Author: Allison Winn Scotch
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Published: July 2016, Brilliance Audio
Length: 9 hours 57 minutes
Twenty years ago, six Penn students shared a house, naively certain that their friendships would endure—until the death of their ringleader and dear friend Bea splintered the group for good. Now, mostly estranged from one another, the remaining five reluctantly gather at that same house on the eve of what would have been Bea’s fortieth birthday.
But along with the return of the friends come old grudges, unrequited feelings, and buried secrets. Catherine, the CEO of a domestic empire, and Owen, a stay-at-home dad, were picture-perfect college sweethearts—but now teeter on the brink of disaster. Lindy, a well-known musician, is pushing middle age in an industry that’s all about youth and slowly self-destructing as she grapples with her own identity. Behind his smile, handsome plastic surgeon Colin harbors the heartbreaking truth about his own history with Bea. And Annie carefully curates her life on Instagram and Facebook, keeping up appearances so she doesn’t have to face the truth about her own empty reality.
Reunited in the place where so many dreams began, and bolstered by the hope of healing, each of them is forced to confront the past.
My thoughts: It's always fun to read about characters who are hitting the same milestones that you are and that's exactly what Allison Winn Scotch's latest book does. And what's most interesting to note is that Allison wrote this book because she found herself in the same predicament!
While at first glance, this might look like it's just a fun, easy-breezy type of read - be forewarned that it's not...it's a little more than that. It's the type of book that makes you think, especially if you happen to be close to the ages of these characters.
Forced into a reunion in the place where their friendship started, the now group of five estranged friends must face the past in order to move forward. I loved how each character told their story - both reliving the past and catching us up on the present, so that we could form an accurate picture of what was going on with them. It was clear that not all was good with this group of friends and that they definitely had some issues to work out, but they loved their friend Bea and felt they owed her this last request.
The story moves along at a pretty good pace, moving back and forth between the characters so that you get a good sense of what is going on. As the characters reveal themselves through the flashbacks, we see the growth, we see the regrets, we see their journeys...and we see some come to make major realizations.
This was a good book - one that I wasn't expecting! It definitely struck a chord with me, being that I will be out of college twenty years next spring...OMG!!! As I was reading this, it definitely had me reminiscing of college days - would I want to go back, what would I do over, etc.
Audio thoughts: I've listened to Julia Whelan narrate before and really enjoy her work and she did a great job with this audio production. Having so many characters to narrate, she certainly had her work cut out for her, but it was done effortlessly and well. I really enjoyed this audio and thought she did a great job!