THE YEAR WE TURNED FORTY by Liz Fenton

THE YEAR WE TURNED FORTY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A lighthearted novel—touched with magical elements—exploring the emotional high jinks that ensue when three best friends are given the chance to travel 10 years back in time.

Authors Fenton and Steinke (The Status Of All Things, 2015, etc.), longtime best friends in real life, continue their trajectory of frothy, pop-culture–infused women’s fiction with the story of Jessie, Gabriela, and Claire, three California women marred by varying degrees of dissatisfaction in their personal lives. Jessie is still riddled with shame about cheating on her husband, Grant, years earlier—an indiscretion that brought about her beloved son and triggered the dissolution of her marriage. Reeling from the news that Grant is newly engaged, Jessie's obsessive thoughts spin into overdrive. Gabriela never thought she wanted kids; a successful author, she was long content with fame, fortune, and the fantastic partner she’d found in husband Colin. But then she realized she wanted more—namely, a family—and, rounding 50, she still finds herself sad about missing her chance. Finally, Claire is excitedly engaged to a man she loves, though she keeps falling into ruminative spells of regret about her mother’s death and her troubled relationship with her demanding daughter. After the three best friends head to Vegas to jointly celebrate their birthdays, they’re shocked when a magician invites them backstage and offers them a chance to go back in time and redo their 40th year (an especially pivotal time in each of their lives). The women are thrilled—at first. The authors skillfully whisk readers along as the friends attempt to re-create the lives they think they should have had and as they realize some of their so-called mistakes may not have been mistakes after all.

A charming but at times predictable novel exploring the importance of friendship and the futility of second-guessing one's past.

Pub Date: April 26th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4767-6344-6
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Washington Square/Pocket
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2016




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