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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, but when her husband and son sit down to dinner, nothing is amiss. Even though she's been with her husband, Arthur, since colle 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, but when her husband and son sit down to dinner, nothing is amiss. Even though she's been with her husband, Arthur, since college, her condition goes unnoticed. Her friend Gilda immediately observes that Clover is invisible, which relieves Clover immensely--she's not losing her mind after all!--but she is crushed by the realization that neither her husband nor her children ever truly look at her. She was invisible even before she knew she was invisible. Clover discovers that there are other women like her, women of a certain age who seem to have disappeared. As she uses her invisibility to get to know her family and her town better, Clover leads the way in helping invisible women become recognized and appreciated no matter what their role.


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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, but when her husband and son sit down to dinner, nothing is amiss. Even though she's been with her husband, Arthur, since colle 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, but when her husband and son sit down to dinner, nothing is amiss. Even though she's been with her husband, Arthur, since college, her condition goes unnoticed. Her friend Gilda immediately observes that Clover is invisible, which relieves Clover immensely--she's not losing her mind after all!--but she is crushed by the realization that neither her husband nor her children ever truly look at her. She was invisible even before she knew she was invisible. Clover discovers that there are other women like her, women of a certain age who seem to have disappeared. As she uses her invisibility to get to know her family and her town better, Clover leads the way in helping invisible women become recognized and appreciated no matter what their role.

30 review for Calling Invisible Women

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bren

    “I first noticed I was missing on a Thursday.” ― Jeanne Ray, Calling Invisible Women I loved "Calling Invisible Women". I first heard about this book when I read a review on it and it just looked so good. So I got my hands on a copy. Imagine just waking up one morning and realizing nobody can see you? How scary that must be? And that is exactly what happens to Clover. I will not reveal how or why until I get into spoilers which I will in a moment. But I just want to comment on how fresh and really “I first noticed I was missing on a Thursday.” ― Jeanne Ray, Calling Invisible Women I loved "Calling Invisible Women". I first heard about this book when I read a review on it and it just looked so good. So I got my hands on a copy. Imagine just waking up one morning and realizing nobody can see you? How scary that must be? And that is exactly what happens to Clover. I will not reveal how or why until I get into spoilers which I will in a moment. But I just want to comment on how fresh and really FUN this book was. I could not get enough of it. It really lived up to the hype. OK..Now..SPOILERS: I have to do spoilers because I want to talk about how some people falsely labeled this "fluff". Nothing could be further from the truth. This book may APPEAR to be light and breezy and some parts are, (as well as really witty). But this isn't sweetness and light. It covers so much ground, from our roles as Women to unemployment to becoming a scathing indictment on the Pharmaceutical industry. I think both sexes can enjoy this. It is not and will never be chick lit. I would give it 5 of 5 stars.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Aryn

    "'[Y]our wife. Let's say she's been through menopause and she's being eaten alive by hot flashes so her doctor gives her some Premacore. After that the same doctor finds that her bone density isn't quite what it should be and so he gives her some Ostafoss as well. But on top of that she's a little depressed. Can you blame her? She's just been through menopause, and you're working all the time, so he gives her some Singsall, just a touch just to brighten up the picture.' [...] 'She didn't pick "'[Y]our wife. Let's say she's been through menopause and she's being eaten alive by hot flashes so her doctor gives her some Premacore. After that the same doctor finds that her bone density isn't quite what it should be and so he gives her some Ostafoss as well. But on top of that she's a little depressed. Can you blame her? She's just been through menopause, and you're working all the time, so he gives her some Singsall, just a touch just to brighten up the picture.' [...] 'She didn't pick this combination out for herself, it's given to her. Then one morning you wake up and you've got nothing in your arms but a nightgown.'" What would you do with invisibility? If you woke up one morning and realized no one could see you, would you use your "power" for good, or would you shrivel up? The quote above, from the Uncorrected Proof that I received from Goodreads Giveaways, pretty well sums up the entire plot of the book. Clover wakes up one morning and discovers that, due to a pharmaceutical snafu, she's invisible, not in a I feel invisible way, but in a tangible, my clothes are hanging on thin air, way. Her family, and most of society for that matter, doesn't even notice. The empty set of clothes walking around the house fixing breakfast and doing laundry attracts zero attention. I was honestly pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this book. The plot as I summed up above, seems gimmicky, and to an extent it really, really is. It's one of the most gimmicky, convenient plots, I've seen in quite some time, and I can't say I was expecting to enjoy the book. However, somewhere along the way, the book that I thought was simply a convenience for the author was making a fabulous point. The plot of the book is sort of lame and gimmicky, but the point, goes so far beyond that. I was in NYC yesterday and because of this book was realizing exactly how little we actually truly look at the people around us, and yet, we all like to fancy that everyone is looking at only us. When the truth is, we barely look at ourselves. Happily, this book is a quick read, with a poignant commentary on the way women see themselves, others, and the way society sees them.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tara Bilbao

