Today is my stop on the book tour for In Common by Norma Watkins. The dark humor novel begins in the early 1930s and spans decades following two women, Lillian Creekmore and Velma Vernon.
So I didn’t actually count this towards my completed books for the month on my reading tracker because I read the first half and then skimmed the second half so I didn’t feel like I completely “read” it. The novel started out really promising and was so engaging. I loved Lillian and seeing her as a mid 20s young woman helping to run her family’s hotel while looking for love. She had such a bright personality. Then, she meets Will Hughes who seems charming and comes from a wealthy family and before long they’re getting married. But Lillian’s fun and playful personality didn’t mix with Will’s conservative, straight laced personality. Lillian’s character changed so much over the years in trying to make her husband love her.
Meanwhile, Velma grows up on a farm and has a totally different upbringing than Lillian or Will. But when she moves to the city to go to secretarial school and lands a job as the law firm Will’s father owns and eventually becomes Will’s secretary when he comes home from the war, she is instantly enamored by him. Despite being religious and Will being married with children, she can’t stop crushing on this charming older man. I also really liked Velma when the story followed her life on the farm and then in school training to be a secretary. But as soon as Will came in her life it just irritated me how she would mold herself to him.
I really liked Lillian and Velma (they started out as such great characters!), but I just couldn’t stand how they would do anything for this man who wasn’t even that great! I know that’s the point of the story – what women are willing to surrender for a man – and I might’ve been able to fully read the whole thing if it were shorter. But the book is close to 600 pages and that’s a lot of pages to read when I was so aggravated by the situations these phenomenal women allowed themselves to stay in/wanted to be in. Again, I know that’s the point of the story, I just personally had to skim through the second half!
*I was sent this book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.*