The Confession Club is the third book in Elizabeth Berg s Mason series, and hopefully not the last Though this book can be read as a stand alone novel, I do suggest reading the other two books first, as they add depth to the characters and to the story It is a quick read and is a perfect way to spend a chilly, rainy afternoon inside.In a nutshell, The Confession Club is about a group of women who meet monthly, in a manner similar to a book club However, instead of discussing a book, each month one of the women shares a personal story that she feels the needs to confess The other women do not judge the storyteller for her sin, but rather comfort and support her Dovetailed with the stories of the Confession Club is the plot line of Iris, who teaches baking classes and John, a homeless Vietnam Veteran who wanders into Mason We also learn about Maddy and Nola, two familiar characters from the other books of the series The three books of the Mason series are so heartwarming and lovely I wish Mason was a real town so I could move there The Confession Club is beautifully written and richly detailed with characters who come alive Elizabeth Berg s books always make me smile and leave me with a warm feeling I identify with her characters and her themes of friendship, loyalty, forgiveness, and the willingness to take some risks in life Berg remains one of my favorite authors and I look forward to reading about the residents of Mason soon Many thanks to NetGalley, the publisher, and to Elizabeth Berg for the privilege of reading an advanced digital copy of this lovely little book Five stars all the way 3.5 StarsThe Confession Clubis a group of women located in the small community of Mason, Missouri, former home of Arthur Truluv, and includes some of the notable characters that appeared in the first two books of thisMasontrilogy, as well as new, equally unforgettable characters For those who have not readThe Story of Arthur Truluv A Novel , or her follow up bookNight of Miracles A Novel,the main connection makingThe Confession Cluba part of this series are the people who knew and remember Arthur, and Arthur is only there in the memories shared by those people The Confession Club was born out of what was originally a monthly gathering of the women in this town, a chance to catch up, vent, share stories, talk about books, and swap recipes for the most part Until one day, when burdened by some personal crisis, one of them shares her story, and they gather round her to comfort her and reassure her that they, too, have their own struggles behind closed doors And that changes everything, and all their stories come spilling out, every time a woman shares her burden, they circle around Forgiveness So hard to extend to others for some people, so hard to receive for others, the idea that someone could hear their worst fears and offer something so healing seems to be, these days, such a small town value, swept aside in faster paced worlds, but so heartwarming to see it.I enjoyed this, perhaps not quite as much as the first two books but I m still glad that I took the time to read this heartwarming and charming story Pub Date 19 Nov 2019Many thanks for the ARC provided by Random House Publishing Group Random House In A Captivating Novel From The Bestselling Author Of The Story Of Arthur Truluv, A Group Of Women In Mason, Missouri Discover That Best Friends Are Made By Sharing SecretsIt All Started As A Supper Club, A Group Gathering Monthly To Share Homemade Dinners, Until The Night One Woman Made A Startling Revelation After That, The Confession Club Decided To Meet Weekly To Feast Not Only On Dinner, But On Admissions Of Misdeeds, Embarrassments, And Insecurities When Iris Winters And Maddy Harris Are Invited To The Club, They Find That It S Just What Each Of Them Needs Iris Hasn T Yet Told Anyone About The Unlikely Man Who Has Captured Her Attention, And Maddy Has Come Back Home To Escape A Problem Too Big For Her To Confront The Confession Club Is A Heartwarming And Illuminating Book About Women, Friendship, And How Sharing The Secrets We Re Afraid Of Revealing Can Actually Bring Us Closer The story flowed well enough but I was a bit disappointed in the ending. I have a confession to make I didn t really love the chapters which focused on the intimate confessions made at the weekly supper club, formed by the women who have taken Iris s baking classes But, I ve never been one to enjoy chit chat or making small talk at parties Thankfully, this club wasn t really the focus of the story As with Mason 1 and Mason 2 it s a story of a town that offers second chances and new beginnings It s always nice to catch up with the charming residents of Mason, Missouri, but this third installment is not nearly as touching as The Story of Arthur Truluv Mason 1 Not even close Definitely start there if this is a series that you plan on reading.Thank You to Netgalley, Random House and Elizabeth Berg for the digital ARC that I received in exchange for a candid review This title will be available on Nov 19, 2019 I received a free e copy of The Confession Club Mason 3 from NetGalley for my honest review.The Confession Club is about a group of women of different ages who stumble upon the cleansingh experience of confessing private or personal things to a group of friends The women in this group take turns confessing, in the effort of relieving themselves of guilt This also deepens their friendship and relationships with the friends in the group.A very sweet and entertaining story filled with friends and neighbors that you wish you had A story of love, redemption, friendship, second chances and compassion. Elizabeth Berg is back in the small town of Mason, Missouri There are familiar characters, but even if you haven t read about them before, its okay Some of the women have started a confession club, where they reveal their darkest and most personal secrets to each other Maddie and Iris are new members, but they fit right in with this group, realizing that all around are broken people, doing the best they can Theft, insecurity, suicidal thoughts, and bedroom woes there is such a level of trust that no one holds back Will Maddie get her marriage back on track Will Iris find love with the mysterious