Women's Fiction Book Review | THE OYS & JOYS by Marcia Feldt

Genre: Women's Fiction
Author: Marcia Feldt
Rating: 4 stars


Peaks & Valleys, Rain & Rainbows, Oys* & Joys. That's life! 

                   Every woman buries secrets. Even from herself.
Meet Lizzie, Sassie, Grace and Ruby. Boomers ready to reach for their dreams. Until baggage from the past floods their lives. And not like a hurricane. Like a tsunami.

Four women who define their moment by revisiting their past to embrace their future. Their journey--paved with an abundance of humor--sizzles with attempted murder (oops), DNA surprises (who's the father?), boatless boat slips (Oy, he puttered away on her birthday), and sexual awakenings (yep, at their age). Oh, and then there's the pole dancing for seniors.  A story of unlocking truth. Of defeating regret. Of the power of steel-laced friendships. But sometimes the back side of middle age shoves the past, and the secrets it harbors, into the present.

                                          And secrets never die quietly.                                       

*Oy or Oy vey: Terms to express exasperation, dismay, calamity or any other sense of woe. Yiddish origin but so widely used, integrated into American colloquialisms and found in dictionaries.


I was very excited to read this since I love books about friendships, and the fact that this was about a group of Baby Boomer women was particularly enticing.  And the group’s name? The Oys and Joys! How fun!

This book was written in first person with alternating points of view, so each character had a chance to tell her story through her own voice. The author did a great job developing the main characters and each one of them grew throughout the book. I appreciate that, since having so many characters can sometimes compromise the development of at least one.

However, as with many stories featuring multiple POVs, keeping track of who’s who and all of their baggage was tricky. And these characters have a lot going on. Everything from love interests to secret family members to business situations to mentally abusive spouses to sexual revelations. There is just so much to digest, along with a huge amount of peripheral characters to support the stories. And while the author did a nice job linking everyone and everything together, this book was not one you could breeze through and still get the whole story. You really need to pay attention – but the payoff is great.

While the ladies bickered so much I sometimes wondered how and why they were even friends, they did pull together when the going got tough and that was especially heartwarming. This is a true story of friendship and of navigating life’s messy waters while dealing with the added “bonus” of aging. And the ending was poignant and sweet.

Overall, this was a fun and engaging read and if you go in knowing you need to pay close attention to the plotline and the characters, I think you’ll really enjoy this one.

Reviewer's Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I've also posted a similar review over on ChickLitPlus.com.

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