our book club reads happy books!

The Cloak of Invisibility

on August 17, 2012

Harry Potter has nothing on the women of Jeanne Ray’s novel, “Calling Invisible Women”, this month’s book club selection. They don’t need a cloak, they just need to be in their fifties and at the mercy of a drug company that has a pill for every mid-life ailment. And all of a sudden they’re invisible – and those dearest to them don’t notice!

I think the general consensus on the book was that is was “Ok”. Of course, we had a good time discussing whether our husbands and children would notice if we were invisible. The opinions were mixed, but I think we all would like to think they would eventually notice (some sooner than others). If the amount of dismay he displays at my working late two nights a week is any indication, I think my husband would definitely miss my presence, I’m just not so sure he would notice he couldn’t actually  see me.

There was a period of time after I turned 50 that I truly came home and asked my husband, “am I invisible?”, because I just felt so frustrated about, not so much being ignored when I was out in public, but just not being seen. After all, you do have to be aware of a person to ignore them.  My life changed in some pretty big ways around that time, and I haven’t felt invisible since. My conclusion: you’re only as invisible as you allow yourself to be.

I think one of the most interesting things about this book was the fact that the author had her first novel published at the age of 60. And we also liked that it wasn’t just another book about middle-aged women being marginalized. It showed invisible women using their “super power’ for good,  and also banding together to solve the problem.

Coincidentally, at the same time as I was reading this novel, I was also reading Anna Quindlen’s book, “Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake”   This is a collection of essays on growing older by a woman who I imagine has never been invisible. But it dealt with topics very similar to “Calling Invisible Women”, so it was fun to read them together.

I must confess that I did consider skipping this month’s book discussion. Sometimes you feel tired, you have things you feel you should do, etc. But I’m glad I went. It was a smaller than usual meeting at Lauren’s house, but as always it was a good time spent laughing with friends. And even though we all forgot our tissues for waving, we didn’t need them – we could see each other fine. And even though sometimes we have bad hair or bad outfits, can’t find pants that fit or our eyelids, at least none of us are wearing our stretch pants backwards!


5 responses to “The Cloak of Invisibility

  1. Stacy says:

    Aah Pat – you always make me actually, truly Laugh out Loud… matching our pants to our eyelids! Poor Lauren – I have a feeling she will be fearing 50 for the next 23 years! As always, your insight amazes me – your library training/convention/etc young guest is a lucky gal!!!! Having you around will be all she needs to have a great time. Thanks for another great review -and for appearing at the meeting! Always a refreshing point of view.. oh – and I absolutely agree that we are in a sense, somewhat responsible if we are invisible… speak loud and clear..”Excuse me miss, I believe I was next!” Have a fab trip! and be sure to blog right here all about it!~

  2. Trish says:

    I WOULD NOTICE!!!! (Though, if you can still answer texts and emails when you’re invisible… maybe I wouldn’t notice right away….)

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