Book Review: The Year We Turned Forty by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke

The Year We Turned Forty
Author: Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke
Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Contemporary
Released: April 26th 2016
Review Source: Washington Square Press

If you could repeat one year of your life, what would you do differently? This heartwarming and hilarious novel from the authors of The Status of All Things and Your Perfect Life features three best friends who get the chance to return to the year they turned forty—the year that altered all of their lives, in ways big and small—and also get the opportunity to change their future.

Jessie loves her son Lucas more than anything, but it tears her up inside that he was conceived in an affair that ended her marriage to a man she still loves, a man who just told her he's getting remarried. This time around, she’s determined to bury the secret of Lucas’ paternity, and to repair the fissures that sent her wandering the first time.

Gabriela regrets that she wasted her most fertile years in hot pursuit of a publishing career. Yes, she’s one of the biggest authors in the world, but maybe what she really wanted to create was a family. With a chance to do it again, she’s focused on convincing her husband, Colin, to give her the baby she desires.

Claire is the only one who has made peace with her past: her twenty-two year old daughter, Emily, is finally on track after the turmoil of adolescence, and she's recently gotten engaged, with the two carat diamond on her finger to prove it. But if she’s being honest, Claire still fantasizes about her own missed opportunities: a chance to bond with her mother before it was too late, and the possibility of preventing her daughter from years of anguish. Plus, there’s the man who got away—the man who may have been her one true love.

But it doesn’t take long for all three women to learn that re-living a life and making different decisions only leads to new problems and consequences—and that the mistakes they made may, in fact, have been the best choices of all…

This is an Adult novel recommended for ages 18+ due to mature subject matter.

What would happen if you made some mistakes in your life and was given the chance to go back in time to try and fix? Or at least learn how to deal with the bad things that you have lived through? Claire, Jessie, and Gabriela are given this chance. A second chance. They all lived through stuff they wish would have turned out a different way back when they were forty. Now at fifty, they get to go back 10 years and only have one year to make a change... at the end they have to decide to stay or go back. 

The Year We Turned Forty is very enjoyable. We see three woman learn about themselves, about facing  things head instead of running from these problems. Each of these woman had lived with regrets that they had hoped to fix. Jessie had an affair with another man and ended up pregnant, which ended her marriage. Claire had a daughter that turned out to only think of herself and be bratty, while her birth father was out of the picture, and the man she loved ended up getting pushed away. Gabriela, who had never wanted children even though her husband did... regretted her decision. Until one day she wanted a baby more then anything in the world.  With given a second chance they way they get to relive life and make a new ending.

This book is defiantly a different type of story I'd ever read. It was like a breath of fresh air. This story has time travel, with three best friends who have always been there for each other. A second chance to re-do the wrongs and learn to appreciate the little things in life.  Yes life is hard and some things in life you can never take back... but life is messy and you just have to make the best of it. Life is about risk. If you like stories like this, then The Year We Turned Forty is a must.

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