Book Review: The Year We Turned Forty by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke 1

year we turned 40The Year We Turned Forty

by Liz Fenton and

Lisa Steinke

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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…

 

My Rating:

5 hearts

 

Favorite Quotes:

 

“Together but not connected – a very precarious place for any marriage to perch.”

 

“She realized too late that falling in love was the simple part- it was staying in love that seemed to elude most people.”

 

“Jessie had been like a lone piece of luggage on a baggage carousel, endlessly circling around, with no hope of being recovered.”

 

“Jessie recognized her you are full of bullshit look that she usually only reserved for street fair psychics and men who wore skinny jeans.”

 

“Claire had never been one to work out.  Her idea of breaking a sweat was having a heated negotiation with another Realtor.”

 

My Review:

 

The Year We Turned Forty was an exceptionally written, creative, interesting, and highly entertaining read.  This was my first experience with either author but will now be tracking them both in the same manner I following sales announcements for my favorite boutique.  The writing was superb, painfully insightful, thoughtful, observant, clever, and all engrossing.  Once I started, I could not put my kindle down and resented all interruptions to my reading.  The characters were fully inhabited and endearing, yet frustrating and deeply flawed – well – aren’t we all?  The storyline presented an interesting premise; I liked thinking of what I would do if offered the same 10 year do-over…

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About the Authors

liz fenton

Liz Fenton and Lislisa Steinkea Steinke have been best friends for 25 years and survived high school and college together. Liz lives in San Diego, CA with her husband and two children. Lisa, a former talk show producer, now lives in Chicago, IL with her husband, daughter and two bonus children.

Lisa Steinke Goodreads

Liz Fenton Goodreads

 

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