The sun always returned…as long as you were strong enough to wait for it.
I’m a huge fan of Women’s Fiction so when I saw this title available on Netgalley I immediately had to request it. The synopsis was intriguing and I’ve always been interested in the lives of women in the 1950s.
As we all know, life wasn’t fair nor was it easy. Hell, it’s not fair for us now but we’ve come a long way and for that we can be grateful.
This is a dual narrative between two women. Eleanor “Nellie” Murdoch the perfect 1950s housewife and Alice Hale, a recently fired publicist who moves from NYC to the suburbs with her husband, Nate.
Alice and Nellie’s paths collide unexpectedly when Alice moves into the latter’s house and finds her vintage cookbook in the basement. Alice is used to the hustle and bustle of the city and is having more than a hard time adjusting to suburban life. She’s having an even harder time trying to become the woman that Nate wants. Essentially barefoot and pregnant.
‘ Women have so few choices, Nellie. Our gender can be our greatest strength, but it is also our greatest weakness.’
As we navigate through the story and Nellie’s recipes and letters we not only learn about the uh…creativity of 50s cuisine but the hardships that Nellie faced and maybe a warning to Alice in the form of ham dip.
From the beginning this was a fun and interesting read for me. I really enjoyed both of the main characters although Alice at most points did wear on me. I felt for her however. I never felt as though she was able to voice her opinions and she was never given a direct choice with HER body. Nate was very adamant about when they would have a baby and that irked me. A lot.
We do see a lot of development with her character later on which is what a book should do. The same occurs with Nellie. She is the epitome of a perfect housewife. She’s beautiful, cooks like a goddess, gardens divinely, has a rich husband. But behind closed doors life isn’t so easy…Her husband is cruel and cheats constantly. She hides faded bruises and longs for a simpler life.
Parallel to Alice who longs for her life back in NYC where she can simply go back to her cramped apartment and not worry about garbage pick up day.
Overall this was a really enjoyable book. The ending to me was a bit disappointing but I was still satisfied and proud of Alice. I really really loved the outcome for Nell. It was bittersweet but necessary and we will take NO shit from men especially going into 2020.
My dahlias continue to bloom
Expected publication: January 21st 2020 by Dutton