Finished August 4
Calling Invisible Women by Jeanne Ray
This novel is a funny look at women's lives in today's world.
Clover Hobart is in her early fifties, married to a pediatrician and with two grown children. Her son Nick is living at home after failing to find a job after university, and her daughter Evie is at university.
One morning as she is brushing her teeth, she looks in the mirror and can't see herself. She sees the toothbrush and the shower wall behind her, but not herself. She panics a bit, but a little later that morning finds that she is there, so she is not sure of her earlier experience. She confides in her best friend Gilda, who commiserates and discusses with her the phenomenon of feeling invisible, a feeling that many women find themselves experiencing as they age. Clover moves on.
But the next morning, the invisibility is back, and this time it sticks. Somehow she doesn't feel surprised, only comforted by the knowledge that she wasn't imagining things after all. As she goes through her day, she finds that most people she encounters, including her work-weary husband and her distracted son, don't even notice. Gilda does though, and
As Clover goes through the following days, she finds that she is not the only woman who has become invisible, and a local group has identified the cause, but apparently not the solution. As Clover gains a sense of confidence in what she can get away with in her current state, she takes chances, standing up for those who need standing up for, interfering in bad behaviour to correct and guide others, and finally taking a stand for herself and the other women in her predicament.
With great humour and a sense of fun, this book takes the notion of feeling invisible and makes it real, connecting it to the dynamic of women aging and speaking out. Thoroughly enjoyable.