The idea for The Writing Circle is excellent. A writing circle is a closed part of society for many people. Avid readers want to know more about writers. This offered a peek into what goes on behind the scenes. That being said, I was disappointed in the novel. The writers in the writing circle were all very self-absorbed, jealous people with the possible exception of Virginia. I didn't feel interested in any of them, if I hadn't been reading the book for a First Look, I probably wouldn't have finished it.
The presentation of the characters dragged without much plot in the early chapters. There was a great deal of back story, much more that I felt was necessary to understand the interaction among the people in the group. The characters seemed pretty much stock characters. From the beginning Gillian was the villain. Nancy was the victim. I think the author was trying to make a point about morality; however, portraying Gillian as completely self-absorbed and amoral reduced the impact of her actions.
I wanted to like the book. I think the theme was a excellent choice. However, I was disappointed in the execution.