The Bunko Babes is written from the perspective of Becca, a 37-year-old mother of 13-year-old twins. The story begins on a weekly Bunko (a dice game) night, this one being held at Becca’s home with an “Under the Sea” theme.
We are introduced to her friends from childhood, Madison, Jessica, Autumn and Kathleen who have remained close through these Bunko games. We also meet the newer friends, Karen, Michelle and Mercedes. These women are bonded together spiritually and emotionally, and it is ultimately their faith which pulls them through the hard times.
With eight women to get to know, in addition to mothers, husbands, children and careers, the story is initially difficult to follow. I believe this is due to the fact that the novel begins as if the reader has been attending these games since the outset. Real life does not pause for the reader to catch up, and neither does this book. That is what eventually makes it so realistic.
During this first game, we discover that Becca’s mother has just gotten engaged, much to Becca’s horror. Becca was extremely close to her father, who has not yet been dead a year and she cannot accept that her mother would do this to her father.
Jessica discovers that her fallopian tubes are scarred irreparably by an infection and she cannot have children. Further along in the book we find out that Jessica and Becca believe that this infection was the result of the abortion she had when she was 16. We also discover that Becca has been holding a grudge against Jessica for having engaged in premarital sex and its subsequent consequences. Becca’s faith has strong rules which she feels that Jessica violated.
Madison discovers her husband is cheating on her, but does not share it with her friends until he ultimately moves out.
These women, who meet weekly and love each other deeply, but keep a lot of secrets from one another. It is an interesting story because, even when they need each other the most, they keep their struggles to themselves. Becca begins having strange and eventually debilitating physical symptoms. She does not tell her friends until nearly the end of the book.
Knowing something is wrong with Becca that she won’t share upsets Jessica, because they are supposed to be best friends. However, Jessica has been keeping a secret of her own for 20 years regarding that abortion. Jessica also has some feelings of her own regarding Becca’s mother’s impending marriage that she can’t share.