“In this singular and imaginative story collection, Cecelia Ahern illuminates the myriad ways in which women overcome adversity with wit, resourcefulness and compassion. Exploring dilemmas and aspirations that women everywhere will relate to, these unforgettable tales blend magical realism and familiar scenarios with startling and often hilarious results. In matters ranging from marriage and childrearing to politics and career, the heroines of these thought-provoking stories confront problems both mysterious and mundane: one woman is tortured by sinister bite marks that appear on her skin; another is swallowed up by the floor during a mortifying presentation; yet another resolves to return and exchange her boring husband at the store where she originally acquired him. As they wrestle with obstacles of all kinds, their reality is shaped by how others perceive them–and ultimately, how they perceive the power within themselves.
By turns sly, whimsical and affecting, these 30 short stories are an inspiring examination of what it means to be a woman today.”
I really had a hard time with this book. I get where she was going but it was just so over the top that it was hard to take seriously. I loved her idea of doing short stories about everyday challenges modern day women face. Unfortunately, the transformations were so whimsical that it was hard to really look at the issues she was trying to represent which were strong enough on their own.
I love Ahern’s writing but this just didn’t work for me. I appreciate what she was trying to do here but this just fell flat for me and seemed very superficial at best. Thank you to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for gifting me a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
“From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella, an irresistible story of love and empowerment about a young woman with a complicated family, a handsome man who might be “the one,” and an IOU that changes everything
Fixie Farr has always lived by her father’s motto: “Family first.” But since her dad passed away, leaving his charming housewares store in the hands of his wife and children, Fixie spends all her time picking up the slack from her siblings instead of striking out on her own. The way Fixie sees it, if she doesn’t take care of her father’s legacy, who will? It’s simply not in her nature to say no to people.
So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, Fixie not only agrees—she ends up saving it from certain disaster. Turns out the computer’s owner is an investment manager. To thank Fixie for her quick thinking, Sebastian scribbles an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. But Fixie laughs it off—she’d never actually claim an IOU from a stranger. Would she?
Then Fixie’s childhood crush, Ryan, comes back into her life and his lack of a profession pushes all of Fixie’s buttons. She wants nothing for herself—but she’d love Seb to give Ryan a job. And Seb agrees, until the tables are turned once more and a new series of IOUs between Seb and Fixie—from small favors to life-changing moments—ensues. Soon Fixie, Ms. Fixit for everyone else, is torn between her family and the life she really wants. Does she have the courage to take a stand? Will she finally grab the life, and love, she really wants?”
I have always been a big fan of Sophie Kinsella and find her books a little fluffy but super easy to get lost in, which make them the perfect relaxation reading. Unfortunately, this one was tough for me. I liked the premise but the first half of the book was just hard to stick with because the characters were all just so unlikeable. Her siblings didn’t have one redeeming quality about them and Fixie, the main character, was such a pushover that it was just hard to continue reading at points. The mom, who was the one likable character was not part of the story after the first few chapters, which was unfortunate as I found her to be the most interesting of all.
I stuck with it and the second half did pick up for me, but the changes for the characters came just too far along in the book. I love the idea of characters learning and growing but it just didn’t happen in time for this book. By the time it did, it all happened so quickly that it felt overwhelming and a bit dramatic when nothing had really happened for most of the book. I love Kinsella’s writing but this one just wasn’t my favorite. A big thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group for the advanced digital copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
I was hesitant to read this book after seeing a lot of mixed reviews. After talking with some of my reading friends, the consensus was that it was a lot different than her other books and it didn’t have that psychological thriller component to it. It was very helpful to know this ahead of time or else I think I would have been waiting “for something to happen” the whole time. Some of her books were so enjoyable to me, specifically The Husbands Secret and Big Little Lies..and others fell flat like Truly Madly Guilty. I love her writing style and her in-depth characters which are always a consistent theme of her books.
I went into this one with low expectations and was pleasantly surprised by the first half of the book. I enjoyed “getting to know” each of the nine guests and the three staff members at Tranquillum House. I also love self-help so I was intrigued by the idea of a 10-day retreat. I enjoyed hearing about what lead the guests to make a visit to this exclusive resort..some of the stories were very interesting and some were also very sad. The characters were multi-faceted and although the first half of the book was not especially fast-paced, it was very enjoyable to me.
Unfortunately, after the first half, this book just lost me. I was interested in the idea that although the guests knew they would be leaving Tranquillum House totally refreshed and changed, they didn’t quite know what they were signing up for. But the direction the “treatment” took was just comical to me and it was hard to take seriously after that. I did wade through it until the end and enjoyed the “wrap-ups” of each character but once the book went a completely different direction..it just didn’t seem believable to me.
I am happy I read it but it was a long one and I don’t think it would be one I would recommend. I am hoping her next book is a winner because so many of them have been!