The Reel Sisters and Their Men

Use this forum to discuss the February 2018 Book of the Month, "The Reel Sisters" by Michelle Cummings.
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CommMayo
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Re: The Reel Sisters and Their Men

Post by CommMayo »

bookowlie wrote:
25 Feb 2018, 10:41
CatInTheHat wrote:
23 Feb 2018, 17:55
I feel like the men had a reason to be there, but if they were given greater roles in the story, it would have diminished the essence of the story, the women's friendships.
You make a good point. It's always a balancing act for an author to keep some characters in the background so the main premise is not watered down. In this case, it would have probably taken the plot even more off track if the men had been featured more, since there were already five main characters!
That good ole juggling act with the huge cast of characters...

I can't help but think about the average trade paperback by Clancy or Demille: The women are pretty much afterthoughts or window dressing. I think it is fair for the men to get the same treatment in this book. In my opinion, they belong on the periphery in this case.

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Post by bookowlie »

CommMayo - Very true! There are so many books with a male protagonist where their wife or girlfriend is not fleshed out and is basically just "wallpaper" to give the guy a family life. I find especially true with male detectives in mysteries.
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Post by CommMayo »

bookowlie wrote:
25 Feb 2018, 13:58
CommMayo - Very true! There are so many books with a male protagonist where their wife or girlfriend is not fleshed out and is basically just "wallpaper" to give the guy a family life. I find especially true with male detectives in mysteries.
I'll admit to really liking New Adult romance books, for the main reason that they usually alternate POV between the man an the woman. It really allows the author to completely flesh out each character so you don't end up with the mindless male or female side character.

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Post by eBookreviewer »

In this book, I believe that men are not needed. History could develop in the same way without them.

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Post by CommMayo »

eBookreviewer wrote:
25 Feb 2018, 14:37
In this book, I believe that men are not needed. History could develop in the same way without them.
History would be a pretty short book without any men...I mean, we do need them for one vital role...

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Post by Miriam Molina »

History would be herstory without men. We can always learn from the ants and bees, lol!

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Post by Samy Lax »

I think this was a conscious effort on the part of the author. And, it was a refreshing change :)
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Post by bookowlie »

Samy Lax wrote:
27 Feb 2018, 07:48
I think this was a conscious effort on the part of the author. And, it was a refreshing change :)
I think it might have been more of a refreshing change if one of the male characters had a stronger role in the story in a positive way...not someone like Amanda's husband who became a source of conflict and stress. For example, it might have been nice to develop Amanda's high school as a male confidante and platonic friend to show how men and women can also be friends. Instead, the guy was shown as being hung up on Amanda since high school. For me, it was a stereotypical plot device to create tension between Amanda and her husband.
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Post by Kieran_Obrien »

bookowlie wrote:
27 Feb 2018, 13:00
Samy Lax wrote:
27 Feb 2018, 07:48
I think this was a conscious effort on the part of the author. And, it was a refreshing change :)
I think it might have been more of a refreshing change if one of the male characters had a stronger role in the story in a positive way...not someone like Amanda's husband who became a source of conflict and stress. For example, it might have been nice to develop Amanda's high school as a male confidante and platonic friend to show how men and women can also be friends. Instead, the guy was shown as being hung up on Amanda since high school. For me, it was a stereotypical plot device to create tension between Amanda and her husband.
After decades of women going completely under-represented and dehumanised in literature and media, it seems really nitpick-y to say that in a book filled with female characters that the men are underwritten - its almost like a taste of our own medicine - but its true! :lol:

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Post by bookowlie »

Haha. I guess I just thought giving the men more prominent roles would make the story feel less "chick lit."
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Post by Emmanae »

I'm not certain if you're saying it's a women's book meaning it's for women readers only, but if that is what you're saying, I'd have to disagree wholeheartedly. :\ Genders of characters shouldn't have anything to do with the reader base.

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Post by Miriam Molina »

That should be the ideal scenario. Readers shouldn't judge a book by its cover or by its main characters' genders.

I'm curious, though. In this forum, it seems that 90% of the posters are women. Or am I just imagining things?

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Post by Vendlyss »

I definitely don't feel that having men be more than a supporting role does anything in regards to character development for the women.

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Post by Mercy Bolo »

Had this book been all about the women, it would have bordered on what some may refer to as "toxic feminism." It was prudent of the men to be featured. This goes to show that although a woman is self-sufficient, a man will always feature in her life, even if he only plays the most minute role.
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Post by ericahs »

I think it's interesting that the men were in supporting roles. Nice flip on the usual gender dynamics
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