerful story of friendship and bonding that develops first among, and then between the generations. The intimacy gained in discussing dirty classics is enough to propel each woman to open up and lay bare their own feelings and help guide each other through enough tough self-reflection to accept the past, or to take on the future without fear. All through the story these women learn from each other–in ways you would not expect–how to be true to themselves.
Throughout, Ms. Harrison treats us to robust character development, effortless writing, and exquisite turns of phrase that had me highlighting their cleverness at each occurrence. Subtle sarcasm and laugh-out-loud humor are in abundance as the characters explore their own and each other’s loves, lives, and relationships aided by group discussion of each intimate Book Club read.
Especially poignant is Ms. Harrison’s careful characterization of the growing bond between unlikely acquaintances of the second generation Book Club into lifelong friends.
If that’s not enough, Ms. Harrison treats us to a wonderfully written conclusion, deftly revealing the bonds between generations as the last of the Dirty Book Club secrets unfold.