    I loved so many aspects of this book. Yes, it asks us to stretch our imagination but not too far beyond what many of us older women have felt as we age. I was very pleased with the way Clover and Arthur's relationship was examined and also in the way it ultimately turned out. I am sure many women can relate to being taken for granted on a daily basis, yet still know that deep down our relationships are solid - unlike Clover's appearance. I too remember the day I realized i was invisible. It was a I loved so many aspects of this book. Yes, it asks us to stretch our imagination but not too far beyond what many of us older women have felt as we age. I was very pleased with the way Clover and Arthur's relationship was examined and also in the way it ultimately turned out. I am sure many women can relate to being taken for granted on a daily basis, yet still know that deep down our relationships are solid - unlike Clover's appearance. I too remember the day I realized i was invisible. It was a total Aha! moment that I was saddened by but like Clover over time have been freed by the experience. Oh! don't get me wrong there are some days I wish I could still turn a few heads, but that is a rare occasion. I am much more comfortable not giving a damn about what or if people think of me. I can just be myself. This is such a quick yet thought provoking book. A definite recommendation from me.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    I really liked the concept of this book. Women, after a certain age, are no longer valued as beautiful, intelligent, and interesting...even if they still are all of these things. They live in the backgrounds, taking care of the domestic details of a family's life. They feel invisible...and a small number of these middle aged women are actually BECOMING invisible. I just wish she would've tweaked how she handled it a bit. I could see this being better as a short story, and that's coming from someo I really liked the concept of this book. Women, after a certain age, are no longer valued as beautiful, intelligent, and interesting...even if they still are all of these things. They live in the backgrounds, taking care of the domestic details of a family's life. They feel invisible...and a small number of these middle aged women are actually BECOMING invisible. I just wish she would've tweaked how she handled it a bit. I could see this being better as a short story, and that's coming from someone who rarely reads short stories. I was fine with the unique concept---woman wakes up one day, and sees that her body has completely disappeared yet she is still alive. Interesting. I struggled with the idea that the women were quite literally invisible...yet the most important people in their life never noticed until it was pointed out to them. I get it, I get it, it's a metaphor for how little attention these invisible women get. "Ahhhh, no one even notices when I am ACTUALLY invisible!" But to have these women walking around, startling every other person they come across with bracelets hovering in mid-air and so on...and then over WEEKS and WEEKS their husband and children don't bat an eye? The metaphor was stretched a bit far for me. It was like she was going from them being literally invisible to metaphorically invisible whenever it suited the situation. I don't care how busy her family was, or how often their noses were buried in the paper. It doesn't make sense. A day or two, tops for them to notice. It made the story disjointed. It was a fun, quick, read and not badly written. Just left me wanting her to use the concept in a better way. I also realized it's hard to read...I guess you would call this "magicial realism." I can suspend ALL reality and get sucked in a fantasy like Harry Potter. Because none of it is real. And I can read your average literary fiction with probable, believable, characters who although not real, could be real. I just find it hard to read a book totally set in the "real" world, with one small difference to that world. In this case, all women being invisible. Funny how the mind (at least mine) works. Why does it have to take all or nothing? It also must be very hard to write, because one detail is so impossible but the rest of life is normal. So I will give her that. It is a difficult idea to handle. Valiant effort! :)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    "I first noticed I was missing on a Thursday." Clover (I love her unusual name!) Hobart had lived a full life. She was married to the same man since college, she had two point zero kids-one son, one daughter- and she was employed as a successful newspaper reporter before the dreaded Internet came into existence. Now she wrote articles on gardening. She was 54 years old when she woke up on that fated day minus some physical body parts. In less than a week's time, she had absolutely, irrevocably an "I first noticed I was missing on a Thursday." Clover (I love her unusual name!) Hobart had lived a full life. She was married to the same man since college, she had two point zero kids-one son, one daughter- and she was employed as a successful newspaper reporter before the dreaded Internet came into existence. Now she wrote articles on gardening. She was 54 years old when she woke up on that fated day minus some physical body parts. In less than a week's time, she had absolutely, irrevocably and beyond a shadow of a doubt (no pun intended!) disappeared. Calling Invisible Women was an original and lighthearted story that dealt with a serious subject. What happens when you are taken for granted? Your loved ones hear you but they no longer listen. They look in your direction but they do not see you. Clover soon joined a club of sorts: like-minded ladies that lost themselves. She learned to shed her clothes and go naked! Though I had a few reservations wondering if I could plop my back end on a bleacher sans panties. There was also some minor suspense. The ladies thought of a logical reason as to why they disappeared. In order to step into a book like this, the premise must have a ring of authenticity. It was a clever tale but one I found extremely difficult to evaluate *because* it did not fit into any of my mental niches. It wasn't a romance but there were romantic overtures between Clover and her husband, Arthur. It wasn't women's fiction but it was an unconventional peek at relationships, special friendships and blending in. Though it had some snarky humor amongst the young adults, I never thought of it as chick-lit because it dealt with multiple generations. I knew there would be a moral to the story but it never felt preachy. Lastly, read it with an open mind. Some things that happened were outright nonsense but it also contained snips and bits of truth. If you dare to look close enough. Jeanne Ray wrote her first novel at the age of 60. Sixty! She is also the mother of the author, Ann Patchett. Her career was spent as a nurse and she can't help but let her experiences slip into this novel. If you have read anything by this author you know that she has a habit of taking the slower, humdrum moments in life and twisting them into a knots. Then rolling them out with lumps, creases and a few sharp edges. And even though there were some crooked, silly moments in Calling Invisible Women, her characters always felt authentic. *3.5 Stars*

