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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

(39)The Year We Turned Forty by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke


Claire, Jessie, and Gabriela have been friends for years and years.   Claire is a real estate agent trying to salvage her relationship with her daughter.  Jessie is devastated to find out that her ex-husband is getting married to his girlfriend, and Gabriela is a successful author who feels empty because she doesn't have the family she always wanted.  The three women have been celebrating their birthdays for years and this year they are going to Las Vegas.  This year each of them have regrets on the cusp of their fiftieth birthday.  It is when they stumble across a magician who can send them all back to the year they turned forty.  Jessie is desperate to prevent a mistake she made with her husband that led to their divorce.  Gabriela wants to have a child at all costs.  And Claire is just going along for the ride, but maybe she can get her mother to have her cough checked out earlier than last time.  The three women discover that going back in time is not as easy as they had hoped.  I mean that smart phones hadn't even been invented yet.  As the three women try to change their course of history they start to realize that everything happens for a reason.  But will they stay in the year they turned forty or will they return to the future and the year they turn fifty?

The Year We Turned Forty was a fun "what if" kind of book.   I am in the year that I turned forty, so it was easy to relate to what the women were going through in "the past."  As far as I am concerned they all made pretty significant mistakes the year they turned forty.  For Jessie and Claire it was the first time around and I think Gabriela made some pretty significant mistakes the second time they turned forty.  I think of the three women Claire changed the most the second time around, especially concerning her daughter.  She grew a spine and didn't let her daughter continue to walk all over her.  It was fun to see how the women had to adjust when going ten years into the past.  All of the things that hadn't been invented yet and all of the events that hadn't happened yet.  In the end the three women learned a lot about themselves and their relationships.  Everything wrapped up nice and neat with the "happy ever after" vibe.

Bottom line - We all have those "what if" dreams about a time in our past.  The Year We Turned Forty turned those dreams into a fun reality for three dynamic characters.   The whole concept of going back to a year in our past is an interesting one and could generate a lot of fun with a group of girlfriends and a few bottles of wine.

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