For 40 days, I am choosing a book from my personal book shelves. It will be a book that is insightful, intriguing, or illuminating about women. I will write why I think this book is a positive one and worth a read. This isn’t advertising for me or to promote any of my friends. It’s simply praise for good books.
Day 14, Crazy in Love by Luanne Rice
This is one of Luanne Rice’s earlier books, but it’s the first of her many novels I read, so Crazy in Love makes this list though newer work has followed. This is a story about obsessive love, but not in the creepy stalker “don’t go in the basement, you fool” kind of way. It’s more of a “love can make you crazy if you think your marriage must—or even can—be perfect” kind of way. Georgie Symonds lives in a small family compound on the Connecticut shore with her husband, Nick; her sister and family; her mother; and her grandmother. Nick works on Wall Street and flies back and forth by seaplane because Georgie wants to spend every night together. Her fears are not so much about infidelity as loss of intimacy, but her drive for more intimacy is what is driving Nick to separate from her. But the state of Georgie’s marriage is only half of the story. Her mother is a retired TV “weather girl,” a trailblazer in her time, but now she’s trapped alone and caring for her own mother, Georgie’s grandmother Pem, who suffers from Alzheimer’s. Mom tries to keep the more unpleasant parts of that a secret, but eventually that takes its toll, and the care of Pem becomes a concern for them all. There are four generations of women on this small place by the water, and their dependencies and ordinary conflicts make this book readable and real, and never more so than when an unexpected tragedy hits.
Why is Crazy in Love a good read for women? The daughter-mother-grandmother dynamic is a starter. Georgie is a complex character who gets in her own way with her unrealistic need for perfection and her crazy love for Nick. But through Mom the weather girl’s observations and a secondary storyline with Georgie winning a grant focusing on human behavior, there’s a quirky science sideline that adds depth to the story. I wanted everyone in this family to be happy, even if that happiness was less than perfect.