  6. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    "Except for a few breakout moments, I've been invisible since the new millennium . . . A woman wheels her cart right in front of mine and cuts into the checkout lane, a car cuts me off in traffic, I wave at the waiter and he's looking at the wall behind my head. It's just the plight of women after a certain age. No one can see you." On the surface - the 'visible' surface - this is a delightful chick-lit romp encompassing the plight of middle-aged-womanhood and invisiblity - figuratively (as elude "Except for a few breakout moments, I've been invisible since the new millennium . . . A woman wheels her cart right in front of mine and cuts into the checkout lane, a car cuts me off in traffic, I wave at the waiter and he's looking at the wall behind my head. It's just the plight of women after a certain age. No one can see you." On the surface - the 'visible' surface - this is a delightful chick-lit romp encompassing the plight of middle-aged-womanhood and invisiblity - figuratively (as eluded to in the above quote) and literally in the vein of magical realism. And it's a hoot of a romping fun read. Imagine you wake up one morning and you are really and truly invisible. Sadly though, your family doesn't even notice. They haven't really seen YOU, taken appreciative notice of YOU, for years. All they know is that you've always been there for them, and they assume you always will be. Thankfully you find you're not alone in this invisibility realm of being taken for granted. You discover there are other women facing the same plight. And there are some perks to being invisible. Invisibility just might become your new super power for righting wrongs and slaying giants. "The truth, we realize as we get older, is a very complicated pastiche of feelings and facts, of what can and cannot be said." Without giving away the plot, let me just say that beneath the chick-lit humor of middle-aged invisibility is a satirical jab at unethical business and pharmaceutical practices. Often a deaf ear is turned toward women, in general, by the medical community when it comes to health issues, diseases, maladies, and prescription drugs. And THAT, is what makes this entertaining, chick-lit romp well worth reading. 3 1/2 Stars: rounding up for satirical content and the simple fact that I enjoyed the heck out of Jeanne Ray's punaliscious spoofing jab. And to think, Ray didn't pen her first novel until after she turned sixty. You go, Jeanne Ray! FOUR **** Tongue-in-Cheek Satire, Chick-Lit Magical Realism, Hear Me Roar Women's Fiction! **** STARS

  7. 4 out of 5

    Peggy Bird

    Several years ago I wrote an essay about getting more invisible the whiter my hair turned. In it, I proposed uniting all invisible women and kids, who are also usually invisible, so we could take over the world and make it better. It was one of those I'm-laughing-so-I-don't-scream-or-cry essays and it was included in an anthology aimed at women of, shall we say, a certain age. A few weeks ago the editor of the anthology emailed me and told me about this book, saying I was clearly on to something. Several years ago I wrote an essay about getting more invisible the whiter my hair turned. In it, I proposed uniting all invisible women and kids, who are also usually invisible, so we could take over the world and make it better. It was one of those I'm-laughing-so-I-don't-scream-or-cry essays and it was included in an anthology aimed at women of, shall we say, a certain age. A few weeks ago the editor of the anthology emailed me and told me about this book, saying I was clearly on to something. I was delighted to find someone else who wrote about the subject. Turns out, Jeanne Ray published her first book at 60 and has published several more. I liked her before I even read the first page. But as soon as I started the book, I loved her. She writes funny, sad, serious and thought-provoking stuff here, all at once. It takes on the idea of who and what we actually notice in our daily lives as well as the challenges of getting older in our culture. And it was fun to read. Long live the invisible women!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Irene

    Fifty-four year old Clover wakes up one morning to discover that she is invisible. She still has substance. Her touch can be felt, her voice can be heard, clothes hang off her body, but she can not be seen. No one notices: not her husband who cradles her in bed or her young adult children, not the clerk who processes her dry cleaning or the women in her yoga class, not the GP who examines her or the nurse who takes her blood pressure. Only her best friend/neighbor and her mother-in-law notice he Fifty-four year old Clover wakes up one morning to discover that she is invisible. She still has substance. Her touch can be felt, her voice can be heard, clothes hang off her body, but she can not be seen. No one notices: not her husband who cradles her in bed or her young adult children, not the clerk who processes her dry cleaning or the women in her yoga class, not the GP who examines her or the nurse who takes her blood pressure. Only her best friend/neighbor and her mother-in-law notice her invisibility. When it dawns on her that without clothes she is completely undetectable, she uses her new state to fight crimes petty and serious in her small Ohio town and beyond. I did not know how to take this book. At first, the very simple style of writing made me suspect that I had a young adult novel. But, the adult narrator and her middle age concerns were incongruous with this. Then I wondered if it was a metaphor for the sense of insignificance that many middle aged women feel as they are displaced professionally, taken for granted by family and lose the looks that once turned heads, but a conversation with her friend flatly denied that the invisibility was metaphoric or psychosomatic. Finally, I considered that it might be a spoof on the superhero story, but there appeared to be no attempt at humor or sarcasm. Yet, the entire novel was so shallow and assinine that it could not be read as a serious story.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alena

    I fully admit I added this novel to my to-read just because the author is Anne Patchett's mother. I'm definitely not sorry I did. It was an interesting and easy way to spend the day. Clover wakes up one day to find herself invisible. (Not emotionally or psychologically, but physically). I eat that kind of premise up. From there, Ray is examining relationships and the emotional and psychological effects of being "seen" or not. Lots of great questions and discoveries but it felt a bit obvious. Still I fully admit I added this novel to my to-read just because the author is Anne Patchett's mother. I'm definitely not sorry I did. It was an interesting and easy way to spend the day. Clover wakes up one day to find herself invisible. (Not emotionally or psychologically, but physically). I eat that kind of premise up. From there, Ray is examining relationships and the emotional and psychological effects of being "seen" or not. Lots of great questions and discoveries but it felt a bit obvious. Still, I really enjoyed it and would definitely read more of her work.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Robyn

