Book Review: Calling Invisible Women

I assumed the invisibility would be theoretical and was surprised to discover that Clover Hobart, the protagonist of the novel, is actually invisible. She wakes up one morning, looks in the mirror and cannot see her image. To her chagrin, her husband and two children do not notice. For an entire month, she continues to live with them, cooking dinners, cleaning the house and attending to their needs while they ignore the obvious. No one looks too closely—not even her personal physician. When Clover complains about her invisibility, he comments, “You wouldn’t believe how often I hear that.”

She finds support in her friend and neighbor, Gilda, who advises her not to take her family’s self-absorption too personally. Her yogini mother-in-law offers practical advice, “Don’t sit around hoping that someone’s going to notice that you’re missing. Invisibility can be an impediment or a power depending on what you decide to do with it.”

After Clover joins a weekly support group for invisible women, she learns that the condition was caused by a lethal combination of three drugs: hormone replacement, calcium supplement and antidepressant. Clover stops taking the drugs and, after discovering that she has an invisible thermostat, she stops wearing clothes.  Clover and her new friends participate  in a series of escapades that add to the humor in this light-hearted novel.

About the author…

Shortly after celebrating her 60th birthday,  Jeanne Ray noticed that the magazine covers of popular magazines featured beauty and sex tips primarily for women aged twenty to fifty. The retired nurse decided to launch a second act as a writer, using  50 and 60something women as protagonists. Her first novel, Julie and Romeo, featured a love story between two sexagenarians. Calling Invisible Women is her fifth novel.

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