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Women Like Us

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Susan Jones, a brash and ballsy chef who hopscotches from one demanding restaurant job to the next, was barely in her 20's when she married and had a son, Henry. But after her marriage to Andrew fell apart, she ceded most of the raising of the baby to her mother-in-law, the very opinionated Edith Vale, a woman as formidable and steely as her stiff blond bouffant, the verit Susan Jones, a brash and ballsy chef who hopscotches from one demanding restaurant job to the next, was barely in her 20's when she married and had a son, Henry. But after her marriage to Andrew fell apart, she ceded most of the raising of the baby to her mother-in-law, the very opinionated Edith Vale, a woman as formidable and steely as her stiff blond bouffant, the veritable helmet that helps her soldier through life. Now, after letting Henry drift away, Susan is determined to make things right, but just as mother and son seem to make headway after embarking on a cross-country road-trip, things take a darker turn. When the family reconvenes in California, everybody must fight to find humor and courage in the face of a situation that threatens to change them all forever.


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Susan Jones, a brash and ballsy chef who hopscotches from one demanding restaurant job to the next, was barely in her 20's when she married and had a son, Henry. But after her marriage to Andrew fell apart, she ceded most of the raising of the baby to her mother-in-law, the very opinionated Edith Vale, a woman as formidable and steely as her stiff blond bouffant, the verit Susan Jones, a brash and ballsy chef who hopscotches from one demanding restaurant job to the next, was barely in her 20's when she married and had a son, Henry. But after her marriage to Andrew fell apart, she ceded most of the raising of the baby to her mother-in-law, the very opinionated Edith Vale, a woman as formidable and steely as her stiff blond bouffant, the veritable helmet that helps her soldier through life. Now, after letting Henry drift away, Susan is determined to make things right, but just as mother and son seem to make headway after embarking on a cross-country road-trip, things take a darker turn. When the family reconvenes in California, everybody must fight to find humor and courage in the face of a situation that threatens to change them all forever.

30 review for Women Like Us

  1. 5 out of 5

    Joni Dee

    Women Like us is the debut novel by Jason Pomerance. It tells the story of Susan, a chef in her late 30s, whose life's course had been somewhat re-routed by an unexpected pregnancy and marriage at college age, to Andrew, a privileged law student from a Pasadena “aristocratic" family. Having divorced, and carried on with their respected lives, Henry their son had been practically brought up by the all mighty Grandma, Edith (Edie) Vale, a control freak, old fashioned Pasadena strong woman, who run Women Like us is the debut novel by Jason Pomerance. It tells the story of Susan, a chef in her late 30s, whose life's course had been somewhat re-routed by an unexpected pregnancy and marriage at college age, to Andrew, a privileged law student from a Pasadena “aristocratic" family. Having divorced, and carried on with their respected lives, Henry their son had been practically brought up by the all mighty Grandma, Edith (Edie) Vale, a control freak, old fashioned Pasadena strong woman, who run her house and family like a tight ship. When Susan has a midlife crisis and decides to take a road trip with Henry, that’s where our story truly begins… or has it actually begun years and years ago? Anyone who knows me, knows that this is not my particular go-to genre. Having disclaimed that, I must confess that I could not leave this book alone. The story is intriguing, the characters are deep and complex (you simply want to know more of all the little stories the writer so eloquently throws your way here and there); the rapports between the characters are intriguing (i.e. Susan still being artificially entwined into the family); and the dialogues are witty and full of subtle humour which reminded me a lot of Howard Jacobson's writing style. Give this awesome tale a chance - you won't regret!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Asphahani

