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The Professors' Wives' Club by…
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The Professors' Wives' Club

by Joanne Rendell

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Women's issues in story form. Entertaining light read. ( )
  turtlesleap | Nov 15, 2011 |
The Professors’ Wives’ Club takes place on the fictitious campus of Manhattan University. The reader is introduced to four women, in different stages of their lives, who meet and eventually form a treasured friendship. First there’s Mary. She’s married to Jack, the dean of Manhattan U and is also an English professor. She visits the garden as an escape from Jack’s verbal and physical abuse. Next is Sofia. She’s mother to Gracie and soon gives birth to Edgar. She’s wife to Tom, an English Professor and a colleague of Mary’s. Prior to getting married, Sofia was a top Hollywood agent. Third is Ashleigh. She’s a lawyer in her family’s law firm. She works hard and doesn’t want any special treatment as her favorite uncle is one of the partners of the firm. She has a difficult relationship with her father, never feeling she’s good enough for him. She’s hiding a big secret from her parents and wants to come clean, however when he suffers a heart attack, she thinks remaining silent will be for the best…for him anyway. And finally there’s Hannah. A beautiful model turned MFA grad student. Hannah is married to Michael but realizes she loves her in-laws more. Hannah does the one thing she never thought she’d ever do which causes her to rethink her marriage.

The story centers around the friendship that is formed by these four women. They learn to trust and depend on each other to survive their current situation. Together they protest against the destruction of the garden. Jack wants to tear it down in order to build a parking lot. But when the ladies discover the true motivation for tearing down the garden, they will stop at nothing to make sure it doesn’t happen. As they come together to stop Jack, they find the strength to deal with their own problems.

The author’s second book, Crossing Washington Square also takes place at Manhattan University. I’m looking forward to reading this novel as well. I wouldn’t mind if the author brings back these four characters in this or future novels. ( )
  scoutlee | Feb 13, 2010 |
Mary, Hannah, Sofia and Ashleigh are all involved with professors at Manhattan University. When they discover that the garden near their faculty housing is set to be torn down to make way for a parking lot they decide to work together to stand up for what they believe in. But each woman must stand alone to fix what is broken in her private life. An engaging read, though the sheer number of characters to keep track of was slightly overwhelming. Recommended. ( )
  Elishibai | Dec 6, 2008 |
Although the writing was a little weak (predictable, cliches, constant usage of "barked" instead of "said"), the story line and characters were a lot of fun. ( )
  bearette24 | Nov 3, 2008 |
When the author had contacted me and asked if I'd be willing to review her book for my blog I jumped at the chance. I had already seen a few good reviews for it and I was anxious to read it. I was not disappointed in the least by this novel-it is a fantastic debut novel by Joanne Rendell. I read it in two sittings and that's only because life got in the way on the first one. This novel grabbed me from the first chapter and it's not often a novel can do that.

For me, this book was a wonderful testament to the power of the friendship women share. The story revolves around four women: Sofia, Mary, Ashleigh, and Hannah. They meet because of a garden that is enclosed between the buildings of the Manhattan U's that houses faculty members. It's a beautiful and peaceful garden with Maple trees and honeysuckle and it offers each of these women something different as they are all battling with their own issues. However, doom is looming. Mary's husband, Dean Havemeyer (Jack) is campaigning to have the garden demolished and a parking garage built instead. He is doing this for secret reasons of his own that have little to do with a parking garage but more to do with a mystery surrounding an Edgar Allan Poe manuscript; which turns out to be a really interesting twist to this novel that I enjoyed.

Joanne Rendell has a talent for drawing us into her character's lives and making them seem so real. I was surprised to find myself liking all of the women and caring about what was going to happen to them. She addressed issues of domestic abuse among the more affluent where most believe it can't possibly exist. She tackles motherhood, marriage and even sexual orientation in a classy way.

For me, my favorite character would have to be Sofia. She used to be a hot shot Hollywood agent but gave it up to be a stay at home mom to her two children but she's struggling with whether she's done the right thing. Should she go back to being the hot shot business woman? I loved her spunk and go-getter attitude. Next was Mary, Jack's wife. She is battling a huge wall of emotions as she is struggling with an abusive relationship and counting the days until she can leave. She's gotten trapped in a life that so often creeps up in small bits until it's a huge mountain and in you're in it so deep that it seems impossible to leave. She is determined to start a new life without Jack-will she be able to do it? Then there is Hannah, an ex-model turned artist who is struggling in her marriage. To cheat or not to cheat? To stay in a marriage that is now two strangers or move on and start over. Last we have Ashleigh, she is struggling with her personal life in general. Does she reveal to her father that she is in a relationship with a woman or give it all up and lose the love of her life?

These four women are all strong in their own ways but they are most definitely strong together. Their love for each other and the strong ties of friendship that develop shine through in this novel-so much so you will find yourself wishing they were your friends. They share their hopes, dreams and failures with each other. They fight for what is right and what they believe in together. I'm already missing these women and this story. I would definitely recommend this novel!

Joanne Rendell has another novel coming out in 2009 and I really look forward to it. It's going to be about two female professors working in the English Department at Manhattan U-the same setting as for this novel. I really look forward to reading it. You can visit Joanne's website here and her blog here. Thanks again Joanne for a most wonderful read!

http://peekingbetweenthepages.blogspot.com/2008/10/professors-wives-club-by-joan... ( )
  DarS | Oct 13, 2008 |
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For Brad, my professor
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Even though the sky was heavy with rain clouds and an eerie morning gloom hung over the city, Mary didn't take off her dark glasses.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451224914, Paperback)

A debut novel about the intertwining lives of college faculty wives.

Nestled among Manhattan University?s faculty housing, there is a garden where four women will meet?each with a scandalous secret that could upset their lives, destroy their families, and rock the prestigious university to its very core.

With its maple trees, iron gate, and fence laced with honeysuckle, Manhattan U?s garden offers faculty wives Mary, Sofia, Ashleigh, and Hannah much needed refuge from their problems. But as Mary?s husband, the power-hungry dean, plans to demolish their beloved garden, these four women will discover a surprising secret about a lost Edgar Allan Poe manuscript?and realize they must find the courage to stand up for their passions, dreams, and desires.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:05 -0400)

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