    Honestly I think the book flap was my favorite part. Well, that and all the invisibility. The way the book is presented I thought I was in for a woman who went unnoticed in her life for so long that she actually, physically became... invisible. I thought, because of the book flap, that she would use her new invisibility to learn more about why her family never saw her, and how her lack of physical presence would affect them. Nope. The book stays surface level and never truly delves into the real Honestly I think the book flap was my favorite part. Well, that and all the invisibility. The way the book is presented I thought I was in for a woman who went unnoticed in her life for so long that she actually, physically became... invisible. I thought, because of the book flap, that she would use her new invisibility to learn more about why her family never saw her, and how her lack of physical presence would affect them. Nope. The book stays surface level and never truly delves into the realms of what is feels like to live a life surrounded, but unseen. Hmmm, can't we all relate to that just a squich? Plus there's some weird moments where Clover gushes about how gorgeous her daughter is and how it's Evie's light or (cornsilk hair) that makes her so attractive or something strange and forced like that. Oh well. If you're looking for a light diversion from reality then read Calling Invisible Women.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sully (thysaltymar)

    Calling Invisible Women by Jeanne Ray is a unique novel that speaks for fulltime-taken-for-granted mothers who are all day doing household works and taking care of kids. It might sound really lame at first, but the twist is that, in the new millennium, majority of mothers are figuratively experiencing “invisibility” at home. For instance, (excerpt from the book) The boys can be looking at naked women on the internet and they don’t so much as twitch when I walk into the room. I can ask Steve (her Calling Invisible Women by Jeanne Ray is a unique novel that speaks for fulltime-taken-for-granted mothers who are all day doing household works and taking care of kids. It might sound really lame at first, but the twist is that, in the new millennium, majority of mothers are figuratively experiencing “invisibility” at home. For instance, (excerpt from the book) The boys can be looking at naked women on the internet and they don’t so much as twitch when I walk into the room. I can ask Steve (her son) what time he wants dinner, and he keeps on texting like I wasn’t even there. As you can see (read), some mothers are taken for granted, they do so many things for us, for the family, and they don't get something in return, including respect and mutuality. As for me, they deserve a lot of respect & a share of expressive love and care -- heck, they deserve a lot more. The story started with Clover suddenly disappearing physically inside her home and then at some time she discovers that there are others like her, women of a certain age who seem to have disappeared as well. As she uses her invisibility to get to know her family and her town better, Clover leads the way in helping invisible women become recognized and appreciated no matter what their role is (goodreads summary). This novel is hilariously written and emotionally stimulating! Perfect for a one-sit, one-time read!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    At first the book bothered me, as I like realistic fiction. What? A woman becomes invisible? Come on! But I nevertheless got drawn in. Something Kafka and Nora Ephron might have teamed up on, with glowing results. True, it’s not as deep as Kafka or as hysterical as Ephron but still, it’s super well-written, funny, and a fast and easy read. And there is wisdom: aging women do deal with a kind of invisibility, and the author makes this fact both fun and empowering. Ray is my new favorite author an At first the book bothered me, as I like realistic fiction. What? A woman becomes invisible? Come on! But I nevertheless got drawn in. Something Kafka and Nora Ephron might have teamed up on, with glowing results. True, it’s not as deep as Kafka or as hysterical as Ephron but still, it’s super well-written, funny, and a fast and easy read. And there is wisdom: aging women do deal with a kind of invisibility, and the author makes this fact both fun and empowering. Ray is my new favorite author and I’m starting Julie and Romeo, another of her books. I love it that Ray is Ann Patchett’s mother and I love it that she didn’t start writing until she was 60. So apparently writing is in the genes, though I have to say that momma Jeanne has a sense of humor whereas daughter Ann remains darn serious. Patchett’s State of Wonder is still one of my favorites, but momma Jeanne certainly won my heart with this one! A strong 4.5 stars.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Marianne

    Calling Invisible Women is the fifth novel by American author, Jeanne Ray. Like many women in their fifties holding down jobs and looking after families, Clover Hobart has often felt like she’s invisible. Then, one day she wakes up to find she actually is. Invisible. However, no-one seems to notice; not her paediatrician husband, Arthur, not her adult children, Nick and Evie. In fact, only her best friend Gilda actually realises something is wrong. But quite by accident, Clover discovers other w Calling Invisible Women is the fifth novel by American author, Jeanne Ray. Like many women in their fifties holding down jobs and looking after families, Clover Hobart has often felt like she’s invisible. Then, one day she wakes up to find she actually is. Invisible. However, no-one seems to notice; not her paediatrician husband, Arthur, not her adult children, Nick and Evie. In fact, only her best friend Gilda actually realises something is wrong. But quite by accident, Clover discovers other women with her predicament, and learns how this has happened. This insightful novel is about perception and self-image; about perspective and being brave and jumping back into life; about workplace discrimination; about multi-national drug companies and cover-ups; about supporting each other and deciding to fight like Goliath even when you are David. Ray touches on health kicks and magic bullets and boarding planes. I expect sales of Rive Gauche may well increase thanks to Ray’s latest perceptive, thought-provoking and laugh-out-loud funny offering.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Booknblues