    When you're a teenager, they tell you to read The Catcher in the Rye, right? Well, I must've not been paying attention because I missed that bit of good advice and didn't make that essential young-man connection with Holden Caulfield until I was 22 (I think). Why am I saying this? Because I'm here to tell you that "Women Like Us" is the book you need to read when you hit your thirties. (I'm 34.) There is so much meaning and emotion packed in to the pages of Author Jason Pomerance's story, I hardl When you're a teenager, they tell you to read The Catcher in the Rye, right? Well, I must've not been paying attention because I missed that bit of good advice and didn't make that essential young-man connection with Holden Caulfield until I was 22 (I think). Why am I saying this? Because I'm here to tell you that "Women Like Us" is the book you need to read when you hit your thirties. (I'm 34.) There is so much meaning and emotion packed in to the pages of Author Jason Pomerance's story, I hardly know where to begin deconstructing it all. In fact, why bother - go read it for yourself. You'll find a cast of vulnerable, deeply developed characters that are convinced they don't have much value to lose in their own lives, but by the end they've undergone some truly powerful transformations. If that last explanation didn't make sense (I'm dancing around spoilers here!), then just settle for this: this book really, really resonated with me. I think this is the kind of book I needed to read while creeping closer and closer to middle age. I needed to see that I'm not the only one with this kind of dread at settling for my lot in life, at regretting the choices I've made that've brought me "here", at struggling to figure out exactly where the f*** "here" is anyway... Look, does "Women Like Us" belong in that genre I cringingly think of as "chick lit"? Probably. Science fiction and fantasy are kinda my bread and jam - but there is just something so enchanting about the style in which Jason Pomerance writes that I deeply, deeply respect. The story mostly focuses on two women - Susan and Edie - and I'd estimate that roughly half of the writing is 'flashback' sequences that merge absolutely seamlessly with the present situations in their lives [which are spiraling out of control!]. In that sense, this book's structure sort of stands as a defining metaphor itself: It's vital to know where you've been in order to figure out where you're going. I loved "Women Like Us" because I think I learned a lot from reading it. I stepped outside my literary comfort zone and was rewarded with a truly great reading experience. Give it 40 pages worth of your time and see if it hooks you. I can't recommend it for everyone, but for "Readers Like Me" I'd bet you really can't go wrong. **Ahh, full disclosure: I consider Jason Pomerance a friend. Also, he graciously used my initial inkshares review as a blurb on the back of his book. But please don't think I am biased towards his novel or that this review is a 'favor'. The truth is that I admittedly hesitated to read something that was not my usual, but I was ultimately rewarded for doing so. And all I hope is that this review has expressed that genuine sentiment.**

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jacqui Castle

    Women Like Us is an endearing debut by author Jason Pomerance. Pomerance's writing is rich and engrossing, and he draws you into the world he has created with a gentle ease. I truly enjoyed his style and will be picking up anything Pomerance comes up with in the future. Women Like Us follows the story of a woman in her 30s who is re-examining certain choices she made in her past. She then sets out on a mission to reconnect with her teenage son, who is being raised by her ex-mother-in-law. Each c Women Like Us is an endearing debut by author Jason Pomerance. Pomerance's writing is rich and engrossing, and he draws you into the world he has created with a gentle ease. I truly enjoyed his style and will be picking up anything Pomerance comes up with in the future. Women Like Us follows the story of a woman in her 30s who is re-examining certain choices she made in her past. She then sets out on a mission to reconnect with her teenage son, who is being raised by her ex-mother-in-law. Each chapter of Women Like Us was so packed with self-reflection-inducing emotion, that I found myself feeling a bit like a freshly squeezed orange each time I closed the book for the day. There were multiple times I thought the story was veering towards a cliche, but Pomerance time and again flawlessly weaved in a different direction. I found myself wanting to know more about what inspired Pomerance to create these deeply-developed and refreshingly-human characters. A breezy but powerful read that suggests it is never too late to right past wrongs and encourages expanding the traditional definition of family.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Billy O’Keefe

    "Nobody had friendships like this anymore, it seemed. It took too much time, was too much work." It's unsettling to imagine the many ways Women Like Us could have gone wrong. It's a road trip story that could have leaned on cliche. It's a story of reconciliation that could have mired itself in melodrama. It's a multigenerational story that could have continually looked backward in order to shy away from moving ahead. And, so as not to spoil any story beats, that's not all. But those fears do not "Nobody had friendships like this anymore, it seemed. It took too much time, was too much work." It's unsettling to imagine the many ways Women Like Us could have gone wrong. It's a road trip story that could have leaned on cliche. It's a story of reconciliation that could have mired itself in melodrama. It's a multigenerational story that could have continually looked backward in order to shy away from moving ahead. And, so as not to spoil any story beats, that's not all. But those fears do not come to pass. WLU is full of little surprises that disrupt those old themes, and it lifts itself with a sly but wholly endearing sense of humor that colors its characters fully in. Those characters' histories comprise multiple times and places, but at no point does WLU dwell on and stall out in the past while assembling that history. All of it contributes to a story that presses ahead at a splendid pace until it ends as satisfyingly as it began.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bart Gallagher

    For someone that devours historical fiction and fantastic adventure novels it was odd for me to pick up Women Like Us. I'm so happy I did. The story of the Vale-Jones-Lee-Entrekein-etc family was super entertaining. As a millennial in their 20's I loved the character Henry, but Edith Vale stole the show for me. "Mrs. Vale" as a character was so entertaining to follow, even though it is almost impossible for me to connect with a grandmother on the verge of her 70's, regardless she's my hero. Anyo For someone that devours historical fiction and fantastic adventure novels it was odd for me to pick up Women Like Us. I'm so happy I did. The story of the Vale-Jones-Lee-Entrekein-etc family was super entertaining. As a millennial in their 20's I loved the character Henry, but Edith Vale stole the show for me. "Mrs. Vale" as a character was so entertaining to follow, even though it is almost impossible for me to connect with a grandmother on the verge of her 70's, regardless she's my hero. Anyone can fall in love with this book even if you're a lord of the rings junkie like me!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Peter Ryan

