Review: The Weekend

The Weekend

The Weekend
By Charlotte Wood
Riverhead Books, 9780593086438, August 2020, 272pp.

The Short of It:

Started off as a sweet story about three friends coming together after a friend’s death, but then was punched through with sadness and a little darkness which I was not expecting.

The Rest of It:

After the passing of their friend Sylvie, Adele, Jude, Wendy and her dog Finn, arrive at Sylvie’s old beach house to prepare it for sale. Adele, a former actress who still has her looks about her, prances around, flaunting her flexibility which she still possesses even in her 70s. Jude, the most sensible but also the most abrasive of the trio, puts up with her to a point but lets everyone know when they are annoying or slacking at the task at hand. After all, they have a job to do.

Wendy arrives a little sad over the death of her friend but also sad about the husband she lost and the next chapter of their lives. They aren’t getting any younger. By her side, is her sweet dog Finn who is also getting on in his years. So much so that he has anxiety attacks, paces relentlessly and has accidents, regularly. Wendy knows that she should put him down, but can’t bring herself to do so. Poor Finn.

The author does a magnificent job of capturing that fleeting feeling of time passing too quickly. In their prime, these four women were formidable and strong, successful and bonded through friendship. But in their 70s, they are tired and short with each other as they each figure out how they fit together without their friend Sylvie. As insecurities flare and one big secret is revealed that threatens to destroy their friendship, they pause for a moment to figure out where they want to go because even at this age, they have choices.

I really enjoyed this book and the writing in particular but there was one big problem I had with it and it’s the treatment of the elderly dog, Finn. I know that a beloved dog approaching the end of its life was probably intentional given that these ladies were also getting on in years and approaching the last stage of life, but the way this poor animal is treated by the other ladies in the house really bothered me. He’s full of anxiety, pushed around, forced to sleep outside even though he’s terrified of his own shadow. I really do not know why the author chose to include such horrible treatment of this poor dog. It was terribly disappointing and I felt, a poor choice and unfortunately affected how I felt about the book overall.

If you can get past these moments with the dog, then you might appreciate the writing, as I did. But I felt so sorry for this poor pup. I really did.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Fall Tracking – Week 7

Good morning!! How are you all doing? It’s Thanksgiving week and I have the week off, plus Monday and Tuesday so I am feeling pretty darn good. I’ve been cleaning the house and tossing stuff out. I am trying to get rid of some of the clutter that has accumulated over the months. Being home is fine and all that but one does collect things even though I am not really buying much of anything. How does that happen?

Today, I might make the cornbread for my favorite dressing recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence, Caramelized Onion Cornbread Stuffing. It’s filled with sage and smells so good when it’s done.

Stuffing

As you can see from the photo at the top of the page, the trees are actually changing color. My husband and I were driving around town and noticed quite a bit of color actually. This almost never happens in Southern California. It’s so beautiful.

Well, I am on a quest to find my next book to read. It might be Parable of the Sower. Check out this summary:

When global climate change and economic crises lead to social chaos in the early 2020s, California becomes full of dangers, from pervasive water shortage to masses of vagabonds who will do anything to live to see another day. Fifteen-year-old Lauren Olamina lives inside a gated community with her preacher father, family, and neighbors, sheltered from the surrounding anarchy. In a society where any vulnerability is a risk, she suffers from hyperempathy, a debilitating sensitivity to others’ emotions. – Indiebound

Uh, what do you think? Freaky, huh?

Tomorrow, I hope to have my review of The Weekend posted and then I will spend the rest of the day cooking. My son is coming for the meal but not sure how long he can stay. He has some school work to complete and he starts his new job on Saturday. We will make the best of it and do so in a safe, responsible way.

Have a great week.

Chatting with friends about books and life…