Forced outdoors by cabin fever during a spring snowstorm, five suburban women plunge into a spontaneous evening snowball fight. When they come inside later to warm up, a remarkable set of friendships is launched one that will span 30 years and three tumultuous decades of social change.

As in previous bestsellers such as Patty Jane's House of Curl and The Great Mysterious, Lorna Landvik sets her fifth novel in her native small-town Minnesota, where she meticulously chronicles the activities of the Freesia Court Book Club and the lives of its five members: Faith, Audrey, Merit, Slip and Kari (as in car, not care). The book club is not-so-lovingly renamed Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Merit's husband, who is jealous of her friendship with the other women. From the spring of 1968 through the fall of 1998, the book club members read selections as eclectic as the women themselves from Soul on Ice to Middlemarch to Stephen King's The Stand.

Living through the era of the Vietnam war, the protest movement and women's liberation, the five friends take on such problems as domestic violence, infidelity, homophobia and empty nests, bolstered by the restorative powers of friendship. Landvik looks back at the childhood experiences of the book club members and follows along as they raise children of their own from the annual neighborhood circus through college acceptances and careers, all accompanied by a host of maternal fears and worry. So convincing are the details that readers will try to guess what Audrey might wear to book club meetings and predict what Slip will think of the books. Readers might feel a twinge of sadness and loss as they turn the last page of Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons finishing this book is like leaving five dear friends. Alice Pelland writes from Hillsborough, North Carolina.

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