Gail. Hannah. Bridget. Lizzy. Flavia. Each of them has a shameful secret, and each is about to find out that she is not alone...
Gail, a prominent Boston judge, keeps receiving letters from her husband's latest girlfriend, while her husband, a theology professor, claims he's nine-months sober from sex with grad students. Hannah, a homemaker, catches her husband having sex with a male prostitute in a public restroom. Bridget, a psychiatric nurse at a state hospital, is sure she has a loving, doting spouse, until she learns that he is addicted to chat rooms and match-making websites. Lizzy, a high school teacher, is married to a porn addict, who is withdrawn and uninterested in sex with her. Flavia was working at the Boston Public library when someone brought her an article that stated her husband had been arrested for groping a teenage girl on the subway. He must face court, and Flavia must decide if she wants to stay with him. Finally, Kathryn, the young psychologist running the group, has as much at stake as all of the others.
As the women share never-before-uttered secrets and bond over painful truths, they work on coming to terms with their husbands' addictions and developing healthy boundaries for themselves. Meanwhile, their outside lives become more and more intertwined, until, finally, a series of events forces each woman to face her own denial, betrayal, and uncertain future head-on.
From author Sylvia True comes The Wednesday Group, a captivating, moving novel about friendship, marriage, and the bonds that connect us all.
©2015 Syvia True (P)2015 Macmillan Audio
Retired Psychologist Love reading/audiobooks, travelling, animals Favourite saying The fact that you believe something does not make it true
Absolutely! It is remarkably good. Beautifully written, perfectly narrated and totally engaging. The characters are exceptionally well drawn and I find myself caring deeply about them as if they were my friends.
I would have liked a 'more complete' ending. However, I respect the authors choice. After all, life isn't neat and tidy and it has stray threads.
There wasn't much about this book's description that seemed appealing or relevant to me, but it was consistently popping up in my recommendations. I looked into it a little more and based on so many positive reviews I thought it wouldn't hurt to at least start it. Nine hours later (give or take), I finished it.
I found it to be evocative in so many ways... fascinating, heartbreaking, heartwarming, poignant, angering, appalling, reaffirming... I could go on. :)
It may have been because I wasn't expecting to like it that I did so much. And while the specifics of the subject matter didn't resonate, there was so much more that did.
My only disappointment, and reason for only 4 stars, is simply because I thought it ended too soon.
A bit of a petty personal preference, as I'm sure it would have threatened the integrity and effectiveness, but I really wanted more resolution for some of the characters.
Highly recommend, though. For everyone!
There were times when I struggled to get really involved with the lives of these women. Despite a lot of soul searching the characters seemed so accepting of their situation and none of them seemed to move forward at all from the start to the finish. The ending left me feeling as if I had missed a vital piece of information. I found it weak and not satisfying at all. The narrator is fine, but tends to add to the sense of hopeless misery the women are suffering through their "addicted" husbands. Not really for me.
An avid listener of fiction, it almost makes the long journey to work worth it.
it took ages to get into the characters then when I did not much happened
"Great book for a book club discussion!"
Very gripping book! The narration was fabulous! The story makes for a very good book club discussion! I was aggregated with the men in this book and was left feeling like they all used sex addiction as an excuse to cheat and lie. The women should have all left these men because of the cheating and lying but even more because of the self esteem issues they had because of the men! I love the bond they make with the other women! I'll definitely read this author again and listen to this narrator!
"Not a feel good book"
The description of this book is completely misleading. This is not a feel good book about great friendships. It was depressing and I wish I could unlisten to it.
The Wednesday Group was a pleasant read. I felt that author, Sylvia True really dealt with what I think the issues would be that spouses connected to partners recovering from or continuing to be addicted to sex would have to deal with. I honestly felt that to adequately deal with the amount of characters introduced in the book, the author should have added length and really delved in to each character more. The book began with True working hard to set the scene and develop a firm relationship between all the members of the group, which she became very successful at doing. I learned a lot about the dynamics of support groups and much that I didn’t think about as being involved during the reading of this book such as matching members and how their strengths and weaknesses would play off of one another. The politics of the university research, thesis preparation and supervision came into play in a big way as well which only added to the story, but was fairly unnecessary when the focus could have been on helping the women get through their crisis. Each of the women in the group were put in very different circumstances due to their spouse’s sex addiction: there were lost jobs, pregnancies, left spouses, near suicides, the loyal wives and mothers, problems with the children due to the addiction and many more issues that these women had to deal with on an outward level. Inwardly, they were all messes and the author conveyed that each woman dealt with the addiction in a different and meaningful way. The story while it bounced back and forth between members of the group primarily focused around Hannah whose husband acted out from a previous abuse with men. One of the opening scenes has Hannah catching her husband sneaking around on her and I was thankful that none of the sexual scenes were highly graphic in this novel as most of them would have brought nothing but heartache and pain to another character. I think the biggest issue I had with The Wednesday Group was the lack of focus on resolve for any of the characters unless True meant to convey that spouses of sex addiction really sustain no resolve other than to move on singularly or that it is an ongoing process. Many characters were left in the heart wrenching pain they began with with little progress to what they were feeling initially. Yes progress was made through friendships and support and emergencies, but little to finally help them get over the main hump of the betrayal. I would have also liked to see the side of a male in the group as I felt that by keeping it all females it stereotyped sex addicts as men and the spouses of sex addicts as women and I don’t feel that that is an accurate balance for such a difficult subject. True is an eloquent writer, she was able to explain some of the feelings of madness in correlation to actions in ways that were beautiful, thought provoking, and engaging for the reader. Overall, this book was a good read, there just could have been so much done that could have given the characters resolve and the reader resolve in the end. It ends with a cliffhanger that while it was foreshadowed throughout the course of the novel, could have been better dealt with given more time.
