The latest pop-culture hit to those ladies' book clubs comes in film "Little Children." The unhappy stay-at-home mother played by Kate Winslet is pressured to attend the suburban girls' discussion of "Madame Bovary." It's worse than we expected. Enough said about that.
And we all remember Carmela Soprano's bizarre book club in the New Jersey suburbs. The ladies who should be lunching are attempting to get culture. The most poignant aspect is that none of them seem to have a clue who they are.
My hunch is that women who didn't or couldn't pull together on the identity stuff flock to book clubs. I know.
Four years ago when I got caught between losing my professional identity (my communications boutique collapsed) and my inability to deal with my geezer identity (I was hitting my late 50s) I joined a book club in West Hartford, Connecticut. Although it was coed, by default it was the bookish version of the ladies who no longer want to lunch. Like Winslet's experience it was worse than I expected. Every woman had issues. These were voices crying out for therapy and/or executive coaches to re-route them back into the work force.
Adversity has its uses. That encounter - we were discussing "The Hours" - was so brutal that I got myself into therapy and working with an executive coach. The rest is history. These days I stay far away from not only the book clubs but the newly formed film-discussion groups.