A stressed-out wife and mother finds that appreciating her life will require a fresh perspective.
Abbey Lahey is an overworked mother of two who feels her identity slipping away. Her relationship with her husband, Jimmy, a landscaper, isn’t as strong as it once was, and being on the “mommy track” at her PR firm means she no longer represents the most coveted clients. Now relegated to managing an exterminator’s account, she longs for a life just a little more glamorous. While flipping through a copy of Town & Country, she finds a photo of Alexander Collier van Holt, a man who asked her out on a date many years earlier. Discovering that he's now both rich and gorgeous, she begins to fantasize about the turn her life could have taken if she had only said yes to that date. Abbey often longs for a taste of the high life, and a few weeks earlier she had spent almost $600 on a Marc Jacobs purse she couldn’t afford. Unfortunately for Abbey, when Jimmy finds the bill, he demands that she return the bag. Under duress, she complies, though her frustration leads to clumsiness, and she takes a tumble over the escalator railing at Nordstrom. When she wakes up, she is no longer Abbey Lahey, but Abbey van Holt, thrown smack in the middle of the dream life she had imagined. Despite the money, designer goods, and handsome husband, Abbey soon sees fractures in the facade of this new alternate reality. While Mrs. Lahey packed a few extra pounds, Mrs. van Holt is fit, pampered, and nothing like Abbey. Could a different choice all those years ago really have changed her that much? Throughout the novel, Abbey longs to find herself in the midst of this glittering new life.
Himes explores what could have been in this charming debut novel.