Friday, March 23, 2012

My take on: Gossip

Ever read a book and thought, "It's ok, but not great." That's what I was thinking as I was nearing the end of Gossip by  Beth Gutcheon. ... But then you get to the end, and you're opinion TOTALLY changes. You start thinking deeper about everything you just read.

Gossip, what does it really mean? I always thought it was a rumor spread by a bunch of spiteful and nosy people. I still think that, but the original meaning was talk between two people who are the godparents of the same child. Interesting right? How did this word get so far away from it's original intent? Gossip these days can make or break your career, destroy friendships, destroy families, or (like all of these hack reality stars) it can make you famous. In the case of this book, it can cloud your judgment.

Loviah "Lovie" French has always been stuck in the middle. As the owner of a small dress shop, Lovie is privy to a lot of secrets and gossip.Who is marrying who? Who is cheating with who? Who is getting a divorce? The list could go on. People feel they can talk to Lovie. They know Lovie will keep their secret. They know she won't pass judgment. There are times when Lovie wants to say more during these exchanges. If they're bashing one of her friends, Lovie is tempted to speak up but sometimes it just isn't worth it to get in a fight over gossip. When it's her turn and she needs a shoulder to lean on, Lovie turns to her long-time lover, Gil, who also happens to be married. In private, Gil and Lovie can be themselves in private but in public they have to tone it down, otherwise people might spread "gossip."

Lovie's best friend Dinah Wainwright has made a career out of writing about the rich and famous people of New York. Her personality is very in your face. She loves to talk. She wants to be your friend. She has two sons, but to hear her speak you would think Dinah has only one child. RJ is settled in his life with a wife and kids, but Nicky is the one she worries the most about. She wants badly to see him succeed.

Avis Metcalf is the total opposite of Dinah. Avis is quieter and more reserved. She's more obsessed with her career than forming a bond with her only daughter, Grace. But Avis' friendship with Lovie is extremely strong. It is put to the test when Grace and Nicky get married. Lovie is like the middle man. It must be daunting to people who are really in this situation. You have to watch what you say around one friend. What one friend might find funny, the other won't. It doesn't help matters when Grace and Nicky's marriage takes a drastic turn. I can't say what it is (read the book to find out), but I will say I wasn't expecting it. Towards the end of the book I was in totally shock. I'm thinking, "did she just write that?"

 If I'm going to judge a book by it's cover, I was expecting a light, chick-lit story. By the end, it was very thought-provoking. It doesn't hurt you to spread gossip, but what about the person you're talking about? Did you ruin their life? How will it effect that person's career? Their family? What satisfaction do you get by talking about a person? This book was a little slow to start, but by the end it was a very worthy read.

Rating: Superb

Note: I received a copy of the book from FSB Associates in exchange for an honest review.

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