The Meryl Streep Movie Club: A Novel of Love, Family, and Movie Night
This would not have been a book that I would have regularly picked up. But I have just been asked to join the She Reads national book blogging network. (Yay!) and while I won't be "official" until November, the club is reviewing this book for September. I thought I'd check it out and then see who else in the network agreed with me...or didn't. Ya know, kinda get a feel for who may have similar views or review writing style.
First of all, I love Meryl Streep. I mean who doesn't? She is so versatile and has starred in so many movies that it is hard not to have been moved by her acting or works at one point or another.
But....I wouldn't have picked up this book because I personally tend to gravitate towards works that are a bit "grittier" or slightly dark. This book is all about relationships. The four women have strained feelings for each other as well complications with their men, but they bond over Meryl Streep movies. I usually can figure out what happens next in a story like this, but I did get a few surprises. I was also happily transported to a coastal inn while reading the book. ]\This story will probably do well if it is made into a movie. It would be comparable to "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants." Or it would be perfect for Lifetime.
Someone that picked this book up on their own after reading the back cover would not be disappointed. This book follows a formula and guarantees "a happy ending."
Cheryl Strayed hiked the Pacific Crest Trail at age twenty-six and transformed her journals into a 300 page story of every step. Thank goodness she did! Most of us will know before we start the story that her journey will be emotional as well as physical, but her determination is beyond admirable. The physical toil on her body is expected, but her description of her feet's condition flashes in my mind every time I wash my own feet. I have never felt so present in a memoir. I alternated between feeling that I was right beside her, to cheering her on, to feeling I WAS her. A lingering thought I have held after completing the book is my concept of materialism. While she is repeatedly told that her pack is too heavy, it is currently all of her belongings. I find myself asking "Do I really need this?" much more often now before I buy something. Hopefully, Cheryl's journey will speak to other women. The ones who can never put their finger on the source of their inner conflicts, or the ones who just can't break free from them. Obviously, we aren't all going to slap on a backpack to fix all our problems, but the lessons we learn from her strength are infinite.
I would not have been lucky enough to come across this story if it had not been introduced and promoted by Oprah. I found some interesting information about what was not included in the book here.