stranger Berg crafts her characters so meticulously that they seem like old friends A book to savor highly recommended. In this installment of the Mason, Missouri series, a Supper Club turns into a Confession Club, where the women disclose the secret parts of their lives Intimacy grows when we learn that our friends aren t perfect and we all carry these things inside of us That s what life is, at its best A confession club people admitting to doubts and fears and failures That s what brings us closer to one another, our imperfections I love Elizabeth Berg because her writing often gives a voice to what s in my heart, but she says it much eloquently than I could Unfortunately, of the 3 books in this series, this was my least favorite I loved that the club had members of varying ages, including women of a certain age However, the confessions often fell into the silly stealing make up or the TMI sex lives category, and none of the characters are well developed enough for me to care There s also a side story with a homeless man that made my eyes roll.Although deep issues are raised they were given a light treatment It s sweet and heartwarming and perfect for when you want a predictable sweet read For me, it was just too much of both I m the wrong reader for this book It was ok, but unmemorable I received a digital copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review This is a type of book I don t usually read but Elizabeth Berg s The Story of Arthur Truluv was pressed upon me by a lot of people like stones were pressed upon Giles Corey Just the name Truluv broke my cute meter But unlike poor Giles, I was left smiling I was pleasantly surprised I really liked it I gave it four stars and noted that while Berg s writing is so simple it reads like a primer, the characters are loveable and it s a quick and satisfying read This is 3 in the series she began with Truluv but it s not necessary to have read the other two, although if you re going to pick one, pick 1 This book is simple and sweet and there are fond reminders of Truluv and Lucille The women of the Confession Club are kind and well meaning Their confessions made me feel like I ve lived a life of unbridled hedonism since they re mea culping over stealing makeup or kissing a guy in high school who rode a motorcycle And they say things like I learned what you ve got to start with is you Okay, they re sheltered As long as I don t have to know who they vote for, that s fine.The book is like a marshmallow I never want to be so cynical I can t let go and enjoy a heartwarming book with earnest characters who put money in a swear jar I d have to use direct deposit , who really care about macaroni salad and donating to the library, and take classes such as When Chocolate Meets Peanut Butter It s a charming book The Confession Club will make a lot of women happy, give them the kind of escape they crave and make for some fun book club meetings where they recreate the cakes the ladies in the club serve Heartwarming, here, is good. There s a certain type of story or book that I classify as a Good Housekeeping tale This moniker comes from my childhood, when I would read stories from my mother s magazines such as Redbook and Good Housekeeping I haven t read either of those magazines in many years, so what I remember from way, WAY back then may not still hold true, but this is my memory Redbook stories were often edgy, with subjects and endings that didn t conform to a set pattern, and although certainly not what I would call risqu , the themes were definitely adult I loved them Good Housekeeping stories, on the other hand, were usually much predictable The stories were mostly wholesome, romantic, boy meets girl tales, with tied up in a neat little bow endings Entertaining enough, but a little boring and often sweet enough to set your teeth on edge Can you tell where I m going with this This was my first Elizabeth Berg novel, and it s going in the Good Housekeeping stack But don t get the wrong idea I really did like the book It was well written, it kept my interest, and I finished it quickly It was just slightly too sweet and neat for me.I didn t realize that this was number three in a series until after I had read it To the author s and the book s credit, it was a good stand alone story, with no need to know anything about the previous books to make this one readable The story is set in the small town of Mason, Missouri Several women from the town, ranging in ages from their 20 s to their 80 s meet once a month to have dinner and dessert and delight and disarm each other with secrets they want to confess These confessions include predictable situations such as marriage woes and other normal indiscretions A couple of admissions are a tad heavier and sometimes funnier But the Confession Club isn t really the focus of the book The lives of the group members, their loneliness, their family problems and their love stories, or lack thereof, are the main themes My favorite part of the novel revolved around a homeless man named John and his background I found his story to be touching and thought provoking Unfortunately, the author didn t delve deeply enough into John s particular situation there were teasers, but nothing substantial He was a veteran with PTSD, yet this was glossed over so lightly, when it could have been a strong, substantial storyline itself Ah, but that s not the Good Housekeeping way That would have made it hard to tie up everything in a neat package with a sparkly, sugary bow.I know I m being extremely critical of a good, decent book And I certainly don t want to spread any negative vibes about Good Housekeeping magazine it was, and still is, I m sure, a wonderful publication, with much to offer besides my memories of stories from 55 or so years ago I think this would be a good beach read, and I greatly appreciate Ms Berg s use of the English language She is a wonderful writer, even if her story was not my style I doubt that I ll read any of her other books, but I do recommend this one to those who don t want to dig too deeply into a story If I could give this 3.5 stars, I would It s certainly better than a 3 star, but I just can t push it up to a 4 Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.