“Mom, you’re not going to believe this but I actually finished a book!” exclaimed my daughter on her visit last weekend. The very busy mother of two has zero minutes to do anything for herself. The fact that she was able to read an entire book was a major accomplishment. She even brought the book along so that I could read it and in the future have a proper chat, swapping our thoughts and takeaways. The book was Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner. It took me all of 2 days to finish.
I believe, first and foremost, this is a story about women and our relationships with other women. Sometimes those relationships are solid, sometimes they’re casual, sometimes they’re needed at a particular time in our lives, sometimes we outgrow them or each other. Women get it. Such are the relationships with the women in Greenwich Park.
Our story begins with Helen, a privileged young woman who lives with her successful architect husband in a beautiful Victorian mansion once owned by her parents in Greenwich Park, an upscale residential neighborhood in London. Helen is expecting her first child after several unsuccessful pregnancies. Helen begins prenatal classes above a pub where she meets and is befriended by another expectant mother, Rachel. Helen is a bit taken back by Rachel’s outspoken manner. Yet, Helen appreciates having someone to share the class with. Helen’s husband is too busy to attend. And to disappoint Helen further, her older brother Rory and his beautiful pregnant wife, Serena were suppose to attend classes too, but were no shows as well. So, Rachel fills that void that Helen’s own family created.
From the very first encounter, Rachel’s behavior is rather a stark contrast to most women experiencing pregnancy. Rachel disregards the dangers of consuming alcohol and tobacco. She does what she wants and says what she wants. Helen is also surprised by Rachel’s sudden appearance here and there, popping up in places where Helen is having lunch with her friend Katie, or meeting a relative, and even showing up on Helen’s own doorstep. What began as a mere acquaintance at a prenatal class will ultimately have cataclysmic results and rock Helen’s lovely, quintessential English world.
I liked this book and would recommended it to a friend. It certainly was a page turner for the most part, but I have to admit there were times when I thought to myself, this really couldn’t happen, or this is too contrived, or even, no women would allow another person to infiltrate their life like this. However, for this multifaceted plot to work, you kind of gotta’ buy into it. And I did, and I enjoyed the read once I stopped arguing with the doubting voice in my head saying this is too convoluted. Yeah, maybe it was, but it still made for a very good read. My daughter and I did eventually have that chat about the book. What did she think? Well, like mother like daughter!
Until next time!