Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Clique series comes a novel about the importance of friendship, and, of course, the pleasure of a dirty book.
M.J. Stark's life is picture-perfect--she has her dream job as a magazine editor, a sexy doctor boyfriend, and a glamorous life in New York City. But behind her success, there is a debilitating sense of loneliness. So when her boss betrays her and her boyfriend offers her a completely new life in California, she trades her cashmere for caftans and gives it a try. Once there, M.J. is left to fend for herself in a small beach town, with only the company of her elderly neighbor, Gloria, and an ocean that won't shut up.
One afternoon, M.J. discovers that Gloria has suddenly moved to Paris with her friends to honor a fifty-year-old pact. And in lieu of a goodbye, she's left a mysterious invitation to a secret club--one that only reads erotic books. Curious, M.J. accepts and meets the three other hand-selected club members. As they bond over naughty bestsellers and the shocking letters they inherited from the original club members, the four strangers start to divulge the intimate details of their own lives... and as they open up, they learn that friendship might just be the key to rewriting their own stories: all they needed was to find each other first.
Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
In the early 1960s, a group of young women form a clandestine book club as a way of supporting one another and to provide an escape from the men in their lives. When the time comes to pass on their secrets to a new generation of women, they pick an unlikely group, who are virtual strangers, including M.J., recently relocated from New York City to the small California town where the book club meets; Britt, a local real estate agent with a slacker husband; Jules, a party planner who is estranged from her high school sweetheart husband; and Addie, a free spirit with no intention of settling down. Against all odds, the group meets according to the terms set up by the original members, but as the new gals struggle to form a similar bond, the future of the club is put in jeopardy. Verdict This first adult novel by popular YA writer Harrison (License To Spill; Pretenders) draws the reader in with an intimately believable portrayal of women's friendship. For fans of women's fiction and chick lit such as the works of Meg Cabot and Sophie Kinsella.-Karen Core, Detroit P.L. © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Book Review
Four women become unlikely allies when chosen to take over an existing "Dirty Book Club" in Harrison's first novel for adults.It's easy to get a bit confused following the events of this novel. There are four present-day female characters of note and four ladies from the past (not dead, though it sometimes feels that way), and each of the eight women struggles with her relationships, so there's a lot to track. The location is the fictional Pearl Beach, California, and the nominal protagonist is M.J., who moves there in a huff after her promotion at a New York City magazine goes awry, though she tells herselfand othersthat she moved to be with her boyfriend, Dan. Dan lives next door to Gloria Golden, one of the Dirty Book Club founders, who, when her husband dies, swiftly moves to Paris with the other founding members, fulfilling a 54-year-old promise and leaving behind a bevy of rituals and instructions for M.J. and three others: Addie, the sexually liberated cynic, Jules, the sweet Southern romantic, and Britt, the sharp-tongued but disillusioned wife/mother/realtor. Initially, the women are (at best) wary of each other, and Harrison is snarky toward all of them, giving much of the book a sharp feel that is sometimes funny but lacks the warmth that appears when the original members make an appearancethey're glimpsed through the notes they took after each of their book-club meetings and seem a very Ya-Ya bunch. But the modern women bond over their respective predicaments, a handful of high jinks, and a lot of talk about what one should expect from a romantic relationship and how friendship can potentially fill in the gaps. There are many loose threads, though the ending is a relatively happy one. To her credit, in the knots she does tie up, Harrison avoids easy or expected solutions to complicated, adult situations. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.