To celebrate Women’s History Month, I wanted to find a unique book written by a woman. I considered several biographies and memoirs. I also considered a book which looks at American women throughout history. Then I found Calling Invisible Women by Jeanne Ray. Ray is a registered nurse in Nashville, Tennessee. She began her second career as a novelist at the age of 60. Despite her success, she continues to work as a nurse one day a week at a Nashville clinic. She is the mother of bestselling author, Ann Patchett.
Ray who is an avid reader decided to make the foray into writing when she couldn’t find meaningful characters her own age in books.
When asked to describe herself she uses the word, “gumption.” I respect that and her body of work is a testament to her gumption. Ray writes about mature women and their grown children. She uses humor and a forgiving spirit to describe aging and she proves that romance need not diminish with age.
While any of her novels would have been appropriate for this month, I chose Calling Invisible Women because I believe most women especially those of us past 40 can feel invisible at some point in our lives.
I've often heard women of all ages speak of being invisible or at least feeling invisible. I've felt invisible myself. Ray has taken that feeling and made it a physical fact in her novel. She approaches her subject with humor and a startling dose of plausibility.
If we are honest, most of us could be invisible for some time before anyone really noticed. Is this our own doing? Have we spent our adult lives trying so hard to be all things to all people that we've lost the spark that made us unique and worth notice?
Do we let ourselves be taken for granted or are we the ones taking our value or what seems to be our lack of value for granted? In this book women are actually becoming invisible and there is a real cause. No spoilers here, you'll have to read the book to find out why and how these women come together to find their voices and fight to return to the world of flesh and bone.
Jeanne Ray is also the author of Eat Cake, Julie and Romeo, Step-Ball-Change, and Julie and Romeo Get Lucky. You can find her books in local book shops, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.
Photos taken from the author’s website.