I received this book for free from Publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Year We Turned Forty by Liz Fenton, Lisa Steinke
Published by Washington Square Press on April 26th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Women, Fiction
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
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…
If you could go back in time for one year to make changes to your life would you? That is the opportunity offered to Jessie, Claire and Gabriela. On their 50th birthday trip they are offered the chance to go back to the year they were 40. They would stay one year and live life knowing the things that had happened and what they wished to change and would have the chance to either stay in that life or return back.
All of these women in the 10 years from age 40 to 50 have dealt with many issues ranging from divorce, to loss of loved ones, to strained relationships with children, to living with regret of not having children. With this second chance they will each try correct the things that the did wrong or missed last time. But will the outcome be better this around?
I loved the concept of this one!! It had the feel of a parallel universe book without the back and forth (if that makes any sense). I mean the way the “magic” of going back 10 years was all set up a bit cheesy I think it still kind of worked. Once back in their former lives though I found it so interesting what the women chose to do to change their lives. Also, even though they were told their actions could affect others around them I don’t believe they could truly understand this until it started ot happen. Also, maybe some things were always meant to play out no matter what choices you make. I found all this really interesting and fun to watch as it unfolded.
The three women’s friendships were so believable and real. In a trio there is often two that are closer and one kind of left out. This was true here as well – whether intentional or not. Certain things put more strain on friendships than others and with this bunch they had a lot of things pressing down on their relationships. It was refreshing to see things not always be the best among them and how they worked through that or didn’t.
The ending was super satisfying in a realistic way. I think all the ladies wound up where they should have. It did make me wonder what I would do if given the chance and if I would be more scared of what would change if I went back in time. Highly recommend this one!