Charlotte Wood’s honest and humorous The Weekend follows three women in their 70s as they meet to clear out their friend’s house after her passing.
Months after Sylvie’s death, her three close friends continue to grieve. Bossy former restaurateur Jude, practical intellectual Wendy and actor Adele, who’s holding on to faded dreams, all struggle to restore what is left of their friendships now that Sylvie is gone. In their short gathering at the beach house, insecurities, bitterness and secrets are revealed, shaking the very foundation of their friendships. Antagonism, which for so long has gone unexpressed, brews just beneath the surface, as the three women question what has held them together for so long.
Adele isn’t the only one struggling to adjust to her current life. Despite the sturdy image she portrays on the outside, Jude is having a hard time coping with old age. Her love life is an unspoken issue between the friends, yet all three are aware of her clandestine relationship. Wendy’s dog, Finn, is nearing death, but despite his pain, Wendy is reluctant to let him go, convinced that her commitment to him represents her unwillingness to give up on life.
The story’s pacing is steady as the friendships’ dynamics are explored, but an oncoming storm—a metaphor for an inevitable shift—throws events into high gear. Unwelcome guests introduce an additional strand of rivalry, and the three friends must come together to defend themselves against this intruder, a testament to their loyalty despite everything going on between them.
Entertaining and insightful, Wood’s impressive novel captures characters who are hard to forget.