Friday, March 30, 2012

(45)Four of A Kind by Valerie Frankel

Four of A Kind

Publication Date: February 7, 2012
Pages: 352

With a title like Four of A Kind, you would expect to find a book about four women who are similar in thoughts, looks, careers, or any other way you can think of.   But in reality, the four women in Four of A Kind have only one thing in common. They all have children that attend the elite Brooklyn private school, Brownstone.

Bess is your typical suburban housewife.  She is married to a drop dead gorgeous man who treats her like a queen.  She has an active involvement in her children's school, but still feels a little unfulfilled.  She she creates a Diversification Committee with the hopes of meeting new people and hoping that something, anything happens.

She invites Robin, the single mother, Carla, the African American doctor, and Alicia, the copywriter.  On the night of their first meeting, Bess suggests they play a game of poker as a sort of ice breaker.  Instead of playing for chips or money, they play for  secrets.   All four of them have secrets that they have been keeping close to the  vest.  Whether it be the identity of the father of Robin's daughter or the fact that Alicia and her husband have  not had sex in two years , well they all have something to share.   As the weeks go on, the pretense of the "Diversification Committee" falls away and they just meet for weekly poker games.  Their friendships growing at the same rate as their secrets.  Will they be able to help each other come to terms with the secrets in their lives?  Or will the secrets build enough to destroy their marriages and their friendships?

I really enjoyed Four of A Kind. The author could not have created a group of more different women. They say opposites attract and that could not be more obvious with these women.  I really enjoyed how much the women gained from each other.  Whether it be the strength for Carla to stand up to her husband, or Bess to stand up to her mother, each of the women grow as women because of the strength of their friends. As their relationships with each other grew, so did their desire to correct the wrongs in their life, one way or another.  When the chips are down, the strength of their friendships pull them together in a way that none of them expected.

Bottom line, I think women of all walks of life can learn something from Bess and her friends.  They each have their strengths and weaknesses, but when together, they all become stronger.  I think Robin & Bess were my two favorite characters.  Robin for her sense of humor and Bess for her ability to bring people together.   If you are looking for a good book to read with your girlfriends, give this one a shot.  It may even prompt you to start your own weekly poker game. *wink,wink*


Shonda said...

I have this in my review stack. I haven't read any of the author's previous books, although I've heard good things about them. I think Four of a Kind will be a good place to start.

Alex in Leeds said...

Interesting idea, to play for secrets rather than cash, you'd definitely make friends or enemies that way!

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