Monday, October 8, 2012

Wellesley Wives by Suzy Duffy

Wellesley Wives is a romantic comedy about Popsy Power, her friend, Sandra, her two daughters, Rosie and Lily and all the men in their lives. The folks of Wellesley form the cream of Boston society. Popsy, her daughters and her friend are the envy of many. With their Ferrari’s, furs, and fundraiser lunches they seem to have it all. However, when things start to go wrong it is up to the Wellesley Wives to prove what they are made of and just how they pull themselves up by the boot straps is where this story begins.

This is a tale of friendship and love, about making bad decisions and working to put things right again and about the eternal bond of womanhood. The women are intrinsically linked and when one of them does something incredibly selfish and stupid, the fall out affects them all.

I loved this book! When we are first introduced to the women they each appear to be quite shallow and superficial in their own way. I didn’t think I could empathise with them, especially as they seemed to have been rather spoilt and pandered to, in different ways. However, very soon, their fallibilities began to emerge and for me they quickly began to be likable. I found myself “talking” to them as events unfolded and by the end of the story I wanted to meet them in person, they seemed so real.

It is difficult to say too much about the story without giving away the plot. However, there is one chapter I will talk about because it is so brilliantly written that I read it three times, just for its entertainment value:

Very early on in the story it’s Popsy’s fiftieth birthday and she and Sandra are going to a charity lunch in aid of The Children’s Hospital in Boston. The lunch is being hosted by Jenny Lennox who has the most enormous house resplendent with pool, tennis courts and of course, a helipad. Jenny has also just acquired a genuine Renoir, a gift from her husband, Eddie, who reportedly paid $100 million for it. As Popsy and Sandra mingle amongst the other guest, Popsy finds herself standing in front of the Renoir. Taking a moment to admire it she is joined by another guest who seems to be somewhat of an art critic. After the appraisal she also tells Popsy some very interesting gossip about why Eddie had been so generous with his gift. Popsy is shocked. When she caught up with Sandra a few minutes later, she just couldn’t wait to tell her what the other guest had said.

“So, what do you think?”Sandra said as she came up beside her.

“I think it is gorgeous and did you know that it was a ‘charming and irreverent portrayal of the hedonistic life and subtlety of lust in the late 1800’s’?”

Sandra looked at Popsy , arching her eyebrows. “I never would have guessed”

Popsy nodded. “I also heard that Eddie Lennox paid $100 million for it”

“In fact, I had heard a rumour, but wasn’t sure that it was true. Nice round figure.

You know, in all likelihood it’ll be worth double that in twelve months. Do you get taxed on fine art appreciation?”

Popsy pulled her friend closer and glanced around to make sure nobody was in earshot. “Yes, but did you hear why he bought it? I heard Jenny discovered he was having an affair. This is his peace offering. His ‘get out of jail free card’ if you will. A frigging Renoir”

Sandra said nothing and examined the painting.

“Did you hear me , Sandy? Did you know about this? Was Eddie Lennox offside? Evidently he has a mistress. Well I assume it’s had a mistress and not has if he’s bought this painting and the Lennoxes are all happy families again”

At last Sandra tore herself away from the painting and looked at her friend. “Who told you this?”

“That woman over there. The tall, striking strawberry-blonde” Pospsy gestured discreetly.

“Figures” Sandra sighed.


“Because she’s the mistress.”

Can’t you just visualise that conversation and the look on Popsy’s face when Sandra delivers the last line?

I can!

This story is filled with great passages of conversation and what appear to be almost farcical turns of events, but, underlying all of this the Wellesley Wives find strength and courage in different ways by helping each other through some of the most difficult times in their lives. It is an excellent read, escapism of the highest order and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who wants to be entertained for a while.

This book was published on 27th September by The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing. It is the first of three in the series. I, for one, cannot wait to hear more from the ladies of Wellesley.


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