Recently I was offered the book, Suburban Underbelly, by Michele Theron as a read and review project. I decided that it sounded like a fun story and took it on. The story is about three women who feel somewhat trapped by the rituals of the typical suburban lifestyles they lead. While lamenting over their lost freedoms since husbands and kids, they decide to take the term “playdate” to a whole new level.
The following contains spoilers so read at your own risk.
The characters Lucy, Quinn, and Jill all have believable stories, and I could relate to each one of them at certain points in the story. Lucy has a perfect husband, child, house and longs for excitement. Quinn is non-confrontational, coexists with her husband, and tries to be the perfect mom. Jill is recently divorced and trying to figure out how being gay works. They meet once a week for a 3 hour playdate for their children and discuss what’s going on in their lives. One week they decide to up the ante a bit and indulge in playdates for themselves as well. Quinn offers to keep the kids and let the other women have fun. She just wants to hear all about their adventures.
Lucy immediately hooks up with her neighbor, Brian, who she has been flirting with for some time. Week after week they meet at one of their houses to have raucous sex. Lucy reports her doings back to the other women at a weekly coffee date. I guess this type of thing happens in real life, but I did have a few issues with this. I can’t imagine good friends allowing/encouraging another friend to cheat on her husband and beg for details. Especially a good guy. If he was a jerk to her or neglectful or something I could understand it a little better, but even Lucy says he’s a great guy. I’m sure it has more to do with my upbringing and sense of right and wrong. I guess I felt like the friends should have encouraged her differently.
Jill meets and gets involved with a woman. I could relate to her and her hesitation concerning the idea. She knows it’s who she is and what she wants, but figuring it out isn’t so easy.
And Quinn…she was probably my favorite character. She is the watcher. The thinker. The writer. She tries to see what is happening underneath it all in her own life as well as the lives of her neighbors. I felt like she has a lot more to say and look forward to the sequel to see where Theron takes this character.
All in all this was a good book. The characters push boundaries as they try to capture what made them interesting before kids. It was a quick and easy read and for only $2.99 (digitally) it is worth it.