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Clayton's novel about a sisterhood of housewives in Palto Alto California in the late 60s is everything a book about a sisterhood should be.
We have five different women who while being distinct enough that almost every female reader can find someone to identify with also have enough in common to make their eventual bonding not only believable but encouraged.
We have the end of the 60s and the turmoil of the US in terms of Civil Rights, Women's Rights, and the world at large changing.
We have the theme of empowerment that ties the Miss america pageant into the quest for self expression and drive.
We have a shared dream that is illustrated in a variety of ways... but is no less powerful for being done differently (This, is perhaps my favorite bit about this book... the focus is following your dream, not anyone else's So what if your dream is to write something no one else might ever see.... if your goal was to write it and you did, then you succeeded!)
We have female bonding over typical "female" issues of children, marriage, etc... and then we have female bonding through cancer. Through it all we have the focus being on the bonding itself andthe challenges play second fiddle to the strength that the women find in each other.
If the ending is a bit cavity inducing, well we can forgive it because sometimes, even in the midst of drama or turmoil, we cna find a moment to laugh with our friends and in that freeze frame second, we are living in someone's happily ever after.
Clayton does a great job of bringing five different women to life and making each one someone to root for. All in all, the book is a quick read with messages of hope, perseverance , and above all, the importance of close friendships, a funny and mostly light hearted read that is well worth the time.