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Review: The Year We Turned Forty by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinkie

Posted on 26 April, 2016 by in Lisa Steinke, Liz Fenton, Review / 0 comments

Review: The Year We Turned Forty by Liz Fenton and Lisa SteinkieThe Year We Turned Forty by Liz Fenton, Lisa Steinke
on April 26, 2016
Pages: 336
Buy on Amazon

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…

The blurb of this book caught my attention right away – would you do something in your life over again if you were given the chance?

I, for one, am happy with the life I have but if I had the chance to make it even better, to learn from my mistakes, to become a stronger person by learning from life lessons, I “think” I would do it – I would do it for the love of my life, my family, and for my forever.

The thing I am nervous about when playing with fate is if in wanting a “do over” and to make better choices, would I in turn alter the course of fate? Could I, in trying to do something “better”, really make it worse?

This is a beautiful story of friendship between three women – Jessie, Gabriela, and Claire. Three women who are turning fifty, each going through their own life’s journey – whether it be the success of their profession yet no children, to cheating and broken marriages, to the relationship between a single mother and her child, each wondering if decisions made in their past were the right ones to make.

Given the opportunity for a redo, to go back to when they each turned 40, to see if they could make different choices, how would their lives turn out? If they could live in that life for a year, trying to make things better, would they return to their current lives at 50 or would they stay in the new life they created by going back?

Without giving anything away as I feel that this well written, captivating and thought provoking book should be read and experienced by the reader, I really enjoyed this book and living the characters lives because this story IS real life. I experienced the sadness, the pain, the happiness and frustrations – it was all so relatable and made me appreciate life and all of its ups and downs. I was biting my nails to the very end wondering what choices they would make and what the outcomes would be and I was completely enthralled, entertained and enchanted by this story.

This is the first time I am reading these authors and I would definitely read more!


About Lisa Steinke

THE YEAR WE TURNED FORTY, about three best friends who get the chance to re-live the year that dramatically changed the course of their lives, will be published on April 26th, 2016. (Atria Books.)

THE STATUS OF ALL THINGS, about a woman who discovers she can literally rewrite her fate on Facebook, is out now! (Atria Books.)

Their debut novel, YOUR PERFECT LIFE, about two childhood best friends who wake up the morning after their 20th high school reunion to discover they’ve switched bodies is out now! (Atria Books.)

About Liz Fenton

Liz Fenton and Lisa 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.

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