In high school they were Julie and Mike and they were inseparable. In college they were room mates and then they were married. In the early years they scraped by on what little they had working hard and dreaming big. Julie started a party planning business that took off and she was able to start putting a little away. Then Mike, always the dreamer came up with an idea that changed the look of health drinks forever. As production rolled out on the flavored waters, Mike, now a more sophisticated Michael, became more and more caught up in the business and the sweet generous man Julie once knew, became second to the business… a mistress, she could not compete with. Her compensation becomes the material things they now own, the large multi million dollar home, the cars, the jewelry, and travel. Julia wants for nothing. Anniversaries were missed, replaced instead by delivered flowers with notes of promises to be there for the next one… and nights became cold and lonely as Julie, now going by Julia, slept alone as Mike traveled for work for more nights than not.
Then a brush with death changes everything for Michael. Suddenly he sees more clearly what is important, and money becomes meaningless to him. Yet Julia gave up on love a long time ago and has grown accustomed to doing things alone and living the high life. Now it looks like Michael wants to turn his back on it all, give it all up, and put his full attention on Julia.
Julia feels that it is too little….
Last May I had the opportunity to read The Opposite Of Me by Sarah Pekkanen and LOVED it. I enjoyed Sarah’s style of writing and how in touch she was with family life and all the quirks that go with it. When I seen Skipping A Beat was coming soon, I was thrilled when I was sent an advanced copy to see what Sarah was up to this time around.
Honestly? I loved this book even more than her first! I connected well with the characters of Julia and Michael and found that these two well-developed characters left me feeling like the best friend in the middle. I completely understood Julia’s reluctance to be hurt by letting Michael in after the years of absence in their lives. Her fear was all too real to me as she struggles to hang on to what has become the norm in their lives. Once she had created herself around the world she lived in, it was not a fit for it to suddenly change.
I could relate to Michael too…. he was doing what he could to change the way things had become – but his complete about-face was way too much – too soon.
Another relationship in the book that I found to be amazing was Julia’s best friend Isabelle. I love this aspect of the book as Sarah Pekkanen shows the importance of having that friend that you can share anything with, and with everything else happening Isabelle is that person for Julia.
What I really loved about this book was how real it all felt. I have heard many times how once someone is forced into a different mold for a while we can adjust to new things and many times find the changes welcome, even if we did not think we would. Sarah Pekkanen writes a story that touched me deeply as this couple struggles to find their way… and in the process…
well, you are going to have to read this one to find out more.
I had a hard time putting this book down and highly recommend this book, as one of the best books I have read this year. An original writing that left me wanting more! Totally two thumbs up and a three tissue read. 😀
The 2011 WHERE Are You Reading Map has been updated to include Skipping A Beat
I received this book from the author