Author: Caitlin Macy
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher
I have been sitting on this one for a while because I’m just not sure what I want to say about it. There was a lot of hype in the lead up to it’s release and it has been said that it could be the next Big Little Lies. I haven’t read Big Little Lies, but I did watch and enjoy the TV series and I didn’t think it came close.
Mrs. is a very character driven story, it’s all about the women and the relationships and the connections, both past and present. Sometimes the issue with character driven novels is that not a lot actually happens, there aren’t many big events to push the plot along; this can work but sometimes it falls a little flat.
The New York Upper East Side is the perfect setting for an inside look at the wealthy couples sending their children to the highly sought after St. Timothy’ Preschool. The story opens at the schoolyard gate with the mothers standing around in their cliques chatting on the first day back after Christmas break. They are talking about their holidays and remaining rather insular; talking about the new mothers rather than to them.
There is a cast of peripheral characters that includes the parents of St. Timothy’s and the children but the main characters are Philippa, Gwen and Minnie. These are women that stand out because they don’t fit the usual St. Timothy’s mold, and they aren’t a part of the school gate group.
The three women are connected, somewhat loosely, by tenuous links from the past and Minnie isn’t even fully aware of the connections.
In the way of events unfolding there isn’t a lot. It’s more the sedate pace of everyday life for the wealthy and in the big scheme there’s very little scandal and not a lot of excitement.
There have been very mixed reviews for this one and I think it’s going to be one for those who enjoy delving into human relationships and interactions, the ripple effect that events can have through the years more so than unfolding action that keeps you interested in the plot.
There are secrets, lies and blackmail but none of them were quite as big and scandalous as I expected. It all came across a little anti-climactic for me. The story had potential that it never quite lived up to. The characters are ultra wealthy and the things they are concerned about seem so many worlds away from where we are that it made it difficult to relate and connect with them.
The back stories were well fleshed out to show you how these women ended up where they are. The narrative alternates perspectives through the women but we also have the voice of Laura, who is the young daughter of Philippa Lye. A girl wise beyond her years and just beginning to understand the adult world.
The tensions and investigations come to a head and things get a little more engaging but it fizzles out to an ending that I felt wasn’t really an ending. It seemed to me that it just kind of stopped without giving us closure.
I’m sure there is an audience out there for this one, unfortunately I’m not really one of them. I hope that our book club readers enjoyed it.
Caitlin Macy can be found on her Website.