Monday, February 2, 2009
I found out about Joanne Rendell through the amazing website/blog called Free Book Friday, that is founded by author Jessica Brody. I'm so glad that I read and even heard the wonderful podcast interview of Jessica and Joanne talking about her debut novel, The Professors' Wives' Club. Listening to the podcast about how Joanne Rendel came to write her first published novel was so much fun because she has a BA in English Literature and that I'm majoring in English right now. I had to find out more about this novel and to get it immediately so I can read it as soon as possible and write up a review. I also recommend that you all listen to it also so you can decide for yourselves if you agree with me about this wonderfully written debute novel by Joanne Rendell. I'm glad that I bought this book as soon as I heard about it because I just finished reading it and I want more of Joanne's novel to read. I heard that she will be releasing a new novel that has to do with the university that she wrote about in her first book and it's coming out this Summer or Fall and I can't wait.
I knew a bit of what to expect when I finally got my copy of Joanne Rendell's novel The Professors' Wives' Club but that changed when I started reading the novel. Each chapter of the novel is read through the prospective of one of the professors' wives' such as Mary, Sofia, Ashleigh, and Hannah. This is very different from the other novels I've read but I actually liked it and wasn't at all disappointed or put off by this way of writing a novel. Nestled among Manhattan U’s faculty housing, there is a garden where four women will meet—each with a scandalous secret that could upset their lives, destroy their families, and rock the prestigious university to its very core. In the interview podcast I listen to Joanne Rendell say that she is married to a professor who works at NYU and she lives at their faculty resident with her family. So Manhattan U is just a bit based on NYU but not completely because she said she didn't want to get her husband fired. I've never been to any of the NYU campus in Manhattan before so this was a new scene setting for me even though I've lived in NYC all my life. With its shady maple trees, elegant iron gate, and high fence laced with honeysuckle, Manhattan U's garden offers faculty wives Mary, Sofia, Ashleigh, and Hannah a much-needed refuge.
For Mary, the garden is an escape from abuse from her husband who has changed so much in the five years since his own abusive father died. I think Mary is such a complex and amazing character in this novel and even thought I've never dealt with abusive people I could identify a bit with her fears and emotional feelings. For Sofia, it offers solace as she considers trading in her diaper bag for a briefcase because before she met her wonderful husband she use to be a movie agent to big stars including her husband's own brother. I like Sofia and she is the charater that I most identify with because she is a strong independent woman who puts her family first and who has a very fast temper that could really do damage. Then there’s Ashleigh, who wonders if she should tell her conservative father something that might well give him another heart attack. Ashleigh is a lesbian who is living with her girlfriend Sam who is an African American professor at Manhattan U. She hasn't told her family about Sam because her father is a D.C. senator with a lot of power and a temper that she doesn't want to deal with.
And last is Hannah, who rues jeopardizing her lukewarm marriage for one passionate night with her sexy art theory professor Patrick. Now Hannah use to be a supermodel before she married her husband computer nerd and professor at Manhattan U named Michael. After she married Michael she took advantage that her husband could pull some strings and get her a scholarship for the MFA program so she can work at her Masters of Fine Arts. She is an artist at heart but her husband can only think of her as a supermodel and doesn't want to face facts that that is not a part of her life anymore. As Mary’s husband, the power-hungry dean of Manhattan U, makes plans to demolish this beloved garden that these four women have come to love so much. But these four women will discover a surprising secret about a lost Edgar Allan Poe manuscript—and realize they must find the courage to stand up for their passions, dreams, and desires. This is one book that I could not put down for long because I had to know what would happen next for each of these four wonderfully complex ladies whose lives have taken a turn. Now after reading this novel I look forward to all future novel written by Joanne Rendell and put her on my automatic buy list. Here is the description of the book from the back cover and picture:
THE PROFESSORS' WIVES' CLUB by Joanne Rendell $ 14.00 (321 Pages)
Nestled among Manhattan U’s faculty housing, there is a garden where four women will meet—each with a scandalous secret that could upset their lives, destroy their families, and rock the prestigious university to its very core.
With its shady maple trees, elegant iron gate, and high fence laced with honeysuckle, Manhattan U's garden offers faculty wives Mary, Sofia, Ashleigh, and Hannah a much-needed refuge. For Mary, the garden is an escape from abuse. For Sofia, it offers solace as she considers trading in her diaper bag for a briefcase. Then there’s Ashleigh, who wonders if she should tell her conservative father something that might well give him another heart attack. And last is Hannah, who rues jeopardizing her lukewarm marriage for one passionate night.
As Mary’s husband, the power-hungry dean, makes plans to demolish this beloved garden, these four women will discover a surprising secret about a lost Edgar Allan Poe manuscript—and realize they must find the courage to stand up for their passions, dreams, and desires.

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Phoebe Jordan
I'm a part-time aspiring romance novelist, book reviewer and blogger. I've always wanted to travel the world and learn everything I can about other countries. Learning the Italian language is one way of trying to make that dream come true. Traveling will help me with my writing because I'll be learning about the history of the U.S., Latin America, England, Italy, and Ireland, the countries I find so fascinating while reading the romance genre.
 
I read and review romance novels of almost every subgenre along with erotic romance, mystery, sci-fi/fantasy and young adult novels. You can find the reviews at my blogs, Talk About My Favorite Authors and Phoebe Jordan's Reviews. I’ve also started a live podcast show called TAMFA | Phoebe Jordan hosted on Blog Talk Radio. This show is dedicated to everything I love about romance and young adult novels. I love having romance and young adult authors live on my show to be interviewed and showcase their books.

I plan to write contemporary romance, romantic suspense, erotic romance, paranormal romance and young adult when I get my writing career started with help from Keta. I'm not sure what genre I'll write to begin with since I love to read so many different romance genres.
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