Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Diary by Eileen Goudge

My FLICKS Book and Movie Club had two selections this month; Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie and The Diary by Eileen Goudge. I realized last week that my book club was coming up on me fast (it’s tomorrow!) and that I had to reluctantly put down Echo in the Bone to read The Diary.

The Diary was a nice interlude to my giant Echo in the Bone read. The Diary is the story of two sisters who are sorting through their mother’s belongings. Elizabeth “Bets” Marshall has recently had a stroke and has had to move to assisted living. Her daughters, Emily and Sarah, discover and old diary of Elizabeth’s from the period directly before she married their father. To their surprise, they discover that their boring and conventional mother had loved someone other than their father prior to their marriage. The book flashes back to Elizabeth’s life in the early 1950’s Nebraska through the diary entries and we are able to witness her love triangle.

This was a good love story. I especially liked the angle of the daughters realizing that their mother had a passionate past and was young once too. The only negative was the author’s note. I wish it would have been at the end of the story. It was at the beginning, and after reading it, I guessed the twist that the story had. I wish I wouldn’t have known! If you read this book, I highly recommend that you skip the note until you finish reading the novel.

I had two favorite quotes in this book. On page 62, “Would she and Bob be like that someday, just another stout, silver-haired couple bragging to people at parties about the accomplishments of their children, more interested in the offerings of the buffet than any delights to be had later in the bedroom?” That’s what you think my dear! It’s funny that the young always assume that older people have no passion left in their life. As you get older and really start listening to people in the older generation you realize there is still love and passion between them (even if one doesn’t really want to think about it!).

My other favorite quote was on the next page, 63. “Never mind that his father was a midlevel engineer and his family lived in a house the size of the servants’ wing at the Olsens.’” I was reminded once again that engineering is not a career to bring me great riches! I was glad an engineer was mentioned in the book, but once again he was a boring type of soul. I am still waiting for an action hero engineer as a main character!

Overall, this novel was a quick, nice romance story.

Book Source: The Kewaunee Public Library


  1. Laura, this sounds like a very good book. Thanks for suggesting that the note be read at the very end.

  2. I have this one but have not read it. Thanks for the great review.

  3. Everyone keeps putting off Echo in the Bone! It must not be very good.
    This one sounds interesting. I too am waiting for some kind of scientist hero who discovers a new bug say, that saves all mankind!
    Where are all the smart heroes who are good in bed AND in the classroom!

  4. Lula - Quite the contrary. Echo in the Bone is great so far, but it is a large book and takes a lot of time to read. I had to get The Diary done in time for book club so I had to put EITB aside for awhile. I'm happily reading it again!

  5. I added this to my List a couple months ago, so thank you for clueing me in on the beginning note.

    Joanne @ A Slice of Life, convinced me to try the Outlander series. I haven't started with Book 1 yet -- still finishing my "Count" Chunkster