What I'm reading

The Group by Lara Feigel {book review}

The Group by Lara Feigel

Disclosure – thanks to NetGalley for letting me see a review copy of this book.

When I began to think about the impending lockdown I thought this would be a great time to read and catch up on all sewing projects I wanted to do. Five weeks into lockdown and I’ve finished one book and one sewing project (which was pretty much nearly finished anyway). With two young children my hours are filled, as they should be, by keeping them busy and happy. Books and sewing have taken a back seat, with maths, colouring sheets, baking and walks pushed to the top of the to do list.

The Group by Lara Feigel

Lara Feigel’s first novel, The Group, is a fiercely intelligent, revealing novel about a group of female friends turning forty. Who has children and who doesn’t? Whose marriages are working, whose aren’t, and who has embarked on completely different models of sexuality and relationships? Who has managed to fulfil their promise, whose life has foundered and what do they think about it, either way?

The Group takes its cue from Mary McCarthy’s frank, absorbing novel about a group of female graduates (also called The Group, which I haven’t read). When I saw this book listed on NetGalley it said the “relations between men and women may be different now but, in the age of Me Too, they’re equally fraught. This is an engrossing portrait of contemporary female life and friendship, and a thrillingly intimate and acute take on female character in an age that may or may not have been changed by feminism in its different strands”. Did I agree?

Although I finished this book I didn’t actually enjoy it as much I had hoped too. It appealed to me as I was of a similar age to the women in The Group and I was intrigued by the blurb, wondering how my life would compare to the characters in it. To be honest, I found them completely self-obsessed and slightly dull. Regrets of childless-ness, affairs, new jobs and relationships. Not so different from the topics I discuss with my own friends but I didn’t really want to read about them. For me the book felt flat and dull, and I’m not sure why I finished it. That’s just my opinion though, feel free to seek it out when it gets published later this year.


No Comments

Leave a Reply