“When my husband, Michael, died for the first time, I was walking across a freshly waxed marble floor in three-inch Stuart Weitzman heels, balancing a tray of cupcakes in my shaking hands.”
What a gripping first sentence of a book! Sarah Pekkanen’s new book, Skipping A Beat, is a beautifully written story of a marriage. Michael and Julia met and married young in West Virginia. They put themselves through school, lived like church mice and then, due to Michael’s business, become kazillionaires. They adjusted into separate lives- for Michael it was blackberries, business trips and success. For Julia, it was her high end party planning business. While still married, they had grown apart but quite used to the trappings of the wealthy with vacation homes, art and drivers. The poor kids from West Virginia who fell in love were non-existent.
“If Michael had a long-term mistress, it might be easier to compete, but his company gyrated and beckoned in his mind more enticingly than any strategically oiled Victoria’s Secret model.” (I love the strategically oiled part of this sentence :)!)
Then, Michael has a massive heart attack. He recovers with a will to live a different way. He almost seems like a new man. Julia has to decide if she wants to adjust to this new Michael or not. He becomes romantic and wants to simplify life. She can’t decide if this is what she wants. This is a story of healing and love, culminating in an ending you completely do not see coming.
Excuse the long quote but I thought this was exceedingly well written:
“No, our marriage was more like spending an afternoon at the beach while the tide receded. You could be lying right there on the soft sand and not even notice the microscopic changes- the waves pulling back, inexorably pulling back- while the sun warmed your back and the happy shouts of children filled your ears. Then you’d look up from the last page of your novel and blink, feeling disoriented, wondering how the ocean had moved so far away and when everything around you had changed.”
I thoroughly enjoyed Skipping A Beat. It was a quick read that left me turning pages to see what would happen. This would make a great Spring Break read!
What are you reading and where are you going?
Sarah Pekkanen and engelman &co provided a review copy of this book for this post. All opinions are my own.