It has long been my belief that when an author moves from mass market paperback originals to hardcover, the book needs to be something special - partly to justify the increased price and partly to attract a larger audience. THURSDAYS AT EIGHT is Debbie Macomber's hardcover release and there's no doubt about it being justified.
The very method she uses to tell the story is unique. Each chapter begins with a journal entry by each of the four main characters who have met in a journal-writing class but after the class is completed, they find they wish to continue meeting and their breakfast club, Thursday morning at 8 AM at Mocha Moments Café is born. In the first four chapters we meet each of the women: Clare Craig, Liz Kenyon, Karen Curtis, and Julia Murchison as they chose their word for the year and write it into their journals on January first.
Claire, who has just been through a devastating divorce after 23 years of marriage, choses the word "faithful." She wants the year to be one of new beginnings. She never expects how her faithfulness will be truly tested.
Liz, a 57-year-old widow and hospital administrator has begun the year alone for the first time in her life, both her adult children having moved out of towtn in the last three months. She choses the word "time" - accepting being alone and believing she should take time to learn how to live contentedly by herself. But can she achieve that contentment alone??
Karen Curtis is 28 years old and single. She has long dreamed of becoming an actress despite her parents' disapproval. Her word is "acceptance" that her mother will accept her for who she is and quit comparing her to her sister Victoria who is married to a successful attorney and has a young son. The word takes on a new meaning when Karen learns she needs to accept herself.
Julia is totally content. She has a happy marriage, two well-adjusted teenagers, and has recently opened her own business, a yarn shop which is doing well. She's chosen the word "gratitude" being happy with what she has. Will she be so grateful when, at age 40, she's faced with an unexpected pregnancy?
During the next year each of these four women face truths about themselves but with the love and support of the others, survive.
Heartwarming and emotional are words often used to describe the stories told by the talented Ms. Macomber and THURSDAYS AT EIGHT is no exception. Her stories are always enjoyable but this one is even more than that, it enables readers to take stock of their own lives and the people around them. What word would you chose?
Maudeen Wachsmith Charter Member, Reviewers International Organization (RIO)