“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.”
Nancy wants nothing more than to forget her life in San Diego. Even more, she wants to forget why her and her family had to move to Hawaii in the first place. Meeting Ana, pronounced On-a, gives her a chance to reinvent herself into the fearless and bold woman she always wanted to be.
Ana is a free spirit, deep and living a life full of meaning. Nancy wants her freedom. She wants her spiritualism. She wants space from the demands of her twin teenage boys and her unfaithful husband. Nancy finds herself drawn to Ana, drawn to her irresistible nature.
“Habitual momentum,” she said, “dictates of our lives. It’s hard to change our patterns. And it’s easy to get stuck.”
When Ana asks Nancy for help, righting the wrongs of her past to help force good karma in her life, Nancy says yes without hesitation. Every task completed makes Nancy feel powerful and alive.
“Delivering the karma could be hard sometimes, but afterwards you really did feel like a goddess.”
The Goddesses is an exploration of friendship. How the line between friends can easily become blurred. We often see these types of novels use the similarity of passion and obsession between couples. To use this concept between friends is a twist I was excited to read about.
I can see how the novel is psychological; however, it missed the mark for being suspenseful or thrilling for me. Ana felt very predictable to me. Nothing she did was shocking, and honestly, Nancy was way too gullible to be believable. The details meant to be confusing or climatic, fell flat for me. By the end, even the dramatic twists weren’t that impactful.
The aspect of friendship and how we use people to escape our own lives was interesting, and I did like that aspect of the book. Nancy was an interesting character. Her desperation to be someone else, for this new personality to erase all the pain in her past should have been compelling. I felt for her.
Life throws some fairly cruel curveballs sometimes. They can be difficult, and I think most people have wished for a redo at one point or another. The problem with Nancy for me, though, is that she isn’t very sympathetic. I can understand her struggles with her husband, and even her lack of ability to understand her sons should have made her sympathetic.
“Terrible that sometimes, as a parent, the easiest thing to do is to ignore the problem.”
These struggles though aren’t as difficult as her reactions to them are. She wants to shed the trappings of her life, but she also wants to relish in her life. As the old saying goes, she can’t have her cake and eat it too. But even wanting this, doesn’t make Nancy a bad character. What was the most disappointing were the hints we got to a darker side of Nancy. The desire to be Ana and the willingness she jumped into the friendship hinted at this darkness. If Huntley had explored this own inner darkness, Nancy would have been fascinating. Instead, she ended up feeling whiny and a bit naive.
Ana also had the potential to be compelling. But again, her motives were very see-through and predictable. Not just that her motives or actions were transparent, but she just wasn’t that shocking. Nothing she did was surprising. And the plot twist, wasn’t that twisted. I guessed what was happening within the first few interactions between the two women. It was disappointing that I was right.
While I didn’t hate reading The Goddesses, it just wasn’t as gripping or compelling as I would have liked. I wish it had more suspense to it, more shock, more creepiness. I turned every page waiting for more, but it never came. There was a lot of potential to really dive deep into the dark side of a twisted mind. Sadly, that potential was never reached for me.
Thank you BookSparks and Doubleday for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
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