Did you know that the origin of the word gossip in English is ‘god-sibling’? It’s the talk between people who are godparents to the same child, people who have a legitimate loving interest in the person they talk about. It’s talk that weaves a net of support and connection beneath the people you want to protect.
Lovie, Dinah, and Avis met when they were students at Miss Pratt’s boarding school. Lovie and Dinah were both scholarship students and they became fast friends. Avis was older so they didn’t know her that well in school.
Lovie didn’t have money for college so she apprenticed for a fancy clothing store, eventually owning one of her own. She caters to the rich and famous, which include both Dinah and Avis. They both love Lovie, but they don’t love each other. Lovie is the godmother of Dinah’s son and when he falls in love with Avis’s daughter, she’s thrilled. No one else seems to be, though, and, in the end, she finds herself caught in the middle of a horrible tragedy.
Gossip, by Beth Gutcheon, is told from Lovie’s point of view. She’s initially unsure of herself at Miss Pratt’s since she’s attending on a scholarship and thrown in with so many students from moneyed families. Even though Dinah’s a scholarship student as well, she’s full of confidence and bravado and takes Lovie under her wing. I appreciated the friendship these women shared and understood Lovie’s desire to have her friends get along.
I really enjoyed following the lives of Lovie and her friends through the years, even though there wasn’t a lot of action in the book until close to the end. By that point, I felt like I knew the characters very well and I was floored by what happened. I may have even gasped. I felt for all of the women and appreciated Lovie’s loyalty to her friends – she was put in a very difficult position and tried to make the best of it. Those who enjoy books about women’s friendships should enjoy this one as well.
I listened to the audio version of Gossip – it’s narrated by Kimberly Farr and I thought she was a good fit for the book. The audio version lasts approximately eight and a half hours.