    An absolute gem of a book - humorous and moving with a great group of believable characters. Pomerance has a delightful touch with both dialogue and description. I look forward to reading more of his work in the future.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Craig Munro

    Not my usual genre, but I found Women Like Us to be extremely well written and very hard to put down once I got into it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Surprisingly good Well at first when I noticed it was a man that wrote this book, I was hesitant, but very well written, good characters, good storyline...a bit of a twist in the end. I would definitely recommend this book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    jill johnson

    Highly recommmend Great writing, felt like I was with each character. Interesting dynamics of relationships over time and experiences. Funny and entertaining.

  10. 4 out of 5

    sherry beth

    Love this story I had read it once, then a second time. Highly recommend. A surprise to find the author was a man, when so much of it is about how women think. Also a pleasant surprise to read he is a graduate of Middlebury college. I grew up in Sudbury, South of Middlebury.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Linda Epach

    College student Susan marries upper class Andrew when she becomes pregnant with Henry, at his mother Edith's insistence. When the marriage falls apart, mother-in-law Edith Vale takes over custody of Henry. She is a strong, opinionated lady of the 50's who country clubbed with the ladies and ran a very tight ship. Susan moves across country and rarely sees her son. Determined to win back Henry's love, Susan quits her job and takes him on a cross-country road-trip from his east coast boarding scho College student Susan marries upper class Andrew when she becomes pregnant with Henry, at his mother Edith's insistence. When the marriage falls apart, mother-in-law Edith Vale takes over custody of Henry. She is a strong, opinionated lady of the 50's who country clubbed with the ladies and ran a very tight ship. Susan moves across country and rarely sees her son. Determined to win back Henry's love, Susan quits her job and takes him on a cross-country road-trip from his east coast boarding school back home to his grandmother in California. The trip sets in motion a chain of events that find Henry, his grandmother Mrs Vale, Susan, Henry and his new wife and their children living together and working a repairing many broken relationships. The book surprised me by being both an easy read and an emotional monster that made me laugh and cry several times. Well done!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kilian Metcalf

    I bought this book with low expectations. What man would dare call his book 'Women Like Us' without writing under a pseudonym? Well, as it turned out, this is a pretty good read. At first I thought is was to be the story of Susan and Andrew, an freelance chef and her boyfriend blueblood Andrew. Ultimately, though the story is taken over by her pushy, efficient mother-in-law, the Pasadena matriarch Edith. The book crackles when Edith is around, and soon I found myself caught up in the story. Brav I bought this book with low expectations. What man would dare call his book 'Women Like Us' without writing under a pseudonym? Well, as it turned out, this is a pretty good read. At first I thought is was to be the story of Susan and Andrew, an freelance chef and her boyfriend blueblood Andrew. Ultimately, though the story is taken over by her pushy, efficient mother-in-law, the Pasadena matriarch Edith. The book crackles when Edith is around, and soon I found myself caught up in the story. Bravo, Edith! My blog: The Interstitial Reader https://theinterstitialreader.wordpre...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kim Bakos

    This was a good book that explored family relationships and dynamics. I did wish that there had been more focus on the evolving relationship between Susan, the main character, and her teenaged son Henry. It is obvious that they are distant and have plenty of unresolved issues between them at the start of the book, and things have been resolved by the end, but there wasn't a lot in the plot development that really showed how/why that changed. This was a good book that explored family relationships and dynamics. I did wish that there had been more focus on the evolving relationship between Susan, the main character, and her teenaged son Henry. It is obvious that they are distant and have plenty of unresolved issues between them at the start of the book, and things have been resolved by the end, but there wasn't a lot in the plot development that really showed how/why that changed.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Josette

    I definitely enjoyed this book and didn't want to put it down for very long so I could keep the gathered momentum going. There were a few side stories/histories that really helped build the characters and link things together - without straying too much off the main story, it helped the story - and allowed you get to know them in such endearing ways. [I loved Edith...] I wish the book could've kept going! Just finished it and I'm still teary at the end..... I definitely enjoyed this book and didn't want to put it down for very long so I could keep the gathered momentum going. There were a few side stories/histories that really helped build the characters and link things together - without straying too much off the main story, it helped the story - and allowed you get to know them in such endearing ways. [I loved Edith...] I wish the book could've kept going! Just finished it and I'm still teary at the end.....

