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Seven Year Switch Hardcover – June 1, 2010
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Jill Murray’s life was finally going in the right direction then her ex-husband returns after being gone for 7 years wanting to see his daughter. Jill is not ready for him to be back in their life, how does she know he just won’t disappear again? When she tells her daughter he has come back she demands to see him as soon as possible and Jill watches the life she has created for herself and her daughter the past seven years implode. While all this is happening Jill meets Billy. He hires her to help him plan for a trip to Japan to pitch a business idea. Almost immediately she feels drawn to him and not in a business way. Is she ready for another man in her life? Should she try to get back with her husband for her daughter? She has no idea what to do so she signs on to a Costa Rican Girls Getaway to get away from both of them and the pressure in hopes she can figure out what direction her life should take.
This author has been recommended to me my several friends and this book was sitting on my To-Be-Read shelves for too long. Wanting a literary escape to the beach this cover called out to me so I grabbed it to read last weekend. Within a few minutes I was engaged by the characters. Jill working for a travel company from home with a phone headset attached to head as she travels her home taking care of her daughter, making supper, doing laundry, helping with homework, normal mom things. Her daughter, Anastasia, understands her mom needs to work but doesn’t appreciate the way it interrupts their time together. When her dad enters back into the picture she starts to turn to him for everything. He also makes the huge error of giving her things she wants without discussing it first with Jill. Billy adds the triangle-ish- ness to the story. The next door neighbor fits well into the picture too. All the characters are realistically written and the dialogues are excellent. The characters are the true strength to this story.
The plot starts out really well and because of the synopsis I knew a trip to Costa Rica is coming and as I got past halfway into the story I wondered how the author was going to tie up everything and thrown in a trip within the remaining pages. Well she does wrap things up but to me it was just too rushed, almost abrupt. All the depth and detail that I loved in the beginning was gone. I appreciated the message of self-worth, change and growth the author was trying to get across. The idea that every seven years you become a completely new person,as a theme was heartwarming but the decisions made at the end just happened too fast for me.
I really enjoyed the first 3/4 of this story so I still want to read more of Claire Cook’s novels. I am hoping this speedy end was just a fluke.
Published by Hyperion
At the request of Pump Up Your Book, a HC was sent, at no cost to me, for my honest opinion.
Synopsis (book's jacket): Just when Jill Murray has finally figured out how to manage on her own, her ex-husband proves that he can't even run away reliably. After seven long years missing in action, he's back-crashing into the man-free existence Jill and her ten-year-old daughter have built so carefully. What's a good mother to do? To a child, even a deadbeat dad is better than no dad at all.
Jill's life just hasn't turned out quite the way she planned. By now, she'd hoped to be jetting around the world as a high-end cultural coach. Instead, she's answering phones for a local travel agency and teaching cooking classes at the community center.
Enter free-spirited entrepreneur Billy, who hires Jill as a consultant for an upcoming business trip. Is their relationship veering off in a new direction? And what about her ex? Jill couldn't possibly still have feelings for him....could she? Suddenly, her no-boys allowed life is anything but.
The say that every seven years you become a completely new person, but Jill isn't sure she is ready for the big change. It takes a Costa Rican getaway to help her make a choice-not so much between the two men in her life, but between the woman she is and the one she wants to be.
My Thoughts and Opinion: Hurry!! You still have time to read this delightful, female self liberating, fun, maybe even a little envy thrown in summer read. Jill, has been surviving and going through the motions of daily life to stay afloat to make a life for her daughter and herself after being abandoned seven years ago by her husband. But she hasn't moved on since that time. The characters in this book come alive through Ms. Cooks writing. I found myself laughing along with Jill, the main character, feeling sorry for her and, at the same time, rooting her on. It was very easy to form imagery of the settings by the words the author conveyed. I might add that one scene, involving a tarantula, had me looking around and I don't even live where tarantulas do, but was not taking any chances. I also enjoyed the little tidbits of knowledge that the author also added about different lands, the unique foods and customs of different cultures. And for the jealousy, I now believe that every woman needs to and should take a GGG, Great Girlfriends Getaway. This was the first book I read by Claire Cook and it won't be my last. I thoroughly enjoyed it, as have so many others, from reading the many great reviews regarding this book.
Claire Cook visited this blog and was a "Guest Author" in July. Check out that posting. [...]
My Rating: 4