THE GENTLEMEN'S CLUB by Becky Due

THE GENTLEMEN'S CLUB

A Story for All Women
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KIRKUS REVIEW

After years of abuse a young woman takes back her life.

Homeless, living in her car after a tortuous marriage to a manipulative and abusive husband, Angie is desperate to turn her life around. With help from shelters and a financial counselor, she gains control over her debt, finds a job, an apartment and a sense of self worth. She even makes a friend, Julie, a self-reliant young musician whose emotional support allows Angie to sift through her difficult past. On a cross-country trip they take together Angie experiences a flood of memories–flashes of early abuse, her mother wilting under pressure from men–and her frustration mounts as she recognizes that her self-esteem issues and suffering have been the compounded result of poor treatment by men. Julie encourages Angie to work out her experiences through writing and, after attending classes at a community college, Angie snags a job at a local newspaper for women’s issues. As she interviews women–from a housewife whose husband, a doctor, forced her to have a hysterectomy then left her for a younger woman to a group of strippers at a local gentlemen’s club–Angie discovers that she is not alone. As each young woman reveals her history, it becomes clear that abuse is congenital, their mothers, grandmothers and sisters having also suffered at the hands of men. While Angie’s journey is generally inspiring–at heart it is an issue book with a powerful message–it is also a compendium of horror stories, each darker than the next. The sheer volume of trauma underscores the author’s intent to reveal the breadth of discrimination suffered by women. There is little humor to break up the darkness and the characters are deeply troubled, but Angie’s story has redemption at its core.

Achingly sincere, angry and socially minded.

Pub Date: Jan. 15th, 2003
ISBN: 978-0-974-62120-3
Program: Kirkus Indie
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