    Imagine being invisible, what would you do? What would you wear? And everyone’s favorite question is it the super power you would choose. This is the intriguing premise that guides Calling Invisible Women by Jeanne Ray. While I was expecting along the lines of Fay Weldon’s The Life and Loves of a She Devil, I was pleased to find that Jeanne Ray’s Calling Invisible Women was more sunlit and less grim. I was also very pleased to find that this was a book which I picked up and could not put down unt Imagine being invisible, what would you do? What would you wear? And everyone’s favorite question is it the super power you would choose. This is the intriguing premise that guides Calling Invisible Women by Jeanne Ray. While I was expecting along the lines of Fay Weldon’s The Life and Loves of a She Devil, I was pleased to find that Jeanne Ray’s Calling Invisible Women was more sunlit and less grim. I was also very pleased to find that this was a book which I picked up and could not put down until it was finished well past my bedtime. I am still thinking about this book and wondering if it was just a wonderful light chick-lit piece or if it was something deeper and more profound. Perhaps it delved into how we take each other for granted and fail to really look at those who we value most on a daily basis, because our lives are too involved and too busy, or maybe it was about the accountability of pharmaceutical companies or perhaps it was about how our personal stubbornness can prevent us from solving our own problems or may be it is about all these issues and more. And what makes this book truly a delight is that it does so in such an optimistic and fun manor. I loved Clover who suddenly found that she was invisible and her pediatrician husband and her college graduate son who returned home failed to notice it. I especially loved that at this point when another author might have used this opportunity to become cynical and vicious, Jeanne Ray kept it light and optimistic. I appreciate that Ray who was a nurse until retirement and didn’t write her first novel until after she turned 60 used her experience as a nurse to describe the interworkings of a doctors office and the manipulation of a pharmaceutical company. Going to the beach, can’t sleep at night, going to spend some time in a doctor’s waiting room, take this book along with you. I’ll bet you spend some time thinking about it afterwards.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jann Barber

    I don't know if this book will be more meaningful to "women of a certain age," but I found it to be absolutely delightful while also making several good points. Clover Hobart is in her early fifties and is shocked to find that she can't see herself one day after showering. She reappears, but when it happens again and she doesn't reappear, she knows something is wrong...really wrong. Neither her hard-working husband, Arthur, nor her back-at-home-due-to-unemployment son, Nick, notice anything differ I don't know if this book will be more meaningful to "women of a certain age," but I found it to be absolutely delightful while also making several good points. Clover Hobart is in her early fifties and is shocked to find that she can't see herself one day after showering. She reappears, but when it happens again and she doesn't reappear, she knows something is wrong...really wrong. Neither her hard-working husband, Arthur, nor her back-at-home-due-to-unemployment son, Nick, notice anything different. Her best friend, Gilda, immediately notices and is Clover's only source of support until the discovery of a group called Invisible Women. Clover attends a meeting and begins to learn how to make invisibility work to her advantage. This book made me laugh, and while it could have been a cheesy story, seemed perfectly plausible, as many of us have, at one time or another, felt invisible to others around us. The subject matter and situations were thought provoking. Clover and the other invisible women find their strength and use their "power" to make changes in others, while trying to rectify the situation that made them invisible. Fun read!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Carolw

    As women age we know we become invisible to waiters, grocery clerks etc. because we are not that pretty young girl standing right behind us or next to us which seem much more interesting. I think we also feel invisible to our families at times. Under appreciated, ignored, taken for granted....basically invisible. That is the premise of this book BUT in this book some women actually become invisible! I mean see through! You have to suspend your belief in reality but I think the author’s use of re As women age we know we become invisible to waiters, grocery clerks etc. because we are not that pretty young girl standing right behind us or next to us which seem much more interesting. I think we also feel invisible to our families at times. Under appreciated, ignored, taken for granted....basically invisible. That is the premise of this book BUT in this book some women actually become invisible! I mean see through! You have to suspend your belief in reality but I think the author’s use of real invisible women as a metaphor for how middle aged women often feel is admirable.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Carmen

    I was surprised I like this book so much. Going off a "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" idea, Jeanne Ray purports that women who are ignored and unappreciated will turn invisible. This book only concentrates on middle-class, straight women, but I'm sure women of all kinds are turning invisible in this universe. Well, maybe not, because it turns out that all women who are disappearing are on a specific combination of pharmaceuticals: antidepressant, botox, hormone-replacement, and a calcium supplement. T I was surprised I like this book so much. Going off a "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" idea, Jeanne Ray purports that women who are ignored and unappreciated will turn invisible. This book only concentrates on middle-class, straight women, but I'm sure women of all kinds are turning invisible in this universe. Well, maybe not, because it turns out that all women who are disappearing are on a specific combination of pharmaceuticals: antidepressant, botox, hormone-replacement, and a calcium supplement. There's a "bring-down-the-evil-corporation" plot that I really enjoyed, and a "discrimination/prejudice" sort of "invisible-women-rise-up-and-demand-your-rights" plot that was a little silly, but I went with it. Speaking of silly, almost no one notices Clover is invisible. Only her best friend, Gilda, realizes that Clover has gone invisible. Her husband, daughter, and son eventually have to be told, months later, by Clover, that "Hey! Haven't you noticed I've been *&^%ing invisible for the last few months!!?!?!!?" This is very insulting and sad, and I'm surprised Clover is able to take it in good humor. Don't get me wrong, the characters still interact with her: ask her to shop, tell her about their days, expect her to clean and cook, her husband even has sex with her multiple times...without even noticing that they can't see her!!!! Argh. This is part of the "message" of the book: women are underappreciated and overlooked, they are taken for granted, etc. etc. But don't despair! This book isn't heavy or depressing. It's very light and funny. There are a lot of absolutely hilarious scenes where Clover uses her invisibility to her advantage. My two favorites are when she stops a neighbor kid from smoking marijuana and when she stops her son from getting a tattoo. These scenes were really a hoot and I found myself laughing out loud. What mother doesn't wish she was invisible sometimes, to find out what her husband and kids are really up to? And to speak in her authoritative voice to them when she catches them doing something wrong? It's not right - it's a big violation of her (grown) children's privacy and rights - but it sure would be a big temptation to a mom who is invisible. My only beef with this book is how Clover treats her husband. Because he's a physician (a children's physician, at that) and works long and hard days, she treats him like he's a god and like she doesn't have any rights. She justifies not telling him outright that she's invisible (after he doesn't catch on after a week or two) by stating that "He's got enough on his mind/he's got enough problems/oh, look how hard he works" etc. Lady, I don't care if your husband is a brain surgeon or a rocket scientist or whatever, he married you and that means he should take AT LEAST a minimal interest in your life...including noticing that YOU'RE NO LONGER VISIBLE TO THE HUMAN EYE!!!!! I mean, grow a spine, Clover! You have a right to expect THE MAN WHO MARRIED YOU and claims to love you and who has sex with you regularly to WAKE UP and realize that you are invisible! Sheesh!!! Other than that, it was great.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jacquelynn Fritz

