Saturday, October 29, 2016

(90)In Twenty Years by Allison Winn Scotch


It has been twenty years since six friends graduated from Penn and moved out of the row house they had shared.  Now it is twenty years later and their dead friend, Bea, has summoned them home to celebrate what would have been her 40th birthday.  Arriving the hot July weekend are Catherine and Owen.  They are college sweethearts who have two kids.  Owen is a Stay-At-Home-Dad while Catherine is building her "Domestic Goddess" empire.   Their once devoted relationship has turned into a marriage full of resentments and regrets.   Also joining them will be the social media addict, Annie.   She uses social media to project the perfect life that she wants everybody to believe she is living.  Instead, her insecurities have pushed her husband into the arms of another woman.  Lindy Armstrong, the famous musician, will also be there.  She is dodging her "team", her girlfriend, and her fans to be there.  Colin rounds out the once six-point star.  He is a plastic surgeon with one major secret that he has been keeping from the rest of them.   Bea's summons the row house was unexpected, but none of them would ever deny Bea a request, even it was from the grave.   Will the friends be able to finally put the past to rest and put their futures on a path of peace and success?

It was very easy to immerse myself in the lives of these six friends.  Every single one of them is living a life that they did not expect to be living.  And as a forty-one year old woman it forced me to confront my own hopes from twenty years ago.  It is easy for me to say that every single one of them is a little messed up in the head.  I think Catherine was my least favorite of all of the friends.  She was just so mean - to her husband, to her friends, to her employees.   Lindy was probably the most messed up of all of them.  She used her fame to lie and cheat and nobody ever stopped her.  By the end of the book she owned up to those behaviors and admitted that she was not a stellar human being.  I think that I felt the most sorry for Annie, she was the most - broken - I think.   She suspected that her husband had cheated on her, was cheating on her.  And she was the one most hung up on the past and presenting the "perfect" image.   Their weekend at Penn brought up so much old stuff for all of them, that it was only matter of time before it blew up.  And boy did it.   I didn't think there was as much resolution at the end as I had hoped there would be.  A good solid "Afterword" would have been appreciated.  But I guess that is where the reader's imagination comes into play.

Bottom line - In Twenty Years was a great read about dreams and regrets.  Life seldom works out in the ways we plan, but as these friends find out, you can't spend your life mired in regrets.  You have to pull yourself up and make the most of what you have.    There is some serious food for thought with this one.

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I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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