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Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Book Review - The One That Got Away by Leigh Himes

The Blurb:

In this irresistible debut novel, a freak accident allows a wife and mother to explore the alluring road not taken.

Meet Abbey Lahey . . .

Overworked mom. Underappreciated publicist. Frazzled wife of an out-of-work landscaper. A woman desperately in need of a vacation from life--and who is about to get one, thanks to an unexpected tumble down a Nordstrom escalator.

Meet Abbey van Holt . . .

The woman whose life Abbey suddenly finds herself inhabiting when she wakes up. Married to handsome congressional candidate Alex van Holt. Living in a lavish penthouse. Wearing ball gowns and being feted by the crème of Philadelphia society. Luxuriating in the kind of fourteen-karat lifestyle she's only read about in the pages of Town & Country.

The woman Abbey might have been . . . if she had said yes to a date with Alex van Holt all those years ago.

In the tradition of the romantic comedy Sliding Doors and Lionel Shriver's The Post-Birthday World, Leigh Himes's irresistible debut novel tells the funny and touching story of an ordinary woman offered an extraordinary opportunity to reboot her life, explore the road not taken, and ultimately, find her true self--whoever that may be.

My Thoughts:

It is not very often I give five star reviews but I had to for this one. I immediately fell in love with the style of writing which was fresh and intelligent and leapt off the page with enthusiasm, drawing me into this well thought out story from the very start. I couldn’t put the book down and, at times, reluctantly closed my tablet when I had to go to sleep. I even stole a few hours out of my working day to get stuck into this book.
The plot is similar to one of these ‘Switch’ movies. Like Big or 17 Again in which the protagonist secretly wishes for another life and gets it – with a price to pay. The heroine, Abbey, doesn’t outwardly wish to be anyone else but there are cracks in her life and marriage that she never realised existed, but she’s not entirely happy. Her transformed life takes us on a journey of ups and downs, to some comical moments as well as some that are quite heartbreaking.
At one point we are left wondering which is the real ‘life’. Is it the one we are first introduced to at the start of the book or the one she wakes up to. I thought that was a clever twist. I kept wondering which life I preferred for Abbey and the writer chose the best option for Abbey in my opinion.
I enjoyed the well formed characters in this book and the great use of dialogue. There wasn’t too much of it and it always shone through. I didn’t even mind that some of the characters were cliché, the story was too good for me to care.
Altogether a satisfying read if you want to suspend belief, enjoy some well written comedy and nicely paced drama with a simple plot that is entertaining and full of energy.

1 comment:

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