Welcome again to a new book-review for the Twisted Book Club! You can read my previous review on All the Rage by Courtney Summers. So, I recently read The Year We Turned Forty by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke. I also read The Good Widow by them, which I liked, but then also not because of the ending (eyeroll). However, I really wanted to read something else written by them. Then, I stumbled upon this one and of course: I loved it! The Year We Turned Forty is about Jessie, Gabriela and Claire, three best friends in their late 40’s who get the chance to change the outcome of their lives. Let’s get into this book!
When Jessie, Gabriela and Claire go to Las Vegas to celebrate their 50th birthday, they get a one-time chance. Namely, going back to the year they turned 40 in order to make different choices that would (hopefully) lead to a better outcome. And so it begins, the story of three women with their own problems, struggles and solutions. Jessie is struggling with seeing her ex-husband Grant move on after their divorce. She still loves him, and can only blame herself for their divorce and his anger towards her. Gabriela has always been adamant about not wanting children. However, now she tells her husband Colin that she would like to try getting pregnant. And finally Claire, who has troubles with her adolescent daughter Emily. How will they change the past to change their future for the better?
The Year We Turned Forty is written from the perspectives of Jessie, Gabriela and Claire. It is very easy to read, and you basically keep on reading because it is very fun to read. At first, I thought, how are they going fit what happens over the course of one year, in this whole book? However, the story skips a few months some times, and other times not, but it is very easy to follow. I think that at the beginning of the book, you’d be like: huh? When are these women going to go back to their 40’s? But in the course of the story, it all makes much more than sense.
I think that everyone might have a moment in life where they’d like to go back to and make different decisions. Unfortunately, we cannot go to that moment in life and make different choices for ourselves in the hope that this time we make the right ones. However, the book makes you actually think of what you might change if you could. Other than that, I’d say that Jess, Gab and Claire are funny, supportive and honestly, they are real and relatable. The way they act and think is so logically (for me at least). I do not like it when characters make such irrational and dumb decisions all the time. Of course, certain things they do make you say hmm, really?. But that is normal.
It all comes down to the choices we make in life. Whether we are willing to share those choices with our friends, family etc., or not. And of course, about how we deal with the consequences of our choices. Another important thing that infuriated me personally was that people always tend to decide for others what information they might handle. Of course, it has nothing to do with people not being trustworthy, or unreliable. It has everything to do with not wanting to be judged. However, I ask myself: can we decide what other people can or cannot handle? I always think about that, because I also see it on TV a lot. How arrogant it is of ourselves to decide whether someone else will be able to understand the choices we’ve made. Hmm… Maybe another blog post about that one.
All in all, the book gets you thinking about what really matters in life. Whether we are willing to sacrifice the perception of others about us for things more valuable like support, or having healthy relationships etc. The book was so funny, yet so serious at the same time. It was too beautiful, unexpected even, if I may say so myself.
The Year We Turned Forty is well-written and fun to read. I just loved that the characters were very real and relatable. I think that The Year We Turned Forty is a great book if you want to get your mind off of things. Especially when you just finished a complicated or intense one.
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Thank you for reading and don’t hesitate to share! Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any recommendations for books or if you just want to chat about The Year We Turned Forty! If you know a good book for me, I am always eager to add books on my to-read list :). Don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel and follow me on IG: @senegalesetwisted and @sntwistedphoto for photography and video’s and check out my Facebook page @SenegaleseTwisted. See you in my next post :).