Reviews for Angry Housewives : Eating Bon Bons


Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 February 2003
Landvik makes her contribution to the female-friends-sharing-life's-ups-and-downs genre with this saga of suburban Minneapolis housewives who form a book discussion group and found a friendship that spans 30 years. So dysfunctional and dramatic are their lives, so witty and wise are these women, Landvik could just as easily have titled the book Divine Secrets of the Uffda Sisterhood. Thrown together by a harsh winter storm, the women band together to weather the emotional upheavals such long-lasting friendships are bound to encounter. There's fearful Faith, burdened by a secret past; meek Merit, whose marriage harbors secrets literally too painful to reveal; audacious Audrey, whose sexual appetites are far from secret; sassy Slip, protesting social injustices great and small; and kindhearted Kari, a widow longing for someone to end her loneliness. While the group's book selections often mirror what's happening in their lives or the world around them, Landvik's ladies endure the best and worst of times together (and recommend some great reads along the way). ((Reviewed February 1, 2003)) Copyright 2003 Booklist Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 2003 January #1
Five friends and three decades, as Landvik (Welcome to the Great Mysterious, 2000, etc.) returns to small-town Minnesota.Little Women, anyone? Alcott's females are an inspiration for the Freesia Court Book Club members, though there are two contenders for the role of rambunctious Jo and none for meek Beth. Gathering at the Minneapolis hospital where one of the five is undergoing treatment for cancer, they remember the dreary, endless winter they first got together, back when their kids were young and they all lived on the same tree-lined street. Mopping up baby food and stroking the egos of their self-involved husbands just didn't seem all that fulfilling. Gee-whiz, what a surprise. But love and laughter--and friends and family--carried them through the chaotic years that changed a nation in so many ways . . . . Similar platitudes and preaching undermine the weak structure of this baggy tale and its multiple points of view, chapters linked by popular books of the time. The five friends, beginning in the late '60s, are introduced one by one. Audrey Forrest is happy with her lush curves but her husband Paul thinks she's fat. Angelically beautiful Merit Iverson smokes like a chimney, despite her doctor husband's disapproval. Scrappy Faith Owens is sick and tired of husband Wade's smugness, not to mention packing his suitcases (he's an airline pilot). Kari Nelson, a gentle young widow, grieves over her husband Bjorn's untimely death and their infertility. Slip McMahon is an ultrafit jockette, happily married to a research meteorologist, and just loves the freaky Minnesota weather. As time goes by, Audrey gets a divorce and finds new friends (two gay men); Merit ditches the abusive and dominating doctor; Faith comes to terms with her mixed feelings about her long-lost mother; Kari adopts a mixed-race child; Slip becomes a social worker. The world changes but all remain tight, all the way to menopause and telltale gray hairs.Overlong trek over familiar ground. Copyright Kirkus 2003 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved

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Library Journal Reviews 2002 November #1
At the heart of this new work from the popular Landvik (Welcome to the Great Mysterious) is the Freesia Court Book Club, whose five women members go through a lot together. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2003 March # 2
Five friends live through three decades of marriages, child raising, neighborhood parties, bad husbands and good brownies-and Landvik (Patty Jane's House of Curl) doesn't miss a single cliché as she chronicles their lives in this pleasant but wholly familiar novel of female bonding. When Faith Owens's husband is transferred from Texas to the "stupid godforsaken frozen tundra" of Freesia Court, Minn., in 1968, her life looks like it's going to be one dull, snowy slog-until the power goes out one evening and a group of what appear to be madwomen start a snowball fight in her backyard. These dervishes turn out to be her neighbors: antiwar activist Slip; sexpot Audrey; painfully shy Merit; and widow Kari. They become fast friends and decide to escape their humdrum routine by starting the Freesia Court Book Club, later given the eponymous name by one of their disgruntled husbands. As the years pass, Audrey and Merit get divorced, Kari adopts her niece's illegitimate baby, all five of the women find work outside their homes and they even smoke a joint together. Their personal dramas are regularly punctuated by reflections on political milestones ("First Martin Luther King, Jr., then Bobby Kennedy. As if we didn't have enough to worry about with this stupid war..."). While some scenes are touching and genuinely funny, readers of Fannie Flagg, Rita Mae Brown, Rebecca Wells and many imitators will feel that they've seen this before. (Mar.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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