The Wednesday Group
By Sylvia True
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Publication Date: 3/24/2015
My Rating: 5 Stars
Hannah. Bridget. Lizzy. Flavia. Each of them has a shameful secret, and each is about to find out that she is not alone… Gail, a prominent Boston judge, keeps receiving letters from her husband’s latest girlfriend, while her husband, a theology professor, claims he’s nine-months sober from sex with grad students. Hannah, a homemaker, catches her husband having sex with a male prostitute in a public restroom.
Bridget, a psychiatric nurse at a state hospital, is sure she has a loving, doting spouse, until she learns that he is addicted to chat rooms and match-making websites. Lizzy, a high school teacher, is married to a porn addict, who is withdrawn and uninterested in sex with her. Flavia was working at the Boston Public library when someone brought her an article that stated her husband had been arrested for groping a teenage girl on the subway. He must face court, and Flavia must decide if she wants to stay with him. Finally, Kathryn, the young psychologist running the group, has as much at stake as all of the others.
As the women share never-before-uttered secrets and bond over painful truths, they work on coming to terms with their husbands’ addictions and developing healthy boundaries for themselves. Meanwhile, their outside lives become more and more intertwined, until, finally, a series of events forces each woman to face her own denial, betrayal and uncertain future head-on.
From author Sylvia True comes The Wednesday Group, a captivating, moving novel about friendship, marriage, and the bonds that connect us all.
A special thank you St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Nice Cover. Sylvia True delivers a compelling and powerful debut, THE WEDNESDAY GROUP, a group of women; different personalities, and ages, from all walks of life, and professions, linked by one painful, and real subject —presently taking over their lives, their family, and their innermost secret thoughts. Living with a sex addict.
THE WEDNESDAY GROUP, addresses the emotional journey, the pain, the desperation, and in the end a safe haven, a place of support in order to make changes, friendship, guidance, and perspective, no matter how fearful it may seem. Bridget, Hannah, Lizzy, Flavia, and Gail share a secret. They are married to sex addicts. From porn, chat rooms, young girls, to mail prostitutes. How will they cope, survive, heal, accept, forgive, or begin to start over, to recover? Just like alcohol, drugs, abuse, cheating, gambling, and any other addiction . . . there are signs, do they choose to ignore them, denial, or face them head on? To stay, or to go…. Each of the gals in the group use different tactics with an array of heartfelt raw emotions. True dives into this highly-charged topic with honesty, clarity, sensitivity, compassion, and humor— for an absorbing exploration into the deep personal emotions which can create havoc on a spouse’s self-esteem, as well as personal, family, and career lives. When "their" problems become your own. An outstanding job of character development with an array of real personalities, versus clinical statistics – drawing you in, as you become personally invested in the fate of each woman. Meet THE WEDNESDAY GROUP: Hannah, a homemaker, catches her husband having sex with a male prostitute in a public restroom (this was the most powerful scene, as she follows him, and in the bathroom stall, will keep you on the edge of your seat-heartbreaking). You feel her fear and shame. For me, Hannah had the most difficult task to overcome. How will this affect her, her family? Is her husband using his past as an excuse? Were there unresolved issues he brought into the marriage, and did Hannah have her eyes open, or was she just wanting a perfect family and ignored the signs? What about diseases he may pass to her? Does she need attention from another man in order to realize she is worth loving, self-worth? How will they explain this to her children without damaging them? Gail, a prominent Boston judge, continues to receive letters from her husband’s latest girlfriend, while her husband, a theology professor, has sex with grad students. Gail is the most put together on the exterior, highly professional and intelligent, and less outward emotion. She compartmentalizes, defends, and justifies that her husband has changed. However, could she be in denial, and down deep does she really realize this as why she uses food as an escape? Is she more interested in outward appearances? Bridget, a psychiatric nurse at a state hospital, with a husband addicted to chat rooms, and match making websites. She is the wittiest, most verbal and outgoing and says exactly what is on her mind, like it, or not. She is aggressive and emotional. In the end, she may be as insecure as the others when it comes time to being alone, on her own. Most readers will relate to her. Beneath her rough exterior, she has a heart and slowly learns to care for the others. Loved her scene with the last F me session which backfires on her. Lizzy, a high school teacher, is married to a porn addict, who is withdrawn and uninterested in sex with her. Lizzy is the most insecure, shy, and needs confirmation of herself and takes her husband’s lack of interest personally. She seeks desperately to understand his motives. Always searching for ways to interest him. Will she be able to stand on her own two feet, whenever her own career is jeopardized by association. How far will her husband go, or how much will he lose before he changes? Flavia, a librarian, is at work, when someone brings to her attention an article that stated her husband had been arrested for groping a teenage girl on the subway. He must face court, and Flavia must decide if she will stay or go. Flavia did not have a big role in the group; however, thought she was funny and loved her free spirit. With the language barrier, loved the part when she thought one of the gals needed to medicate before having sex, instead of meditate. Also liked her idea of dressing up in heels, lipstick, and walking down the street. She was a nice addition to the group. Of course there is a lot of drama surrounding Kathryn, the young psychologist running the group, with her controlling supervisor. Unfortunately, many women whose husbands are sexually addicted blame themselves and feel they may not be adequate physically or have done something to provoke the behavior. As the feelings of shame worsen over time, they are less likely to seek the professional help needed to reach their own recovery. As in this case, it took a lot for them to open up and share their shameful hidden secrets. In many cases, the male enters the marriage with deep-rooted and long-held intimacy problems which can be held in secret for years, as we learn from the novel. Glad to see this issue being brought front and center for awareness, to demonstrate help is out there. Sylvia addresses sex addiction, which is real, and widely apparent in today’s fast-paced busy stressful world of temptations, and in a time when sex is readily available, through the web and other areas of social media. Even our minister openly discusses this problem, as you look around the congregation and wonder what lies and secrets, which couple, what man, or woman is hiding behind the perfect façade. Loved the part when they dressed up and went out for drinks, as this was as important as the group session time, as they opened up to one another! A look into the psychological barriers women are facing, and its impact on their lives. An engaging novel of lies, betrayal, trust, friendship, marriage, addiction, and relationships. Looking forward to reading more from this new talented author!
About the Author
The Wednesday Group is Sylvia True’s first novel. She is a high school science teacher and enjoys writing when she can find the time.
Sylvia was born in England to parents who were refugees from Germany. She moved to the US when she was five. Growing up with parents from a different culture, a mother who was a Swiss champion figure skater, and a father who was a theoretical nuclear physicist, gave her varied and unique perspectives.
During her summer breaks, Sylvia likes to travel to the Amazon and do research in the rainforest. She has raised two daughters, who are both pursuing their passions. If Sylvia had to sum up who she is in a word, she would say learner. There is so much in this world that she is deeply interested in.
Presently, she lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two very spoiled dogs. Please feel free to contact her and ask her any questions. She looks forward to responses to this book, as she continues her work on a new novel. Follow her Twitter @sylviatrue