The Wednesday Sisters takes place in the late 1960’s and is the story of friendship between five women, Frankie, Linda, Kath, Ally and Brett who first met in a Palo Alto park. As they watched their children play, they talked about their husbands and their families and their love of books. Through the voice of Mary Frances O’mara, or Frankie, we are introduced to each of these women and their secrets, including Brett who is never seen without her little white cotton gloves.
The five women come from very different back grounds but have a lot in common including their fascination with the Miss America Pageant. As they gathered to watch the pageant together for the first time, after a drink or two Frankie confessed that she thought “it would be neat to be a writer” and Linda admitted that she had always wanted to write a novel, so they decided to start a writing group. Every Wednesday they would meet at the park, sit at the picnic table and write in their journals as their children played. Together they would write as well as read each others work and offer constructive criticism, promising not to hold anything back. It was Linda’s idea to take a special outing to a funeral parlor, with her camera in hand.
Brett was the one who had the idea about climbing back into the coffin. We crowded around her, still with the music blaring– “believe in the magic that can set you free”– and as the director took that shot of us, we felt magical, and we felt young with our futures ahead of us. Yes, we were young then, but we didn’t think we were, we hadn’t felt we were until that moment. Hadn’t felt we were anything other than ordinary, that we all could and would do whatever we decided to do, that if it would turn out in the end that we’d die without ever achieving our dreams, it wouldn’t be because we were afraid to try.
Together the Wednesday Sisters experienced all that life had to offer, the good and the bad, supporting each other along the way. Together they watched many Miss America Pageants, lived through the Viet Nam War, watched a man take his first steps on the moon, and attended a women’s lib rally. These were real women, faults and all, dealing with the same issues many of us have had to deal with, infertility, infidelity, insecurity, health issues, financial issues and so much more. As I read this charming book, I couldn’t help but to think of all the wonderful women in my life and how important it is to have friends. I hope that The Friday Morning Bookclub will still be meeting (and blogging) after 30 years, just like The Wednesday Sisters. Who knows, perhaps one day someone will write a book about us!