Thank you for Visiting

This book club provided an opportunity to discuss books with authors from 2009 - 2013. I like to think we were a group of daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, well... women finding time to meet while juggling daily life.

I hope you enjoy exploring The Manic Mommies Book Club Archives. We read 46 books over the years, with audio or written author discussions for each book read documented on this blog.

~ with kindness & gratitude, Mari

The Life Room, Discussion begins April 22

Our next MMBC selection is The Life Room, written by Jill Bialosky. A story about a women traveling to Paris to present a paper on Anna Karenina. While in Paris she runs into an old friend and history resurfaces (see synopsis below).

I haven’t read the book yet but post my review in the next few weeks. I was pleased to see The Life room is a Reading Group Choices selection for March. There is a lot of buzz around this book, our timing is perfect!

Discussion will begin April 22 under the Big Tent.

Here are the links to a few articles worth reading: Washington Post, NY Times Review

Used copies at Amazon for under $1.00!

Author Q&A:
Tell us a little about yourself (biography): I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. I grew up in the suburbs and my memories are of snow filled winters and long, endless summers. As a young girl I connected with books to quench my curiosity and curb my loneliness and wished one day to be a poet and novelist. I was enamored by the experience of reading a novel or a poem and entering an entirely foreign new world. I was fortunate enough to attend a poetry workshop at Ohio University as an undergraduate and to have studied with a poet who encouraged me to find my own voice. Ever since I have had a love affair with the written word.

What are you reading now? Now I am reading A Room With a View by EM Forester, a wonderful novel about the unknowable self revealed through an encounter in Italy. I just finished Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates, a devastating portrait of a marriage. And by my bedside are many volumes of poetry I turn to again and again.

Customer reviews from Amazon:
Enchanting: The Life Room is a captivating read. The text is thoughtfully and beautifully written, bringing the novel's main character to life in the readers mind where she will stay long after the book is closed.

"Were we all, we who lived deeply, doomed?": With Tolstoy's tortured Anna Karenina as subtext, literature professor Eleanor Cahn leaves her beloved family in New York for a ten day conference in Paris where she has been asked to give a paper. Conflicted about the trip, Eleanor grants herself permission to indulge in the professional aspect of her life, forever at war with the more traditional...

Format: Hardcover (337 pages), paperback (352 pages)

Eleanor Cahn is a professor of literature, the wife of a preeminent cardiac surgeon, and a devoted mother. But on a trip to Paris to present a paper on Anna Karenina, Eleanor re-connects with Stephen—a childhood friend with whom she has had a complicated relationship—that forces her to realize that she has suppressed her passionate self for years. As the novel unfolds, we learn of her hidden erotic past: with alluring, elusive Stephen; with ethereal William, her high school boyfriend; with married, egotistical Adam, the painter who initiated her into the intimacies of the "life room," where the artist’s model sometimes becomes muse; and with loyal, steady Michael, her husband. On her return to New York, Eleanor and Stephen’s charged attraction takes on a life of its own and threatens to destroy everything she has.

Jill Bialosky has created a fresh, piercingly real heroine who struggles with the spiritual questions and dilemmas of our time and, like Tolstoy’s immortal Anna Karenina, must choose between desire and responsibility.


  1. Just finished it. Can't wait to hear everyone's take on Eleanor and her men!

  2. My used copy of the "Life Room" came today, and I just started reading. It seems like it's going to be a great book, I can relate to being torn b/w work and family, the main character's feelings seem real.


  3. The Life Room is SOOOO good. I'm really enjoying to a lot and can't wait to discuss the book

  4. I'm have about 100 pages to go and am wondering how this is going to end.

    I think we will have a lot to discuss this month, motherhood, career, husbands, lovers, children with a mix in some guilt and regret.

  5. I liked part 1 of the Life room -- am having trouble concentrating in part 2 -- does it get more interesting?


  6. Keep with The Life Room, it's told in 4 parts, part 4 was my favorite and the one I could relate to the most.

    The 3/4 sections reveal Eleanor's decision process, regreat, guilt and trying to decide what she wants in life. I enjoyed the ending, it was fitting for the novels structure.

  7. I just started the 2nd part of the Life Room so I'm glad to see it picks up a bit


  8. I had a hard time with The Life Room but agree that it picks up. Felt like it started out with a bang then went downhill but picked up again. Try and stick with it. Looking forward to the discussion!


  9. Hey, I've just caught on that this book club is happening & would like to join in! I've been enjoying fiction on my iPhone & now that there's a Kindle app I might be able to swing it. How many regular participants have been involved?


  10. I just got Life Room yesterday and hope to start it today. Just have to do enough housework to justify sitting down for a bit