Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Goddesses of Kitchen Avenue

Title: The Goddesses of Kitchen Avenue Author: Barbara Samuel Publisher: Ballantine Books Pages: 324 Copyright date: 2004

This is one of those novels that draws you in from the first page and you just can't put it down. At the novel's opening, Berta is losing her husband of 62 years to a long illness. As her friends gather round, the novel focuses in turn, on the lives of each of her neighbors. 
Trudy is recently separated from her husband of 20+ years. His infidelity took her by surprise. As she struggles to make her way as a single woman in a world she never imagined facing as anything but a couple, she takes stock of her life. She looks at her decision to leave college and marry, trading travel and academia for the life of a mom. 
Jade is recently divorced from a con-man who is now doing time in prison. She returns to her childhood home to help Berta, her grandmother, recover from her grandfather's death. However, she is still struggling with her own divorce and heartbreak.
Shanelle grew up dirt poor in a trailer park. She is married to a good man and has a good life. However, her husband resents her dream of becoming a writer.
The story is told, in turn, through the eyes of each woman. Each struggles to make her own way and still hold up her friends in their struggles. 
I love how the author tells the story realistically. There are no fairy tale endings here. There is no  black and white. Each character is human and behaves as we, ourselves, would in similar circumstances.
I was especially drawn to Trudy. Her struggle though her separation and having to deal with "the other woman" in a small town was heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time.
I really enjoyed this book. 

Read this book if...
*you love stories about friendship
*you love stories about relationships

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