"Am I missing pages?"
The story just ends. I was invested in all of the characters and would love to know what happened to them. It's almost as if the author forgot to record the last couple chapters.
"Interesting subject but unremarkable story"
While the topic and premise of the book was interesting, I felt the overall story was a bit bland and some of the characters lacked nuance.
Great narration ! Susan Bennett brought raw emotion into the voices of the (5) women who are trying to work through their relationships with partners with addition issues ( specifically, sexual addition). Really brutal at times, not for language or sexual content
( very little, considering the topic) but the terrible impact of the addiction on family. Not an easy topic, but well written and insightful. Just don't expect "chick-lit", it's not.
"Narrator is not Orlagh Cassidy"
Susan Bennett is the narrator of this book not Orlagh Cassidy. Susan gives her usual outstanding performance, so I'm not complaining at all, but it might make a difference to other listeners.
Although this books' subject is quite sensitive, I still connected with the characters and a few of their struggles. I think I would have benefited greatly and been less destructive In several of my past relationships if i were to have had the support that this group of ladies offered each other available to me! I'll definitely watch for more from Sylvia True!
"Flawed Story w/ Unresolved Ending; A+ Narration"
Don't get me wrong; this was a mostly engrossing listen, and a real page-turner by the end. I literally could barely stand to turn it off when I reached my destination. And the narrator is phenomenal; I will definitely be looking for more books narrated by her. I've almost never heard such subtle vocal characterizations.
However, there are a few glaring flaws in the story. For one thing, starting with just the most obvious issue, the book is kind of a downer, with chapter after humorless chapter of unrelenting sadness and anguish. But that brings me to my second grievance: Why all of this unrelenting suffering with not one of these women ever even considering the most obvious solution: LEAVE THE BASTARD? (Similarly, the one pregnant group member--who is obviously totally unsuited to motherhood--is horrified to discover that she's pregnant, but never once considers just not going through with the pregnancy.) And speaking of cheating bastards who deserve to be dumped but never are: It feels like the author did inadequate research on sex addiction before writing this book. Why is there no explanation of what makes someone a sex addict vs. just a promiscuous jerk, womanizer, closeted homosexual or adulterous ass? And why no mention of the fact that not all sex addicts are men? Then there are the many lines of dialogue (mostly coming from the therapist) that just make the listener roll her eyes. Sometimes Kathryn seemed like a movie caricature of a therapist, and I felt by the end that if I had to hear any more lines like "Is that difficult for you?" I was going to lose it like the nonmaternal pregnant character and begin screaming curses. I could easily see why so many of these women were tempted to leave--or actually did leave--the group!
And speaking of leaving the group, it pains me to say that I think the author appears to have inadvertently introduced a note of not-so-subtle racism into this narrative by having the one ethnic character be such an outsider that she is THE ONLY GROUP MEMBER WHO HAS NO CHAPTERS DEDICATED TO HER! The book literally goes back and forth between chapters titled Lizzy, Hannah, Bridget, and Gail...with not a single Flavia chapter! Then, just when I was thinking, "Oh, jeez, the ethnocentric author is almost signaling the reader that non-Americans are expendable," the author has Flavia announce that she's leaving the group and the U.S. to return to her native land. Oy vey!
Which brings me to the ridiculously unresolved ending, the worst I've ever heard. Like other readers who reviewed this title, I actually went back several times, both in the audiobook and the print version, to make sure the recording wasn't flawed and that I hadn't somehow missed something. How can the author set up the possible death of a main character and then not even hang in there long enough to at least reveal whether that character survives? Not to mention tell us how that character, an extremely proud and private individual who is mortified at the slightest hint of publicity, is going to deal with the fallout from her very public, naked breakdown even if she does survive physically.
Final Grade: C-plus/B minus. The fourth star is for the narrator.
"Good insights on relationships."
I enjoyed hearing what seemed like the very honest stories and group therapy sessions of women dealing with difficult issues. I wish there had been a bit more plot or activity. The story was much more head and heart than action. I didn't enjoy this narrator. She portrayed the personalities of the characters with emotions that I found annoying n for example she made the Brigit character always angry and bitchy and I didn't like her, but the words could have been read differently to make her more relatable.
Yes, I loved the grittiness about it. First book that didn't take real life & make it a fairy tale.
She didn't distract from the story, it was perfect.
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