Why DO We Have to Live with Men? by Bernadette Strachan

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Why DO We Have to Live with Men? by Bernadette Strachan

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Buy Why DO We Have to Live with Men? by Bernadette Strachan at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Women's Fiction
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Luci Davin
Reviewed by Luci Davin
Summary: Cat loses her job, her home and her lover, and suddenly her friend’s mad idea of a temporary women-only commune doesn’t seem so crazy.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 400 Date: October 2010
Publisher: Sphere
ISBN: 978-0751542295

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Cat and her friends often meet up for a drink and a chat, and regularly fantasise about giving up on men, sharing a house and looking after each other. Then one night Germaine calls their bluff – she’s found a house, and wants to know who is going to join her in it. Initially, the answer is no one. Shortly afterwards, though, Cat’s life as she has known it falls apart, as her landlord gives her notice to leave her flat and she loses her job. There is nothing now to keep her in London and moving into Germaine’s commune doesn’t seem like such a mad option.

Cat, Mary, Jozette and Germaine are joined in the house by Sarge, Antonia, Lucy and Beulah. Living conditions are not what most of them are used to, and there are lots of teething problems. Gradually, though, they find ways of making it work and get to know more about what has brought old and new friends to the house. They adopt a pig who becomes a companion for Cat, and also brings her into contact with a local man, the attractive vet. She also looks for her father, who walked out on the family when her disabled brother was a baby

I quite enjoyed reading this, and there were several story threads which made me keen to know what happened next. Cat is a likeable character and I wanted some sort of happy ending for her. I did find the story quite predictable and several revelations and discoveries surprised me less than they surprised Cat.

The other characters in the book, including the women Cat is sharing a house with, were less satisfying. Many of them were introduced and at some point we learned about the issues or experiences which had led them to take refuge in Germaine’s commune, but most of these weren’t fully fleshed out enough after that. Sarge and Lucy remain especially two dimensional, but I never really got a sense of who Germaine was either.

Finally, I thought Why Do We Have to Live with Men was an enjoyable read but ultimately a little bit frustrating.

Thank you to Sphere for sending a copy of this book to the Bookbag.

If the idea of this book appeals then you might like to try A Season to Remember by Sheila O'Flanagan.

Buy Why DO We Have to Live with Men? by Bernadette Strachan at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Why DO We Have to Live with Men? by Bernadette Strachan at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Why DO We Have to Live with Men? by Bernadette Strachan at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Why DO We Have to Live with Men? by Bernadette Strachan at Amazon.com.

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