- Title: The Wednesday Group
- Author: Sylvia True
- Genre: Contemporary Fiction
- Published: March 3, 2015 – St. Martin’s Griffin
- Source: Publisher
Synopsis: Gail. Hannah. Bridget. Lizzy. Flavia. Each of them has a shameful secret, and each is about to find out that she is not alone… Gail, a prominent Boston judge, keeps receiving letters from her husband’s latest girlfriend, while her husband, a theology professor, claims he’s nine-months sober from sex with grad students. Hannah, a homemaker, catches her husband having sex with a male prostitute in a public restroom. Bridget, a psychiatric nurse at a state hospital, is sure she has a loving, doting spouse, until she learns that he is addicted to chat rooms and match-making websites. Lizzy, a high school teacher, is married to a porn addict, who is withdrawn and uninterested in sex with her. Flavia was working at the Boston Public library when someone brought her an article that stated her husband had been arrested for groping a teenage girl on the subway. He must face court, and Flavia must decide if she wants to stay with him. Finally, Kathryn, the young psychologist running the group, has as much at stake as all of the others.
As the women share never-before-uttered secrets and bond over painful truths, they work on coming to terms with their husbands’ addictions and developing healthy boundaries for themselves. Meanwhile, their outside lives become more and more intertwined, until, finally, a series of events forces each woman to face her own denial, betrayal and uncertain future head-on. (publisher)
My take: I was first drawn to this novel by the synopsis. I’ve never read anything that dealt with sex addiction and was curious about how it would be handled in the form of a novel.
Sylvia True’s characters run the gamut of different types of women. That said, they had one thing in common – their husbands were all sex addicts and in some kind of therapy. One way or another each woman found her way to a support group for partners of sex addicts – The Wednesday Group. The group was run by a graduate student intent on impressing her supervising professor (who was intent on becoming the next president of the university).
Each woman in the group is at a different stage of dealing with her partner’s addiction and it’s effect on her life. It was interesting to watch the group sessions play out. One woman was in complete denial about her relationship with her husband, another was too timid to take control of her situation, one was too busy keeping up appearances of a perfect life, and another, newly pregnant, was so angry she constantly acted like an out-of-control child having a tantrum. There was another woman who left the group when her husband decided to return to Greece for a job and a second chance with his wife.
There were times when I felt almost voyeuristic while reading about the different couples. I could understand why they reacted to their situations the way they did but after a while I wondered why a couple of the women didn’t divorce their husbands. Sex addiction has to be almost insurmountable, I would think. It’s a terrible breach of trust and attacks the partner’s self-esteem. I thought the author really brought that point to the forefront.
There are a lot of things book groups could discuss about The Wednesday Group. I found True’s book to be an almost addictive read. That said, it’s not a feel-good novel but it is one that will make you think.