Christie Tate’s group was the last book I read in 2020 (I think). I was browsing the shelves of Gertrude & Alice (as usual) unsure of what to read next as I made my way to a pile of books written for Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine book club – aka the holy – handpicked were the grail of publishing and one of the easiest ways to guarantee mass sale of a title. Dubbed by some as the new high priestess of book clubs, there is little doubt about the impact the Hollywood star’s stamp of approval can have on sales. Megan Miranda’s 10th novel, The Last House Guest, sold 892 copies in the week leading up to the selection for Reese’s Book Club. in the week after, 5,494 were sold. It was the day before I went to Byron Bay to see the New Year, and since I was planning on spending most of my time on the beach, I wanted an easy and addicting read, and so when I read the blurb of Group made it an easy choice to buy.
Group book review
I’ve always loved reading memoirs – places I stopped on my way home by Meg Fee, Wild by Cheryl Strayed, and The Best of Us by Joyce Maynard are three of my all-time favorites – a preference I think is due to the fact that I am naturally interested in other people’s lives. While I love novels – and never tire of reading them – a fond memory has something that often gets my attention in ways that fiction sometimes doesn’t. So it was no surprise that I found Group by Christie Tate a difficult book.
Group is a story about therapy, friendships and the intricacies of romantic relationships. It is exciting and entertaining read about the healing powers of Christie’s therapist Dr. Rosen and how learning to trust the people around her was key to Tate’s personal transformation.
I liked the Chicago setting and the colorful cast of characters. I liked Tate’s candor and his often ironic sense of humor, and I loved reading about Tate’s unconventional group therapy and its life-changing consequences.
An Undeniable Book Told With Honesty And Joke As Tate Takes Down A Path To Finding Himself And The Human Connection, Group was a brilliant book to end 2020 and one that is sure to make for an exciting read.
Group of Christie Tate Summary
Christie Tate had just been named top student in her law class and was finally getting her eating disorder under control. Then why was she driving around Chicago dreaming of her own death? Why did she imagine ending the isolation and sadness that still plagued her despite her successes?
Enter Dr. Rosen, a therapist who calmly assures her that he can change her life if she joins one of his psychotherapy groups. She just has to show up and be honest. About everything – her eating habits, childhood, sexual history, etc. Christie is skeptical and insists that she is incurable. But Dr. Rosen publishes a nine word recipe that will change everything: “You don’t need a cure, you need a witness.
Thus begins your entry into the strange, terrifying, and ultimately life-changing world of group therapy. Christie is initially led by Dr. Rosen’s outlandish instructions are deterred, but when her defense breaks down and she tells Dr. Trusting Rosen and relying on the meetings and prescribed nightly phone calls with various group members, she begins to understand what it means to bond.
Group is deliciously addicting read, and with Christie as our guide – skeptical of her own capacity for connection and intimacy, but hopeful despite herself – we get a front row seat for the daring, exciting, painful and fun journey that this is group therapy – a little explored process that breaks you down and then puts you back together so that all the pieces finally fit.
Christie Tate Author Bio
Christie O. Tate is a Chicago-based writer and essayist. Her work has been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Pithead Chapel, McSweeney’s, Motherwell, Entropy Magazine, A Perfect Wedding, Together.com, Brain, Child, and others. Her debut Memory Group, released in October 2020, was a bestseller from Reese’s Book Club Pick and the New York Times.
If you loved Group: How One Therapist and a circle of strangers who saved my life from Christie Tate, you might also like one of Reese Witherspoon’s other addicting book club tips.
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