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Calling Invisible Women
Calling Invisible Women
Author: Jeanne Ray
A mom in her early fifties, Clover knows she no longer turns heads the way she used to, and she's only really missed when dinner isn't on the table on time. Then Clover wakes up one morning to discover she's invisible--truly invisible. She panics even more when her family doesn't notice a thing. Her best friend immediately o...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780307395061
ISBN-10: 0307395065
Publication Date: 2/12/2013
Pages: 251
Rating:
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 19

3.2 stars, based on 19 ratings
Publisher: Broadway
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Calling Invisible Women on + 32 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Stepping out of the shower to find that the bathroom mirror no longer registers your reflection does tend to give one pause. In Calling Invisible Women, the author addresses issues of self-erasure and feminism in a sweetly humorous way.

The heroine, Clover Hobart, is a doctor's wife and mom of two young adults. She's at the age when a lot of women feel like they're invisible, anyway, but in her case it is literally true. It takes a couple of weeks before she is shocked to discover that she is not the only invisible woman, and in fact that several invisible women have been secretly meeting at a hotel conference room.

The premise would be the stuff of farce or satire or both, but in the author's hands it seems to be merely a premise that allows her main character to go anywhere and be the fly-on-the-wall on the school bus and in her husband's offices.

Along the way she busts up an attempted bank robbery, and orders her grown son to go home when he and a pal enter a tattoo parlor. Once she accepts that there is an upside to being invisible, she becomes fearless!

The invisible women's support group informs her that a certain combination of prescriptions commonly written for menopausal women is the likely precipitating factor in their condition. And how many millions of women will identify with these victims who take meds for osteoporosis, hot flashes, and depression? Lots, I bet.

Only very late in the novel does Clover finally meet a future son-in-law's mother, who is also invisible. She is more radical and insists on storming the gates of the pharmaceutical giant to get justice.

Clover's reporter instincts kick in first in writing a first-person account of the bank robbery while keeping her secret. Only later does she come out of the closet in a clarion call for all invisible women to unite against the corporate monster who did this to them.

It is a likable novel with sympathetic characters who do not waste much time on self-pity. Clover gains support first from her best friend and neighbor, Gilda, her mother-in-law, and other invisible women. Predictably, the men are all hopeless and do not even realize she has become invisible. That list includes her husband, son, and physician. Clover aggravates matters by passively waiting for them to realize what is wrong, though but once they become aware of her condition, they rally to her side.

The themes bear some resemblance to another book I recently reviewed, titled "Goodnight Nobody" -- though they are not really in the same class with each other. But feminists will find pleasure in both.
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njmom3 avatar reviewed Calling Invisible Women on + 1280 more book reviews
Review first published on my blog: http://memoriesfrombooks.blogspot.com/2012/06/calling-invisible-women.html

The premise of Calling Invisible Women calls to women "of a certain age" who sometimes feel invisible in their lives as they hear only of what doesn't get done and get no acknowledgement for what they do or who they are. A metaphor and experience many of us can relate to.

Clover wakes up one day truly and actually invisible. The book starts off following the premise in that no one in her family notices and tells the story of Clover's reactions. What happens next in the book is surprising. The story becomes one of self discovery and change as Clover leaves behind her perceptions and "sees" herself in a whole new light. Her relationships shift. New friendships emerge. Her confidence and and belief in herself grows. All as she learns to deal with being invisible.

Thrown into the mix is the reason behind why women are turning invisible and the actions they take to draw attention to their disability. A bit of social commentary on the pharmaceutical industry and the development of prescription drugs.

The book is a fun read. Some of the situations are a little over the top, but they add to the humor of the book. At the same time, through humor, the book touches on a serious topic and a positive message. Visible or invisible, life is truly about how we see ourselves not in how others see us.

*** Reviewed for the GoodReads First Reads program ***
cyndij avatar reviewed Calling Invisible Women on + 900 more book reviews
The premise is funny - how women of "a certain age" become invisible to others - but it seemed to me that Ray didn't quite know where to go with it. As a woman about that age myself I'm certainly aware that a lot of people just look through me! But I felt she really diluted her point with the bit about the drug company: either you're invisible because you're taken for granted, or because of some bizarre side effect of meds; both seems like overkill. And I like fantasy - it doesn't need to be real, just internally consistent.
Have to say that in the end I didn't finish the book. It certainly is not bad, just not appealing to me.


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