Author: Sarah Pekkanen
Publication: February 22, 2011 (Read in Nov 2012)
By: Washington Square Press
Julia and Michael meet
in high school in their small, poverty-stricken West Virginia hometown.
Both products of difficult childhoods -- Julia’s father is a compulsive
gambler and Michael’s mother abandoned his family when he was a young
boy – they find a sense of safety and mutual understanding in each
other. Shortly after graduation they flee West Virginia to start afresh.
Now thirty-somethings, they are living a rarified life in their
multi-million-dollar,Washington D.C. home. From the outside it all looks
perfect – Julia has become a highly sought-after party planner, while
Michael has launched a wildly successful flavored water company that he
sold for $70 million.
But one day Michael stands up at the head of
the table in his company's boardroom -- then silently crashes to the
floor. More than four minutes later, a portable defibrillator manages to
jump-start his heart. Yet what happened to Michael during those lost
minutes forever changes him. Money is meaningless to him now - and he
wants to give it all away to charity. A prenuptial agreement that Julia
insisted upon back when Michael's company was still struggling means she
has no claim to his fortune, and now she must decide: should she walk
away from the man she once adored, but who truthfully became a stranger
to her long before his near-death experience - or should she give in to
her husband's pleas for a second chance and a promise of a poorer but
My initial reaction to this book was, "Wow...just, Wow!" It's gut wrenching, heartbreaking and beautiful all at once. It challenges readers to take a hard look at love, friendship, marriage and what really matters most. I found myself relating to quite a few things in this book, the least of which was the massive fortune these two have, but it still put some things into perspective for me. I loved the journey that Julia and Michael take despite the fact that it's wrought with pain and Isabel, Julia's BFF had me laughing so hard I almost peed my pants. (sorry for the TMI) I think she and I would get along just great!
"...and you know I never sing in public. I mean, my voice is a misdemeanor in all fifty states." Isabel Yep, this is me!
Even though I had a pretty good idea of what was coming, the end still sent me into hiding until I could put a plug in the ugly sobbing that had begun - not crying, SOBBING! *wipes tears*
This was my first Sarah Pekkanen novel and I'm really looking forward to picking up another one from her!