    What would you do if you woke up one morning and you were invisible? Panic, this is what Clover does. Worse yet, only her best friend notices. Clover's husband is to busy with his practice, her son is worried about finding a job, and her daughter is at college. She's reading the paper and notices an ad for a support group for invisible women. There she learns she's not alone and that Dexter-White a drug company is responsible. The women found that if they took Premacore, a hormone replacement, What would you do if you woke up one morning and you were invisible? Panic, this is what Clover does. Worse yet, only her best friend notices. Clover's husband is to busy with his practice, her son is worried about finding a job, and her daughter is at college. She's reading the paper and notices an ad for a support group for invisible women. There she learns she's not alone and that Dexter-White a drug company is responsible. The women found that if they took Premacore, a hormone replacement, Ostafoss, a calcium supplement, Singsall, an antidepressant, and had a Botox treatment, they would become invisible. The women have fun as when they are naked, they are totally invisible and can spy on people. Clover helps a former teacher at the high school, control bullies, stop cheating, and prevent drug use. Clover spends the day at her husband's office and sees how busy he is and the patience he has with his patients and their mothers. Clover finally tells her family when she stops her son and his friend from getting a tatoo. They are shocked that they haven't noticed before, but support Clover and the other women. The ending is rushed and I felt I was reading a summary of what happened instead of reading as it happened like the rest of the book. It seemed the author couldn't come up with ideas of what would have happened when the women organized and this is sad when this book is less than 250 pages. If the ending had been better, I would have given it more stars because until the end, I really liked the book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    I received this book as an ARC from Read-It-Forward. I had read the author's first book, Julie and Romeo, about 10 years ago on the recommendation of my mother-in-law and while it wasn't my usual choice, being very much a woman's book, it was light and enjoyable enough. Calling Invisible Women was an absolute delight! It is the story of 50-something Clover Hobart who has a busy physician husband and two grown children (one in college and one unemployed two years post college and living at home). I received this book as an ARC from Read-It-Forward. I had read the author's first book, Julie and Romeo, about 10 years ago on the recommendation of my mother-in-law and while it wasn't my usual choice, being very much a woman's book, it was light and enjoyable enough. Calling Invisible Women was an absolute delight! It is the story of 50-something Clover Hobart who has a busy physician husband and two grown children (one in college and one unemployed two years post college and living at home). Clover gets out of the shower one morning, looks in the mirror and realizes she's disappeared. She becomes visible again a few minutes later but within a short period goes invisible again -- and stays that way. And wouldn't you know it -- her family doesn't even notice! This short novel covers a lot of ground: the general invisibility of women of a certain age, how we can empower ourselves by just going ahead and *doing* and the machinations of big pharmaceutical companies. I must admit that at the outset I found the premise a bit, well, ridiculous... but it definitely grew on me and I thoroughly enjoyed the book. One last interesting fact to note: the author is the mother of novelist Anne Patchett, one of my favorites, whose latest novel also dealt with issues regarding the greed and politics of a big pharmaceutical company.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn Bashaar

    This book was light and fun, like Ray's other books. It played on the notion that older women are metaphorically invisible: no longer seen as sexually desirable or interesting in any way at all. I have certainly experienced that myself. Seriously, people will be walking right towards me and, unless I get out of the way, they would run me right over. It's like they don't see me. The boss I had at work right before my present one NEVER ASKED ME A SINGLE THING ABOUT MYSELF IN TWO YEARS. So, it is a This book was light and fun, like Ray's other books. It played on the notion that older women are metaphorically invisible: no longer seen as sexually desirable or interesting in any way at all. I have certainly experienced that myself. Seriously, people will be walking right towards me and, unless I get out of the way, they would run me right over. It's like they don't see me. The boss I had at work right before my present one NEVER ASKED ME A SINGLE THING ABOUT MYSELF IN TWO YEARS. So, it is a real "thing" that you learn to just laugh at. Ray takes this to the next level by speculating on what would happen if a 50-something woman literally became invisible? And what if there were others? And what if they banded together? She does a good job of actually making it kind of plausible. But Clover is kind of a blah, invisible character to start with, so I wasn't too invested in her. And I felt like the story wrapped up a little too quickly, like it would have been a better book if it had been just 50 pages longer. But, overall, this was a good read if you want something light and entertaining and kind of funny. Like my reviews? Check out my blog at http://www.kathrynbashaar.com/blog/

