Gang of Four
by Liz Byrski
They have been close friends for almost two decades, supporting each other through personal and professional crises - parents dying, children leaving home, house moves, job changes, political activism, diets and really bad haircuts. Now the gang of four', Isabel, Sally, Robin and Grace, are all fifty-something, successful and restless. It is Isabel who makes the first move, taking a year away from her family to follow in her mother's footsteps across Europe. Soon Sally is on her way to San Francisco, to come face to face with a guilty secret. Robin, in the wake of a clandestine relationship, heads for isolation in the country. And Grace? Well, Grace would never go away for an entire year, but, lonely in the others' absence, she thinks she might take a short holiday in England. Once there, she bumps into someone she hardly knows - herself.
This was a book chosen by a member of my reading group. It is a truly wonderful story and I really identified with that need to escape from my life for a time, and the women's stories ran so true. A beautiful ending, although it is not a 'happily ever after' story. I could truly identify with some of these characters and was truly touched by their friendship and the discovery of themselves. It happened to be selected by a wonderful person, who told us on the night that we discussed this that she and her family were doing a tree change and leaving us. Good luck, Alita.