Author: Wendy Wax
Audiobook Length: 12 hours 13 minutes
On paper, Jazmine, Judith, Erin and Sara have little in common – they’re very different people leading very different lives. And yet at book club meetings in an historic carriage house turned bookstore, they bond over a shared love of reading (and more than a little wine) as well as the growing realization that their lives are not turning out like they expected.
Former tennis star Jazmine is a top sports agent balancing a career and single motherhood. Judith is an empty nester questioning her marriage and the supporting role she chose. Erin’s high school sweetheart and fiancé develops a bad case of cold feet, and Sara’s husband takes a job out of town saddling Sara with a difficult mother-in-law who believes her son could have done better – not exactly the roommate most women dream of.
With the help of books, laughter, and the joy of ever evolving friendships, Jazmine, Judith, Erin and Sara find the courage to navigate new and surprising chapters of their lives as they seek their own versions of happily-ever-after.
The Break-Up Book Club is a multi-perspective and multi-generational story about four women who are all at different stages in their life coming together through a book club. I am a huge fan of book clubs as they not only bring together people to read and discuss books, but they bring together all types of people that might not have otherwise interacted. I am a member of two book clubs, one meets every other month and the other is every month, and I would gladly join more as I love how it brings people together. Although the four perspectives initially seem separate, I loved how everything weaved together to create a cohesive story about love, loss, friendship, and self-discovery.
There are four narrators in this story that serve as the main characters, Judith, Jazmine, Erin, and Sara living in Atlanta. I enjoyed that there were four narrators for the audiobook version as it added a new layer to the distinct voices the author gave the characters. With multiple main characters, the reader can connect with at least one of them, which is one piece I love about these types of stories. For me, there were characters I did indeed connect with more, but I found myself equally invested in each of their stories. Judith is 54 and in a well-established marriage with her adult children that no longer live at home. Her story revolves around her stale marriage as she overhears a conversation where her husband describes her as being a caregiver for the household. Jazmine is a single mother, former tennis player, who is trying to put herself back out there for dating while balancing her career as a sports agent. Erin is 23 and set to marry her baseball player boyfriend, Josh. At the start of the story she experiences two life changes as she becomes Jazmine’s assistant and Josh dumps her before the wedding. Finally, there is Sara, who lives in Atlanta as a teacher in a house with her mother-in-law, Dorothy, while her husband, Mitch, is working in Birmingham.
This is a very character-driven story where the general plot follows these four characters are they try to navigate the changes happening in their lives. While all the stories were interesting, I found myself invested in Sara’s story the most while not fully connecting with Erin’s. Although all of these characters are on different paths, they find themselves together at a newly forming book club at the book store, Between the Covers. Overall, this novel is a heart-warming story about self-discovery, growth, romance, and friendship. It also did an excellent job at illustrating the benefits of a book club. No matter what stage a person is in their life, they can always benefit from having a great support system. Books clubs are excellent sources for this support as they bring together people from a variety of backgrounds and personalities. This was a lovely well-written story full of great characters that support each other no matter what and each grow in their own way.