The Goddesses: A Novel
Nancy and Chuck have done what others only dream of: they’ve ditched their regular old life and moved to Kona, Hawaii, with their twin teenage sons. They’re leaving behind Chuck’s affair with a blonde named Shelly and his devastating problem with alcohol; what they’re gaining is paradise. The twins play water polo, Chuck works at Costco, and Nancy tries to branch out from her usual housewifely activities. When she begins taking yoga from a teacher named Ana, Nancy’s entire life transforms. Ana is beautiful, magnetic, interesting–and she sees Nancy as her soulmate. The women embark on an all-consuming friendship, intent on bettering the world and themselves. When Ana’s idea of karmic justice becomes warped, Nancy is in too deep to protest–finding herself on the wrong side of karma, not to mention the wrong side of the law. And, of course, Ana is definitely not the goddess she seems to be.
The whirlwind friendship between Ana and Nancy is compelling, and Ana’s new-agey worldview is a nice counterweight to Nancy’s utter normalcy. When Ana’s requests go off the rails and Nancy goes along for the ride, her darkly funny view of Ana’s eccentricity makes the actual violence they commit seem remote, almost meaningless. Though Nancy’s ultimate appreciation of her life is touching, one might wish she paid just a bit more for the harm she and Ana inflicted.