  21. 5 out of 5

    Merry

    A funny, satirical look at how so many women of a certain age feel: invisible. Clover, who has always been there for her family-cooking, cleaning, the whole nine yards-knows they would only miss her if dinner weren’t on the table when they expected it. She feels invisible, then wakes up one morning to discover she is literally is invisible. But even her husband doesn’t notice. She soon discovers she is not alone in being invisible. Many women her age are. As she learns to use her condition for g A funny, satirical look at how so many women of a certain age feel: invisible. Clover, who has always been there for her family-cooking, cleaning, the whole nine yards-knows they would only miss her if dinner weren’t on the table when they expected it. She feels invisible, then wakes up one morning to discover she is literally is invisible. But even her husband doesn’t notice. She soon discovers she is not alone in being invisible. Many women her age are. As she learns to use her condition for good and spurs others to do the same, Clover leads the way for all invisible women to be “seen” and appreciated no matter their role in life. A clever satire that skewers the pharmaceutical industry in particular and our youth obsessed society in general, Calling Invisible Women can be read and should be appreciated on several different levels.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mahoghani 23

    Pretty hilarious reading. Middle-aged housewife becomes invisible and does her family notice? Not for a long time. The story starts out funny and ends with a dramatic conclusion......people ate so used to seeing you that sometimes we become invisible. The story is fantasy-like and real simultaneously but never so farfetched that the reader will dislike the plot.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mandolin

    Somewhere along her journey from star reporter to stay-at-home doctor's wife, Clover Hobart slowly disappeared. Giving her life to her two children and her husband, she lost herself in the process. Only when she physically disappears, however, does Clover realize how little the people around her even notice. Thankfully, a twist of fate brings Clover into contact with a small group of other women who have suffered the same fate. Ranging from previous television personalities to high school teache Somewhere along her journey from star reporter to stay-at-home doctor's wife, Clover Hobart slowly disappeared. Giving her life to her two children and her husband, she lost herself in the process. Only when she physically disappears, however, does Clover realize how little the people around her even notice. Thankfully, a twist of fate brings Clover into contact with a small group of other women who have suffered the same fate. Ranging from previous television personalities to high school teachers, the women come from all walks of life and share only two common bonds: their invisibility and their medication history. Unfortunately, they've had little success with approaching the pharmaceutical company that produced the medication that they believe has caused their problem. As Clover gets adjusted to her invisibility, she realizes that she no longer fears what others think of her and has the ability to change the world around her with her invisible actions. Her invisibility is her new strength! Gaining confidence in her ability to bring about good, Clover spurs the other women in her group to follow her example. As they revel in their new sense of empowerment, they unite to bring down the evil drug corporation. Clover's newfound confidence also paves the way for changes in her personal relationships as well and just may bring about the connection and notice that she's needed for so long - even if she never becomes physically visible again. Though I'm not yet a member of the target audience for this book, I must say that I enjoyed it immensely. Its message about seeing other people instead of just taking them for granted is so important! How easily we ignore those around us - even our closest friends and family members - without even realizing that we are doing it. I think that Clover's mother-in-law sums it up nicely when she tells Clover, "It's possible that that's the lesson in all of this, not who sees you, but who you can learn to see." How very true. The best aspect of this book is the way it combines humor with deep meaning. The overall theme could be very depressing if not dealt with a light expert hand like Jeanne Ray obviously has. It's an enjoyable story as well as a hard-hitting lesson. (For example, I loved Clover's adaptation to being invisible and naked and her observations about her plane ride: "I would go to Philadelphia alone with no clothes, no ticket, no money, identification or phone. Oddly enough, the part that worried me most was the idea of not having a book.") Enjoyable, enriching read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    May contain a possible spoiler...... This book is so senseless that I'm having a hard time reviewing it. I've read other books by Jeanne Ray and have enjoyed her wit and sarcasm (except did not expecially care for "Romeo and Julie Get Lucky" as much as her other books). This effort hardly seems written by the same person -- I wonder if Ms. Ray knows that someone is writing books and using her name!!! Clover becomes invisible (literally) and some people in her family don't notice! Good grief! Her May contain a possible spoiler...... This book is so senseless that I'm having a hard time reviewing it. I've read other books by Jeanne Ray and have enjoyed her wit and sarcasm (except did not expecially care for "Romeo and Julie Get Lucky" as much as her other books). This effort hardly seems written by the same person -- I wonder if Ms. Ray knows that someone is writing books and using her name!!! Clover becomes invisible (literally) and some people in her family don't notice! Good grief! Her good friend notices, but her good friends' sons don't notice (except when they're outdoors waiting for the school bus - huh???). Her husband and son and daughter don't notice, but her mother-in-law does and finds it unremarkable! Originally I thought her being "invisible" was just a metaphor, but as the invisibility story became entangled with the drug company that supposedly "caused" it, the metaphor idea became a lost issue and the whole story just became a big mess. She finds a group of invisible women and they go around town performing little invisible "tricks" to fill their invisible little heads for the day. And, on and on and on. Usually, Ms. Ray fills her books with laughter and joy -- this one fell flat with an invisible splat!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    * MILD SPOILERS* The premise here is great. Really great. The execution? Not so much. I enjoy magical realism and I will go along for the ride, but then the things that need to be realistic really need to be so. Like when the protagonist's family finally realizes she is invisible and they don't lose their shit completely? Unrealistic. Like the pat resolutions to life's problems? Unrealistic. Look, I was an amotivated, unemployed young adult as well, and this is not so cleanly rectified as with an * MILD SPOILERS* The premise here is great. Really great. The execution? Not so much. I enjoy magical realism and I will go along for the ride, but then the things that need to be realistic really need to be so. Like when the protagonist's family finally realizes she is invisible and they don't lose their shit completely? Unrealistic. Like the pat resolutions to life's problems? Unrealistic. Look, I was an amotivated, unemployed young adult as well, and this is not so cleanly rectified as with an "invisible-mom-inspires-me-to-go-to-law school-and-then-I-get-into-Columbia-of-all-places" story line. And then there are just the unanswered questions. Why is Jo Ellen so passive-aggressive? Why in the hell does Gilda attend an invisible person's meeting? Why does the story move along so slowly for dozens upon dozens of pages and then all of a sudden there is a mad and desperate flurry of narrative activity in the last 20 pages? Was the author held to a strict page count? Did she have a palpitation-inducing "uh-oh" moment and condense what should have been at least another 50 pages into 15? I actually put the book down feeling baffled. It's memorable, if for no other reason than that. Great idea, lots of potential, left me really wanting more.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Naomi

