Rated Reads

Calling Invisible Women

by Jeanne Ray

Rated: Moderate

Clover Hobart has a comfortable and more or less happy life. Her husband is a busy pediatrician who loves her; she has two grown children, one graduated from college and one in college. She has a small job writing a gardening column for the local newspaper. She has good friends. The downsides are that her graduate son is back at home since he can’t find work, and the small job at the paper used to be a busier one being a reporter and editor, but the newspaper business isn’t what it used to be.

Then one day she turns invisible. She realizes she can’t see herself. That’s disturbing enough, but what becomes the real issue is that pretty much no one else seems to notice. Her son doesn’t notice; her husband doesn’t notice. She continues to go about her regular business of being a wife and mom, and her loved ones just can’t tell she’s missing a face above the clothes.

The story could go any number of directions, but in this case it’s a fairly light tale that is entertaining for those of us women who are approaching “that certain age” where we start feeling invisible. We’re not young anymore; our families may take for granted all that we do to make things run smoothly and make their lives comfortable. Jeanne Ray gives her heroine a loving family who just are a touch too busy or involved to realize that she’s changed, but not so much that they’re objects of serious disappointment or anger. Clover gets to find some new strengths in herself and ways to make invisibility work for her, while everyone gets to learn something from the experience. It’s a fun read that rings true for women like her.

Rated: Moderate, for one use of strong language, and not much else. There are maybe a few uses of mild language, and there is reference to married sex but no details. Why that one use of strong language? I mean, really.

— Reviewed by Cathy Carmode Lim

Cathy Carmode Lim has been reviewing books for newspapers for more than 20 years, two of which she was a book page editor. She founded Rated Reads in January 2008.

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  • Calling Invisible Women
  • by Jeanne Ray
  • Rated: Moderate
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Reviewer: