It’s Not Your Mother’s Bridge Club
Michele VanOrt Cozzens
McKenna Publishing Group (2008)
Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views (9/08)
I rarely watch television. Such cult shows as “Sex in the City” are a total mystery to me. I’ve never seen a soap opera. Don’t ask me which series is hot at the moment. As for “All My Children,” I would not know any of the actors in there if my life depended on it. But when it comes to reading, I am always ready for a little guilty pleasure of something resembling the soaps. The more drama, the better…
“It’s Not Your Mother’s Bridge Club” by Michele VanOrt Cozzens fills that niche nicely. The reader gets introduced to the eight members of The Snake Eyes Dice Club, the infamous bunko group. Bunko, for those who, like me, are not familiar with it, is a dice game. The Snake Eyes Dice Club meets once a month for a girls’ night out, a night of games, drinking, gossiping and general bitching. The ever-changing venues allow the author to write the narrative in first person from each of the players’ perspectives, and those eight women are eight very different, very unique characters. They call themselves friends, but their friendship gets severely tested during the course of one year, which is the timeframe for this charming story. They all have problems, some larger and some smaller, but all of them are important issues for those facing them. There are lousy ex-husbands, too many Botox injections, overfilled schedules, alcoholism, infertility, demanding gifted children, loss of a parent, loss of an only child, drunken driving and a few more, each of them impacting the group in different ways. Although at one point it seems that the group will fall apart and most of the friendships will not survive the demise of The Snake Eyes Dice Club, the ladies pull themselves together when things get truly tough.
I’ve enjoyed the author’s approach to the story, where the same issues were viewed through the eyes of different group members. Seeing different sides of the same story has always held a lot of appeal for me. While I could not envision having all of those eight as friends, they were all well developed and believable characters and I enjoyed “meeting” them and learning about them. I actually wish for a sequel, and I do believe this book has a great potential for one or more of those.
I found “It’s Not Your Mother’s Bridge Club” to be tons of fun, although at times bittersweet, and I would recommend it to all of the female readers, especially those who have a number of colorful friends. As for husbands, they might want to pick up a copy as well – and they just might learn what their wives do on girls’ nights out…