Tuesday, March 22, 2011

As Young As We Feel by Melody Carlson

Melody Carlson is one of the most versatile authors in today's marketplace. She's written for children, pre-teens, and teens...but her new series is for women my age...which was a shocker when I realized I was the target age bracket!! LOL!!

We kick off her new series with "As Young As We Feel", a novel about a group of four friends getting reacquainted at a class reunion. "The Four Lindas" reconnect as they wait for news in a hospital waiting room, and remember the good times they used to have.

But now that they've settled into their fifties, life isn't quite as free and easy for any of them. Janie lives in New York and works for a powerful law firm, but her life is heavy with grief after the loss of her parents and her spouse.

Marley went through a painful marriage and divorce, sacrificing her artistic dreams for more practical ones like paying the bills and having food in the fridge.

Caroline's acting career never really took off, and she's waiting tables in the land of make-believe. But she's grateful as well...having survived breast cancer. And then we have Abby...with the perfect home and the perfect life.

Except she's dealing with an empty nest and quite possibly a straying husband. The illusion looks great, but what's underneath is just as empty as what her friends have shared.

Watching these four women evaluate their lives and choose to make radical changes was fun. I almost felt like one of the gang, tagging along as they reminisced. Novels about contemporary women and friendships have always been some of my favorites.

My two concerns may seem like quibbling, but I noticed a lot of alcohol and a casual mention of a son who is homosexual. While Marley regrets never having grandchildren, that's about as far as it goes in this book.

I'm hoping to see more faith in the rest of the series...wasn't much to be found in the first novel. Still, this was a nice, clean read that is perfect for fans of the Shopaholic series (and similar general market novels).

So, I'm giving "As Young As We Feel" three out of five bookmarks with a flip-flop as a charm...and waiting on the ultimate rating once I've read the entire series.

Books one through three are out now, with the final novel due out soon! So get caught up on "The Four Lindas" and meet me back here for more reviews! My thanks to my friends at David C. Cook for my copy of "As Young As We Feel".

Happy Reading!



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