Penny Sinclair has always had a way with numbers and she turned that fascination into a pretty successful career as an actuary. Penny was the breadwinner of the family and let her husband, Chris, take on the majority of the raising of their two daughters. Well, except when mommy-guilt got the best of her and she spoiled their two daughters. As a woman who knows statistics, it should be no surprise to Penny when she discovered that Chris had cheated on her. Penny is now on the verge of making her life her own again. Their daughter is planning her wedding and after it is held at her home, Penny plans on putting the old Victorian on the market, getting herself a little condo in the city, and maybe even finding a date on one of those dating websites. That is her plan anyway, until her retired parents need a place to crash, one of her daughters moves home from NYC under a cloud of suspicion, and her other daughter leaves her husband just days after the wedding. Oh and her daughters invited her ex-husband to stay there after he breaks his leg. Will Penny ever be able to claim her life for her own?
I think By the Numbers is one of my favorites of Jen Lancaster's fiction books. Penny is one of those characters that is easy to like, expect for the fact that she created monsters. Penny is funny, hard-working, and loyal. Her daughters, on the other hand, are self-centered, demanding, spoiled little brats and Penny has nobody to blame but herself. I couldn't believe the way she let her daughters treat her, from demanding she not list the house, to the whole situation when their beloved pet passed away. It was jaw-dropping. The more the book goes on the more outrageous the behavior, but thankfully, there is a turning point that changes everything. In the end, things turn out just the way you want them to turn out.
Bottom line - By the Numbers is everything you have come to expect from the entertaining Jen Lancaster. Funny characters, inevitable growth, and lots of pop culture references. A quick read that is guaranteed to entertain you.