Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Trophy Wives Club - Kristin Billerbeck

Summary: Haley Cutler is the consummate trophy wife. Perhaps was is the more accurate term. Halley married Prince Charming when she was only twenty--back in the day when highlights came from an afternoon at the beach, not three hours in the salon.

Unfortunately, after seven years as Jay Cutler's wife, a role that provided significance and what she thought was love, Jay walks out, and Haley finds herself with few life skills that translate to the real world, not to mention a sense of amnesia about who she used to be. But before Haley can find her way, she must meet with Jay's lawyer, the strikingly handsome Hamilton Lowe. Although she can't stand his self-righteous contempt for her divorce, she takes his suggestion to attend a group at his church called "The Trophy Wives Club," a Bible study composed of women who have been dealt a raw deal. Haley's never been into the whole Jesus thing but could really use some friends to walk her through this phase (how do you apply for a credit card anyway?).

As Haley begins to realize that she really can stand on her own two feet, she also learns that sometimes in losing we find the real reward...

(Summary from book - Image from harpercollins.com )

My review: The Trophy Wives Club is not the kind of book I normally pick up, but we all have our price and, apparently, mine is 50 cents at our local library. It’s hard to pass up that kind of deal. Once I read the back, I learned that Kristin Billerbeck is considered a "pioneer" in the Christian Lit genre. Christian Chick Lit?! Now this I had to read to believe.

The prologue grabbed me right away and I thought that I’d likely found a kindred spirit in the author. However, my initial excitement about the book faded quickly—as in, Chapter One. Why, oh why don’t I read further into books before I buy them? I could have saved myself 50 cents. It didn’t take long to realize that the main character, Haley, was extremely hurt, argumentative, and long-winded about her divorce. This would have been fine and, to a certain extent, expected if she hadn’t gone on and on about it. With Haley’s tendency to monologue endlessly and the preachy sentiment pouring out of the mouths of several different characters attempting to help her, things got incredibly stagnant. Don’t get me wrong, I agreed with most of what the author was trying to convey. I just didn’t like how it was conveyed. I prefer my life lessons be taught through the story and not through the dialogue of it’s characters. For more proof of this, see my review of The Christmas Sweater. Let the character's actions, the plot development, or the resolution make the message clear. Spelling the moral out on every single page gets really old, really fast.

There were also some moments of utter improbability that were difficult to ignore – like when an impoverished (and I use that term very loosely) Haley received an amazing job offer, a rent-free condo in Bel Air, and a loaner cell phone all during a pedicure appointment. Seriously? I’m all for God working miracles through people, but I think reality was suspended just a little bit there.

In the end, Haley’s conversion from revenge-seeking scorned woman, to baptized woman of God was thoroughly unconvincing and things just didn’t seem to click. While the story had moments of humor and all the best intentions (spiritually speaking) it just failed to live up to my expectations on pretty much every level.

My rating: 2.5 Stars. I gave it an extra .5 because it had a good message.

Sum it up: An extremely flawed book about faith, self-empowerment, and forgiveness.

3 comments:

mormonhermitmom said...

No wonder the library didn't want it.

Gerbera Daisy Mom said...

Thanks for saving me $.50!

StephTheBookworm said...

That's too bad! The cover and title are awesome.

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