BOOK CLUB: Mrs.

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Author: Caitlin Macy
ISBN: 9781925640755
RRP: $29.99
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.

Mrs. is published by Simon & Schuster and is available through Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster a selection of our Beauty and Lace Club members are reading Mrs. so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

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9 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Mrs.

  1. Mrs by Caitlyn Macy is a very meandering and slow story which touches on the lives of Philippa, Gwen and Minnie, their respective husbands, and their children who all attend the very exclusive St Timothy’s private preschool. They all appear to be very privileged, wealthy, Upper East Side New York socialites, and the first half of the book reminded me of one of those gossipy, vacuous reality tv programs like The Real Housewives of… It describes all the superficial glamour – children cared for by nannies, mothers toting Birkins, wearing make up at all times and dressed to the nines, and fathers clutching their Blackberrys – the powerful, monied providers of this luxury lifestyle…

    I found the book very slow, disjointed, and hard to get into. It tries to highlight the artifice and joyless pretentiousness of this world and it’s flimsy foundation of secrets, “do anything to make it” back-stories and shady behind the scenes deals. However because it failed to engage me as a reader, and the characters seem more stereotyped than fleshed out, to me this book simply reads like gossip with “wanna be” pretentiousness of its own.

  2. Set in present day New York, Macy delivers a tale about a set of affluent families who reside in the Upper East Side.

    It’s focus is on a group of Mothers whose children attend a prestigious nursery school and the elegant Philippa Lye who is the wife of scion of the last family-held investment bank in the city.

    But nothing is ever as it seems and when two women unwittingly unravel a secret from Philippa’s past, it’s set to unbalance everything and sure enough trouble ensues.

    Unfortunately, as much as I was really looking forward to reading this, I am sorry to say that it didn’t tick any of my boxes.
    It’s slow paced with multiple points of view and flash backs that posed more of a hindrance than a seamless flow.

    I found the characters difficult to relate too, and not entirely likeable and lacked development.

    However, overall it is an acute reminder that even the very rich and privileged rise and fall like everybody else…

    Though I did not enjoy the book, I still appreciate the opportunity to have read it. Thank you Beauty and Lace Online & Simon and Schuster.

  3. Mrs. is a book set in the New York’s Upper East Side and centres around the exclusive St Timothy’s pre-school.

    We are introduced to various power couples of the school and their children and get a glimpse into their lives of privledge.

    A lot of the narrative is about the school gate gossip, cliques, competitiveness and the merry go round of play dates and extra curricular activities.

    I expected to enjoy this book as the mother of three school aged daughters but I found the characters difficult to relate to. For me at stages, there were too many peripheral characters that I found myself getting lost In their relationships and difficult to keep track.

    The story explores the themes of secrets and lies and the extent some people will go to get one up on the ‘Jones’ – including blackmail!

    I found myself most connected to the stories of the children (rather than the parents) and finished the story feeling quite sorry for the complex childhoods they lived despite their parents obvious wealth and opportunities.

  4. Hmmm where to start with this book. I had such high hopes of reading this book and finding similar characters to people I know (such as in the book Big Little Lies).

    School grounds the world over have the same kinds of parents with the same kind of concerns and it is funny to be able to relate to those characters. Unfortunately this book fell far short of achieving this. There were too many insignificant characters with little going on and at times it was hard to keep up with who was who and what their significance was.

    I appreciated the opportunity to read this book but it is not one I would recommend.

  5. Thank you Beauty and Lace for giving me the opportunity to read this book.

    I am finding it difficult to write this review because this book did not appeal to me. I had read all the reviews and was waiting with anticipation to read it.
    I found it difficult to follow and connect the many characters .

  6. As other reviewers have noted.. this book was a little hard to get into.. characters are totally unrelatable and live in a world that I just connect with.

    Having said that. I enjoyed reading MRS… it made me personally reflect and genuinuely appreciate my own simple life and the great relationships I have.

  7. Firstly thank you to Simon and Schuster and Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read and review Mrs.

    I like a lot of the reviewers above struggled with my review as this title was not what I was expecting but I think that was largely my own fault as I was thinking more light hearted chick lit.

    Mrs. definitely had a more in depth literary side and I think it was a combination of the unexpected and the fact that I struggled with some of the vocabulary that led me to not enjoy this title as much as I thought I would.

    If a reader is looking for something to challenge the grey matter a little they would enjoy Mrs.

  8. For those of you who miss the “Desperate Housewives” TV show, you’ll enjoy the first half of Mrs. I thought it was a very real portrayal of private school parents wherever you are in the world. Be it New York City or in Australia. Then the second half… it gets very dark and intense. And hearing from a child’s perspective at some points makes it all the more heartbreaking. I do recommend Mrs., it’s a great reminder that wherever you are in life we need to be more mindful of just being a kind and compassionate human being and going deeper than the surface with people you know even if you only see them once a day.

  9. Mrs. By Caitlin Macy is not the sort of book that I would usually read. From the description I thought it would be a little more gripping and have me on the edge of my seat but in all honesty it did not.

    The book is set around mothers, of private preschoolers, in the Upper East Side. The Mother’s perception of hierarchy in their community is evident from the very beginning of the book.

    This is not the sort of book I would relate to but it gives an insight into the Manhattan Mother’s important, high social standing lives. I found the storylines in the beginning a little confusing as there were quite a few characters introduced that it was difficult to keep track.

    I would recommend this book more for people who are interested in drama causing, gossip. Thank you to Simon and Schuster for the opportunity to read this book.

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