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garden secrets

Four women connected to Manhattan U come together when the dean of the university decides to demolish a faculty garden and build a parking lot. But the real meat of The Professors' Wives' Club is about friendships, conquering fears and figuring out who you are.

First-time author Joanne Rendell successfully juggles four major characters with ease, alternating between women each chapter. Mary is a Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist with an abusive husband (the dean), Hannah is a former model and art student married to a man who doesn’t understand her, Sofia is a former Hollywood agent who gave it all up to be a mother and Ashleigh is a successful lawyer who is afraid to come out of the closet to father.

Rendell, who happens to be married to a New York University professor, seemed to base Manhattan U largely on NYU. "We live in university housing," Rendell said, "so that's the world I know, and so, of course, real life sneaks into the novel here and there. But I'm not telling exactly where. My husband likes his job at the university too much!"

This isn’t a groundbreaking novel, but it’s a fun read with well developed characters and multiple story lines that keep you on your toes – not to mention a literary subplot involving Edgar Allan Poe.

It’s light enough that you can crack it open when you have a couple of minutes, but interesting enough that you’ll struggle to put it down. This is Desperate Housewives on a mission.
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“garden secrets”