    Although this book was out of my normal genre, I found myself really liking this short read. I liked it enough that I will probably read some of the author's other books. Who can't relate to this book when you have been married forever and are mommy and wife. I just loved the antics and interactions of these women and with Clover and her family, who don't realize she is "missing"! The writing is just plain fun, as well. On what could be a real downer topic, Ms. Ray keeps it extremely light. I fo Although this book was out of my normal genre, I found myself really liking this short read. I liked it enough that I will probably read some of the author's other books. Who can't relate to this book when you have been married forever and are mommy and wife. I just loved the antics and interactions of these women and with Clover and her family, who don't realize she is "missing"! The writing is just plain fun, as well. On what could be a real downer topic, Ms. Ray keeps it extremely light. I found myself chuckling out loud at certain lines, mainly because I could see myself saying it! I think this book would be really appropriate for those women of a certain age and us who are quickly approaching it!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amy Neftzger

    I picked up the book because the concept intrigued me. A woman wakes up one day to discover that she's become invisible and no one notices, least of all her husband. One of the things that appealed to me is that I think this is often true - many women as we become older also become somewhat invisible to those around us. I enjoyed this book, which tackles the subject in a lighthearted manner. In no way is this a fault - in fact, I think it's a strength. I like the fact that I can laugh over a som I picked up the book because the concept intrigued me. A woman wakes up one day to discover that she's become invisible and no one notices, least of all her husband. One of the things that appealed to me is that I think this is often true - many women as we become older also become somewhat invisible to those around us. I enjoyed this book, which tackles the subject in a lighthearted manner. In no way is this a fault - in fact, I think it's a strength. I like the fact that I can laugh over a somewhat painful experience because it's happened to all of us at some point. The underlying message of the book is that we should take notice of what's important to us in order to recognize the magnitude of that importance. It's a good message.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    50 something year old Clover wakes up one day...invisible. Literally, not just figuratively, invisible. However, no one seems to notice! Not her busy husband, her stressed son, or her flighty daughter. With her newly opened eyes, she learns she is not alone. Women across the country have been turned invisible and no one notices! It was an interesting read. It could have been better. The writing flowed smoothly but didn't bring me in. The main character sings the praises of her children a bit muc 50 something year old Clover wakes up one day...invisible. Literally, not just figuratively, invisible. However, no one seems to notice! Not her busy husband, her stressed son, or her flighty daughter. With her newly opened eyes, she learns she is not alone. Women across the country have been turned invisible and no one notices! It was an interesting read. It could have been better. The writing flowed smoothly but didn't bring me in. The main character sings the praises of her children a bit much. It might have been better if it focused on women feeling invisible, or the cultural tendency to think less of women as they age. Instead, it turns into an cliche story an evil, money hungry company. Not a bad read. Just okay.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I'd venture to guess that most of us have felt invisible at one time or another. Having said that, however, I suspect that those of us who are wives and mothers may consider this more of a chronic condition. That makes this book very relatable. There's an actual story here, not just an allegory. It's told with satire and touches upon social norms, women's roles, drug companies, etc., but at its core, it's about self-worth. Ray's depiction of invisibility is spot-on, from its characteristics to t I'd venture to guess that most of us have felt invisible at one time or another. Having said that, however, I suspect that those of us who are wives and mothers may consider this more of a chronic condition. That makes this book very relatable. There's an actual story here, not just an allegory. It's told with satire and touches upon social norms, women's roles, drug companies, etc., but at its core, it's about self-worth. Ray's depiction of invisibility is spot-on, from its characteristics to taking advantage of it. I would take the title to heart and add it to your to-read list!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    First the bright red cover caught my eye while browsing new books at the Library. Then, the blurb on the book flap captured my interest. I can relate to feeling invisible at times! Here goes....hope it's fun! Update: Yes, it was fun! Jeanne Ray challenges 'invisible' people to re-direct their energies in a positive way & discover a new passion for living through this delightfully funny and thought provoking novel. First the bright red cover caught my eye while browsing new books at the Library. Then, the blurb on the book flap captured my interest. I can relate to feeling invisible at times! Here goes....hope it's fun! Update: Yes, it was fun! Jeanne Ray challenges 'invisible' people to re-direct their energies in a positive way & discover a new passion for living through this delightfully funny and thought provoking novel.

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