Women find love and friendship with the help of a mysterious guidebook in this novel from Solomon (Single Wife, 2003).
The four women who meet on a “Tour de Flaubert” bike trip in Normandy don’t necessarily expect that the trip will change their lives, but they end up forming a bond that affects each of them. Emily is a divorced mother and writer, Max is a tough personal trainer, Cathy is a teacher and hopeless romantic, and Beatrice is a 69-year-old cynic who has no time for romance. They seem unlikely friends, but one thing keeps them together—The Love Book, an instructional guide Cathy finds on a bookshelf. Although not everyone takes The Love Book as seriously as dreamy, naïve Cathy does, the book continues to figure prominently in the women’s lives as they attempt to navigate their own personal dilemmas. Emily deals with her ex-husband, her son and a pompous literary boyfriend, while Beatrice tries her hardest to avoid any sort of romantic commitment. Max’s tough past makes it hard for her to move forward, while Cathy is so hopeful that she continues believing in the book’s power even after her house burns down. The women’s stories can drag at times, and some are more interesting than others, but their friendships make up the heart of the story.
Happy endings abound in this novel about the power of love and friendship.