I’ve been trying to read outside my romance box lately and have, so far, had pretty good success. So I’m a bit surprised at my reaction to this book, so much so that I did what I never, ever do before writing a review – I checked out a few others to see what those readers thought.
One of those reviews did help me a bit, allowing me to see past my initial feelings about the story. However, I don’t quite agree with those reviews on certain aspects, but I do understand the author’s “concept” a little more.
Four women are thrown together by virtue of their children going to the same school in New York. Lucy and her family have just moved to the city after losing everything in the international banking crash; Christy is married to an older, wealthy man; Julia works nearly round the clock to support her husband and family; and Robyn does the same but she’s had enough of it.
We get to see a bit of each of their lives, what they go through slugging along in life, the ups and the downs just like everyone else. Well, not quite. One story about the ugly dog is just a bit too silly for me. Okay, yes, I know silly, crazy things happen to folks all the time, but this one is a bit too much. Lucy, Julia, and Christy get along fairly well and try to bring Robyn into the fold, but that doesn’t work out like they think or hope it will. In fact, Robyn is so insulted during a horse-therapy course that she goes for sleeping with husbands as her revenge. She’s never caught and she finally sees the error of her ways to an extent, but then manipulates her way into a better marriage with more money, leaving her old life behind without a backward glance. Needless to say, she’s my least favorite character.
The other three work a bit harder to keep their lives intact, as well as their friendships, all varying stages of coping. Lucy is the peacekeeper – calm and thoughtful. She can diffuse most any situation with a word or action, distracting and changing topics to keep things on an even keel. Since Julia is the breadwinner in her household, she’s on the go more until she comes to a full stop when it all gets to be too much. She’s straightforward and tells it like it is, even if it causes some hurt feelings. Not sure she’s made the right choice, Christy enjoys the new Irish doorman a little too much, doesn’t get along with her whiny stepdaughter, and wants more than just her two twins.
After a few years’ friendship, as also happens in life, relationships begin to change and each woman has to make decisions that will ultimately carry them away from what they know. So when all three have their news shared, I was a bit surprised at the reactions that came about. I’m not sure I’d want to keep such friends. Which may not be a problem, because as I’ve learned, sometimes even when you work on trying to keep a long-distance friendship going and the work is all one-sided, the friendship dies a slow death. Thus, I find it interesting the author doesn’t give readers at least a bit of an epilogue on how these three fare after their lives have changed so much. Especially after everyone has gone through so much to get where they are, including the reader.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been through my own hellish turmoil in the last few years. Maybe it’s because of all that work and a couple of friendships died slowly because of that turmoil. This story just isn’t my cup of tea. Even though I’ve lost those friendships, I re-cultivated others that are quite satisfying now, which is my reason for questioning nothing further about their new lives. But I give props for Lucy’s upbeat attitude, Julia’s willingness to start over, and Christy’s ability to move forward. I also like the full circle of the book – very clever.
So even though the book doesn’t quite work for me, you’ll have a chance to discover whether or not it’s for you. Berkley has very kindly offered a copy of No One Could Have Guessed the Weather to one of our lucky commenters today. Tell us about your friendships to be in the running!
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU GROW UP AND REALIZE THE MIDDLE PART OF YOUR STORY MIGHT JUST BE THE BEGINNING…
When Lucy’s husband tells her they’ve lost everything in the financial crisis, she thinks he is joking. He is, after all, a very good practical joker. Unfortunately he’s serious. He has managed to secure a lowly job in New York City, and they can move from London to a tiny apartment in the East Village that he bought years ago as a hotel room. Lucy soon finds herself living in the epicenter of cool and hip. Across from their apartment is a bar called PDT—whenever Lucy passes it, she thinks it stands for “Please don’t tell anyone I’m a middle-aged woman.”
Homesick and resentful at first, Lucy soon embarks on the love affair of her life—no, not with her husband (though they’re both immensely relieved to discover they do love each other for richer or poorer), but with New York City and the three women who befriend her.
There’s Julia, who is basically branded with a Scarlet A when she leaves her husband and kids for a mini nervous breakdown and a room of her own; Christy, a much older successful man’s trophy wife, who is a bit adrift as only those who live high up in penthouses can be; and disheveled and harried Robyn, who is constantly compensating for her husband who can’t seem to make the transition from wunderkind to adult.
Sometimes what you want in your twenties isn’t what you want or need in your forties. Spot-on observant, laugh-out-loud funny, yet laced with kindness through and through, ‘No One Could Have Guessed the Weather’ is for anyone who’s asked, “Is that all there is?” and hoped for a surprising answer.
No excerpt available.