Bunko Babes is another book I received from Mary Lewis at Blog Stop Book Tours. Reading the synopsis, I got tears in my eyes. Oh, how I love a good story about female friendships!
Bunko Babes is told through the eyes of Becca Thornton: wife, mother, friend, and bunko player. Becca tries to balance all these roles but is starting to lose a lot of her energy and ability to cope due to the onset of a debilitating illness. Throughout the story, we learn about some of the other Bunko Babes. Her best friend, Jessica, must deal with the guilt of infertility as the doctors believe an abortion that she had at 16 caused her infertility. Madison has a cheating husband who fights for custody of their kids. Mercedes has a husband who has been deployed to Iraq.
I wanted to like this book! I really did! But from the beginning the scenes felt contrived, everyone having the perfect retort and able to send all the other women into gales of laughter. Becca wasn’t a very likable character, purposefully hurting Jessica and then refusing to apologize, using her illness and other circumstances as reasons why she couldn’t repair the damage she’d inflicted to a lifelong friend.
This book has many references to Christianity and Biblical passages, many of the characters, particularly Becca, professing a profound belief in God. Those scenes fell flat as well as it seemed they were round pieces being shoved into a square whole.
The story reached the point of no return after this scene where Becca and her husband eat at a Japanese sushi restaurant where they are regulars. Becca is observing the hostess/waitress:
She turns toward the kitchen, her back ramrod straight, her feet, deformed from binding, making it impossible for her to take anything but the tiniest of steps. She must be nearing eighty – a refugee from another time and place – and I can’t help wondering about So Li, her life…the sorrows and the joys.
I’m no history buff, but I was pretty sure that foot binding ended more than 80 years ago. I did some research and found out two things that made this scene highly improbable: foot binding was done by the Chinese, not the Japanese; and foot binding was made illegal in 1911. Even if this book took place in 2007, that would place So Li’s birth in 1927, long after foot binding was illegal…assuming she’s Chinese working in a Japanese restaurant. The scene seemed placed here because the author wanted it there, unconcerned with the historical inaccuracies.
Despite my frustrations with the book, it was a speedy read and kept me entertained. If you like chick lit, I think you’ll like Bunko Babes. Don’t let my review stop you from reading it…after all, I didn’t like Atonement.
Thanks to Mary Lewis at Blog Stop Book Tours for giving me the opportunity to read this book. She’s fabulous to work with!
Rating: 75 out of 100
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