January 11, 2012
book review: breaking even
Author: Kathleen Kole
Kathleen Kole's Breaking Even tells the story of a woman who wants to see if the grass is really greener.
Penelope has a stable job as an account, a loving fiancé and a family of in laws who adore her. Though her life seems idyllic, she realizes she may be in a rut after a meet-cute with Scott, a single father. She begins to question her life and if she is the woman she wants to be.
After making over her hair, makeup and wardrobe, Penelope and Scott are brought together again, and she wonders if there is something to it. But there is something holding her back from completely going with Scott — namely her fiancé and his family.
Ben, the fiancé, is lovely. His family is wonderful. His two brothers are his best friends. Their wives are Penelope's best friends. And as nice and neat as that all sounds, there are still problems among them. (This makes them more relatable and likable. You can't have characters being too perfect or you end up wanting to smack them.) That makes her situation all the more difficult. How do you give up something that good?
While Penelope navigates her own destiny, the other characters face important decisions in their lives. Ben knows something is up with his future wife, and he must choose whether or not to fight for it or let it go. The sisters-in-law are both at standstills in their life — both needing to make changes, but scared to make them happen.
What shines most about this story is the relationships between the characters. Each of the couples make interesting pairs to study while the trio of men and women are equally fascinating.
(There is a particular scene when the men go out to the bars, and their individual aftermaths at home that had me seriously cracking up.)
I look forward to reading Kathleen's other books. (Kathleen Kole will be touring a new book soon, and I'm set to be part of it — go ahead and be as pleased as I am about this.)
On a more personal note, I first learned about this book through Twitter. Kathleen and I became Tweeps. We had some amusing banter back and forth (she weighed in on Mousegate 2011 and made me laugh at myself through the madness), and I knew I had to read one of her books.
Imagine my relief and absolute thrill when I discovered I genuinely loved her work. Kathleen is fun and talented on top of it. Step aside Nora Roberts, I may have have a new writer crush.
Rating: 4.5 of 5
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