Monday, October 17, 2016

Review: The Year We Turned Forty by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke (audio)

Title: The Year We Turned Forty
Author: Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke
Narrator: Lisa Larson
Published: April 2016, Dreamscape Media LLC / Washington Square Press
Length: 11 hours 8 minutes / 322 pages
Source: Library / Netgalley
If you could repeat one year of your life, what would you do differently? This heartwarming and hilarious novel from the authors of The Status of All Things and Your Perfect Life features three best friends who get the chance to return to the year they turned forty—the year that altered all of their lives, in ways big and small—and also get the opportunity to change their future.

Jessie loves her son Lucas more than anything, but it tears her up inside that he was conceived in an affair that ended her marriage to a man she still loves, a man who just told her he's getting remarried. This time around, she’s determined to bury the secret of Lucas’ paternity, and to repair the fissures that sent her wandering the first time.

Gabriela regrets that she wasted her most fertile years in hot pursuit of a publishing career. Yes, she’s one of the biggest authors in the world, but maybe what she really wanted to create was a family. With a chance to do it again, she’s focused on convincing her husband, Colin, to give her the baby she desires.

Claire is the only one who has made peace with her past: her twenty-two year old daughter, Emily, is finally on track after the turmoil of adolescence, and she's recently gotten engaged, with the two carat diamond on her finger to prove it. But if she’s being honest, Claire still fantasizes about her own missed opportunities: a chance to bond with her mother before it was too late, and the possibility of preventing her daughter from years of anguish. Plus, there’s the man who got away—the man who may have been her one true love.

But it doesn’t take long for all three women to learn that re-living a life and making different decisions only leads to new problems and consequences—and that the mistakes they made may, in fact, have been the best choices of all…

My thoughts: I enjoy reading Liz and Lisa's books because they are always great escapes from the reality of life...yet, there is always some little nugget of truth to think about.

This is a book that is going to make you think...what if this could happen to you? Would you want to go back and repeat a year, or period in your life? What choices would you make differently? Is the grass greener on the other side?

I enjoyed this book because, while I'm not entirely sure what I would do, it did have me thinking about the choices I have made in my life and whether or not I would have changed any of them. Is it better to go with your first choice or is a re-do or second chance necessary?

I loved seeing how these women took their opportunity to re-do some of the choices they had made. Some of their issues I could relate to and some were a stretch, but all in all, the message remains the same...whether we think we made the right decision or not in our past, it's how we learn from it and act today that counts!  

What I really enjoyed about the story is that I never once guessed how the book would end. As the women are reliving their year, this book kept me on my toes. Choices I thought they would make, they didn't and things I thought they would not do, they did. This book is anything but predictable

I cannot wait to see what comes next from this dynamic duo - they are a writing pair that is not to be missed!  

Audio thoughts:
I think Lisa Larson did a great job with narrating this audio book. She gave each character their own unique voice and I never had an issue figuring out who was speaking. I enjoyed listening to this and look forward to seeing what else Lisa has narrated!



  1. What an interesting concept and a fascinating sounding book! Sounds like one that would be great either in print or audio.

  2. This sounds terrific, Kristin! I like that it is unpredictable. I enjoyed reading your enthusiastic review.


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