Saturday, February 16, 2013

Alice's Review: I'll Take What She Has

Summary:  Perfect for fans of Marisa de los Santos and Allison Winn Scotch, Samantha Wilde’s new novel is a funny and heartfelt look at friendship, marriage, and the dynamics of modern motherhood.  Nora and Annie have been best friends since kindergarten. Nora, a shy English teacher at a quaint New England boarding school, longs to have a baby. Annie, an outspoken stay-at-home mother of two, longs for one day of peace and quiet (not to mention more money and some free time). Despite their very different lives, nothing can come between them—until Cynthia Cypress arrives on campus.  Cynthia has it all: brains, beauty, impeccable style, and a gorgeous husband (who happens to be Nora’s ex). When Cynthia eagerly befriends Nora, Annie’s oldest friendship is tested. Now, each woman must wrestle the green-eyed demon of envy and, in the process, confront imperfect, mixed-up family histories they don’t want to repeat. Amid the hilarious and harried straits of friendship, marriage, and parenthood, the women may discover that the greenest grass is right beneath their feet.

Review:  Every once in a while a novel comes along that is so bubbly, it’s fruity and sweet like a peach bellini.   That’s what I’ll Take What She Has makes me think of.  Childhood friends Annie and Nora couldn’t be more different.  Nora is an upbeat, kind woman who can’t see bad in anyone. Annie is the realist, cynical friend who tells it like it is.  It’s no wonder the two of them are such great friends, they are opposite sides of the same coin.

When major life changes come their way, a wedge is drawn between them.  They have to come to terms with their lives, their wants and desires, and especially their friendship.  Telling each chapter from alternating points of view, we get to spend an equal amount of time with each of them.  I thought this was a great way to dive into their lives.  Of the two, I appreciated Annie more.  As a mother of two with some anger issues, she was a well-rounded character.  I found her very likable about 95% of the time.  The other 5% I wished I could crawl into the pages to shake some sense into her.

This novel had great supporting characters.  I especially loved Nora’s kooky Midwestern relatives.  I laughed out loud several times during the novel especially during the Nora chapters.   There was a sense of fun about them in what they would say and do.  I was part horrified and part wishing they could be my relatives too. 

Something unexpected was the substance in I’ll Take What SheHas.  It was deep.  I found myself taking reading pausing to digest a thought or feeling that was stirred in me.  It was very easy to relate to each of their journeys.

This novel is very funny and uplifting.  Although this is typical chick-lit with an ending I saw coming, I still welcomed and enjoyed it.  I’ll Take What She Has is a great beach read and one that you’ll likely share with your own girlfriends.

Final Take:  4/5



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