Review Date: 7/23/2011
Title: The Fiction Class
Author: Susan Breen
Review Source: purchased at Barnes and Noble
Back of book synopsis:
A witty, honest, and hugely entertaining story for anyone who loves books, or has a difficult mother. And, let's face it, that's practically everybody . . .
On paper, Arabella Hicks seems more than qualified to teach her fiction class on the Upper West Side: she's a writer herself; she's passionate about books; she's even named after the heroine in a Georgette Heyer novel.
On the other hand, she's thirty-eight, single, and has been writing the same book for the last seven years. And she has been distracted recently: on the same day that Arabella teaches her class she also visits her mother in a nursing home outside the city. And every time they argue. Arabella wants the fighting to stop, but, as her mother puts it, “Just because we're family, doesn't mean we have to like each other.” When her class takes a surprising turn and her lessons start to spill over into her weekly visits, she suddenly finds she might be holding the key to her mother's love and, dare she say it, her own inspiration. After all, as a lifelong lover of books, she knows the power of a good story.
The Fiction Class is about Arabella Hicks an author who has been working on her novel for the past seven years but can't seem to finish it. She teaches a writing class that ends up teaching her as much as she teaches her students. Every night after her class, she goes to visit her mother, who is in a nursing home. Arabella and her mother Vera have a complicated relationship that causes Arabella a great deal of anxiety. Actually, everything causes Arabella anxiety: teaching the class, writing her novel, starting a romance...
I absolutely loved this book. All of the characters are beautifully flawed and very believable. The class that Arabella teaches makes up the majority of the book and the book even includes Arabella's writing exercises. I would recommend this book.
I give it ****