We moved into our house about 18 months ago. We didn’t know anyone in the area, and, since it’s a lake community, many of the houses are second homes, so we were pleased when we found out our next door neighbors were also full-timers like us.
We waved from across our decks and they apologized for not coming over to say hello in person, their 24-year-old son had been suffering with an illness for some time and wasn’t feeling well.
A few weeks later, I met my neighbor outside, as we parked our cars. After some niceties, she began to tell me that her son had passed away in her arms the week before, over Thanksgiving weekend. He had finally lost a long battle with cancer. We ended up hugging, both in floods of tears.
Since then, there’s been a well-trodden path between our houses, usually with one or other of us bearing a bottle of Chardonnay and a couple of glasses. It’s possible we would have become good neighbors without the timing of the tragedy, but probably not as quickly.
So the plot of Some Women, by Emily Liebert, resonated with me.
Piper, Mackenzie and Annabel are each in need of friends. They’re all adrift in Steptford-wive-ville, Connecticut, without anyone to lean on, facing their own issues. When they begin to get together for breakfast after a morning exercise class, they also start to find companionship, which quickly becomes accelerated once their personal stories begin to emerge.
Annabel is a control freak. She has twins—energetic five-year-old sons—and a busy executive husband, and aims to be a stay-at-home mom par excellence. Unfortunately, by wanting everything just-so, she’s lost any sense of fun. Can we say, humorless nag? Annabel is sent reeling when her hen-pecked husband suddenly up and walks out on her.
Piper, a hard-working reporter, has found a wonderful relationship with Todd, but as the single mother of a 10-year-old daughter, Fern, she’s still struggling with a long-standing bitterness over the absentee father. The result of a teen pregnancy, he bolted before Fern was born.
It’s a little hard to like Mackenzie, but easy to be envious. She’s a southern belle—slim, beautiful, rich, with a powerful media job. She’s also a fabulous cook of traditional southern food, including peach cobbler, which—the ultimate kicker—she is able to eat without putting on a pound. However, her downside is a mother-in-law from hell who is also her boss, and an inability to become pregnant with a much-wanted child. Her caring nature makes her the kingpin in the trio.
As these three find solace in one another, they also find out more about themselves. They each discover the necessity of having a friend who can hold a mirror to their lives—that it’s sometimes the only way to see things clearly again.
They also team up to try and find out the ulterior motives behind Amy’s husband’s sudden exit. Surely an affair? The resulting discoveries will change all their lives in ways they never imagined.
This is the fifth book from Liebert, who’s also a Connecticut parent. She “writes what she knows,” which is why there’s a feeling of authenticity about these women. You’ll commiserate with all of them on some level, while still being intrigued by the solutions to their predicaments. Settle in for a good read.
Some Women is on shelves now.