Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Skipping A Beat by Sarah Pekkanen

Skipping a BeatAuthor: 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 happier life?

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!


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