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    I loved Women Like Us. The character development was wonderful. Each character contributes to the plot in a way that makes you feel invested in their lives. Jason Pomerance tells this story with empathy and humor. It was a great read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Mockus

    I won this book from Goodreads and was very pleasantly surprised by the story. I am sure that there are people who will identify strongly with the character's lives. I will be watching for more from this author. A great story, and one you won't forget for a long time! I won this book from Goodreads and was very pleasantly surprised by the story. I am sure that there are people who will identify strongly with the character's lives. I will be watching for more from this author. A great story, and one you won't forget for a long time!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cathryn Davies

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book! Loved the variety of characters. Is it crazy that I found bits of me and my family in them? The highs and the lows, the struggles and the triumphs were believable and engaging.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Smith

    Won in the Goodreads Giveaways

  19. 5 out of 5

    carolyn jacobs

    loved iy tTHIS was a good read. There was great depth of characters but it was fast to read and very entertaining.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    What a gem this book turned out to be!

  21. 4 out of 5

    S.E.

    I tend to read things like detective fiction, noir, and sci-fi. This book is none of those things, but it was a very welcome change of pace from bleak dystopias and hardboiled, world-weary misanthropy. In fact, it might just have been the antidote to those ailments. This book is impressive. Pomerance's command of the narrative inspires me, as an author. It's fiction, but it feels real; it reads like a history. The characters are realized and authentic. Not one word or action seemed "out of charac I tend to read things like detective fiction, noir, and sci-fi. This book is none of those things, but it was a very welcome change of pace from bleak dystopias and hardboiled, world-weary misanthropy. In fact, it might just have been the antidote to those ailments. This book is impressive. Pomerance's command of the narrative inspires me, as an author. It's fiction, but it feels real; it reads like a history. The characters are realized and authentic. Not one word or action seemed "out of character" among any of the players. It's such a pleasure to consume a book by an author who knows his creations so well. The story is well-plotted. It hits the beats the way a story by a practiced writer should, without ever feeling formulaic. His well-developed characters invested me in what they felt, did, and experienced. I love food and have worked in restaurant kitchens, so I especially enjoyed his renderings of that life, and the little recipes he sometimes smattered into the narrative (wish he'd done that more, honestly). I'm inclined to give this a 4.5, due to a few minor details such as that thoughts weren't rendered in italics and, so, that sometimes led to the narrative voice and the characters' internal voices getting muddled. And there is one point where the pacing feels rushed, but the leap forward makes sense in light of what had happened. Staying in real time might have bogged down the pace of the novel, but I would have liked to have seen more of what occurs during that flash forward. Although, I recognize that he may well have written it but been forced by the publisher to cut the manuscript for length. There is no half-star option, however, so I'm rounding up on the strength of everything else I've mentioned.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tony Valdez

    A fantastic debut novel from Jason Pomerance. Not my usual genre, but it sucked me in. Without giving much away, Women Like Us revolves around Susan, a woman in her late 30s, struggling with the choices she's made in life and her resulting estrangement from her family. This leads to a story of reconciliation, loss, and enduring strength that genuinely surprised me rather than falling into tropes. The characters are real, and I would love to see them on film someday. Edith Vale is a treasure. A b A fantastic debut novel from Jason Pomerance. Not my usual genre, but it sucked me in. Without giving much away, Women Like Us revolves around Susan, a woman in her late 30s, struggling with the choices she's made in life and her resulting estrangement from her family. This leads to a story of reconciliation, loss, and enduring strength that genuinely surprised me rather than falling into tropes. The characters are real, and I would love to see them on film someday. Edith Vale is a treasure. A brilliant indie-drama vibe, and a story that drives home the strength in family as life's hardships unfold.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Susan Hamilton

    Really enjoyable book -- and the character of Edith Vale is priceless. There is humor, pain and very real, relatable characters in this book. I would definitely read more from author Jason Pomerance when they come out.

  24. 5 out of 5

    STEPHEN R JAMES

    Great read, perfect feel good novel. I Am glad I found it. All women are the same in certain ways, we just don't know it. This author got it, he knows women, probably better than they know themselves. Great read, perfect feel good novel. I Am glad I found it. All women are the same in certain ways, we just don't know it. This author got it, he knows women, probably better than they know themselves.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

    Sometimes in the book it was hard to tell whether or not the character was remembering something or if it was happening in the present. So that part was a little confusing.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Susie

  27. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Huang

  28. 5 out of 5

    Chris Templeton

  29. 5 out of 5

    Stacy

  30. 4 out of 5

    Judith

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