Authors: Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke
336 pages, publish date April 26, 2016
Genre: Contemporary, Women's Fiction
Note: I received this book from NetGalley to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own.
If you could repeat one year of your life, what would you do differently? This heartwarming and hilarious novel from the authors of The Status of All Things and Your Perfect Life features three best friends who get the chance to return to the year they turned forty—the year that altered all of their lives, in ways big and small—and also get the opportunity to change their future.
Jessie loves her son Lucas more than anything, but it tears her up inside that he was conceived in an affair that ended her marriage to a man she still loves, a man who just told her he's getting remarried. This time around, she’s determined to bury the secret of Lucas’ paternity, and to repair the fissures that sent her wandering the first time.
Gabriela regrets that she wasted her most fertile years in hot pursuit of a publishing career. Yes, she’s one of the biggest authors in the world, but maybe what she really wanted to create was a family. With a chance to do it again, she’s focused on convincing her husband, Colin, to give her the baby she desires.
Claire is the only one who has made peace with her past: her twenty-two year old daughter, Emily, is finally on track after the turmoil of adolescence, and she's recently gotten engaged, with the two carat diamond on her finger to prove it. But if she’s being honest, Claire still fantasizes about her own missed opportunities: a chance to bond with her mother before it was too late, and the possibility of preventing her daughter from years of anguish. Plus, there’s the man who got away—the man who may have been her one true love.
But it doesn’t take long for all three women to learn that re-living a life and making different decisions only leads to new problems and consequences—and that the mistakes they made may, in fact, have been the best choices of all…
I absolutely loved The Status of All Things, so I was ecstatic to receive an ARC of Liz and Lisa's latest novel! I am thrilled to report it did not disappoint! What I love about Liz and Lisa's books is the level of creativity in their stories. Who hasn't though about changing some of their life decisions, or "what if I had done this instead?"? This book explores that topic brilliantly. In some ways, it reminded me a lot of Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid, but this one focused on changing a whole year instead of focusing on one decision. I loved that they used three best friends as the main characters as well.
Speaking of the characters...I loved them!! A lot of times in books that focus on multiple characters I find myself more interested in one character or the other, being bored with the chapters for the characters I didn't like. Not so with this book! I loved all three characters for different reasons, though I think I related to Claire the most.
Though entertaining and humorous, The Year We Turned Forty will seriously make you think. It is an emotional, heartwarming, and thought provoking read. There were a few times in the book where I just stopped reading and thought about what I've just read. One quote in particular stood out:
"You didn't fail at all. Some things aren't supposed to be fixed. If you came back a thousand times, you still couldn't change this."
How many things in your life do you wish you could go back and change? I know I can think of a few. But this book showed that we either can't control some things in our life--or we may not want to. I cannot recommend this book enough. This is a must-read!!
Overall rating for "The Year We Turned Forty": 5 stars