Review: The Life You've Imagined

Why I picked it: The cover drew me in and then when I clicked to Devourer of Books and saw she was hosting an online book discussion.  I enjoy getting to discuss books online (reading all the opinions).

Book Club Girl also interviewed the author, click here if you are interested in listening to the discussion

Synopsis: Have you ever asked yourself, "What if??" Here, four women face the decisions of their lifetimes in this stirring and unforgettable novel of love, loss, friendship, and family.

Anna Geneva, a Chicago attorney coping with the death of a cherished friend, returns to her "speck on the map" hometown of Haven to finally come to terms with her mother, the man she left behind, and the road she did not take.

Cami Drayton, Anna's dearest friend from high school, is coming home too, forced by circumstance to move in with her alcoholic father . . . and to confront a dark family secret.

Maeve, Anna's mother, never left Haven, firmly rooted there by her sadness over her abandonment by the husband she desperately loved and the hope that someday he will return to her.

And Amy Rickart—thin, beautiful, and striving for perfection—faces a future with the perfect man . . . but is haunted by the memory of what she used to be.
Type: Fiction

Quick Take: If I'm honest I need to tell you I struggled with this book.  It took me three weeks to finish, which made it hard for me to be invested in the story.  Part of the issue was that I couldn't find time to sit and read.  These women are so different as grown ups and having taken different paths after high school... I kept thinking the author was going to have them all be friends (which isn't true but distracted me).  I enjoyed Anna's storyline the most and I have a friend from my twenties who is very close to Amy so she seemed 'real' to me.

I have reconnected with friends from youth, only to find we don't have much in common.... facebook keeps us connected.  I don't say this to be hurtful, I'm just stating my experience. 

I enjoyed the writing and character development.  The male characters weren't strong but they kept the story moving forward for me. The ending is perfect (one of the better endings I've read in a while), it doesn't wrap up too much.  This would make for a good book club selection - a lot to talk about.

Have you read it?  Did you like it?

Source: Nook