Jennifer Bohnet returns to the blog with a lovely story about daring to believe in yourself and allowing the world to show you opportunity. Please read on for my review of
A Year of Taking Chances
Tina and Jodie are best friends with a “life checklist” and changes on the horizon. A New Year’s pledge had them asking the cosmos for big changes before they turned 30, and the universe answered. PR specialist Jodie is introduced to a high-flying author by literary agent Tina, and surprisingly for both of them – Jodie was romanced and soon in love with Ben: only to move to France and be married soon after. Left behind in London, Jodie is increasingly uncomfortable and feeling unsettled in the small literary agency, a series of ‘mishaps’ orchestrated by the new junior in the office start a niggling thought about her own agency, as well as a general sense of loneliness and ‘samey samey’ as Jodie’s move to France left her apartment far too quiet.
Enter several options – from a chance meeting with a uni friend brings Tina to meeting Maisie, a just twenty year old girl who followed her long-term boyfriend to London, only to find he had a new girlfriend – leaving her with few funds and sleeping rough – Tina has her roommate (on trial for 30 days) at least temporarily, she takes the plunge and makes her move. Thus, the Tina Matthews literary agency is born, with a boot-sale desk, a laptop and plenty of PR help (and a loan) from Jodie. First client – the author of a wonderful time slip romance she first spotted in a slush pile when working with Kate – only after learning that no one had actually offered representation to Lucinda, the author.
Twists, turns, a female’s pen-name and a serious attraction between her first (and she believes most promising) debut author, a series of troubling encounters for Maisie with her ex-boyfriend, even as their friendship continues to grow, and Josie’s struggles with life in a small French village. Josie’s husband Ben is prone to hours spent writing and revising while she is left to her own devices: language classes and walking the dog just aren’t removing that sense of ‘unease’. Still missing her Mum, she’s not yet gone through the boxes stuffed at the bottom of the closet in the spare room, although Ben’s mother has been lovely, Ben is wholly unreasonable about his mother’s ‘friend’ Thierry. And when you add in her starting back with PR, an unexpected (and at first unwelcome) stranger with ‘family’ news, and the stress of finding and moving house – Jodie’s got plenty of changes coming, if only she could shake that nausea…….
See – here’s the thing about this book – you won’t want to put it down because each character draws you into their life and struggle of the moment: you must know how it all turns out. I started with the plan to read for a few chapters and looked up to realize that I had ignored all I had to do and was starting on chapter eighteen! Bohnet writes with such heart it makes it easy to enjoy the characters and understand their moments that may not be their best, but she lets the best of them shine through. Plenty of chances are taken here, many aren’t quite the smoothest sail, and there are secrets revealed – but nothing is unconquerable – and the New Year’s pact between Jodie and Tina seemed to give them the confidence boost they needed to push forward in decisions that could change their lives, for the better, even as they found happiness in the changes that had never been there before.
Title: A Year of Taking Chances
Author: Jennifer Bohnet
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Romantic Elements, Setting: Britain, Setting: France
Published by: HQ Digital
Published on: 6 April, 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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Life is about to change forever…
When best friends, Tina and Jodie, make a drunken New Year’s Eve vow to change their lives before they hit the big 3 – 0, neither expected to end the year with much more than another hangover…
Twelve months later, Jodie is married and living in Provence – and Tina is exactly where she was a year ago (although now her rent is double). Tina can’t help but feel a little bit left behind, but as Jodie reminds her, she’s not thirty yet, there’s still time to quit her job, start her own literary agency and sign the man of her dreams!
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.