Thursday, June 5, 2014

Julie's Review: Catching Air

Author: Sarah Pekkanen
Series: None
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Washington Press Books
Pages: 352
Obtained: Author
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction, Women's Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Bottom Line: A lovely story about how life doesn't always turn out like you plan
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab!
Summary: A chance to run a B&B in snowy, remote Vermont—it’s an offer Kira Danner can’t resist after six soul-crushing years of working as a lawyer in Florida. As Kira and her husband, Peter, step into a brand new life, she quells her fears about living with the B&B’s co-owners: Peter’s sexy, irresponsible brother Rand, and Rand’s wife, Alyssa…who is essentially a stranger. For her part, Alyssa sees taking over the B&B as the latest in a string of adventures. Plus, a quiet place might help her recover from the news that she can’t bear children. But the idyllic town proves to be anything but serene: Within weeks, the sisters-in-law are scrambling to prepare for their first big booking—a winter wedding—and soon a shy, mysterious woman comes to work for them. Dawn Zukoski is hiding something; that much is clear. But what the sisters-in-law don't realize is that Dawn is also hiding from someone. Relatable and dynamic, Catching Air delves deeply into the vital relationships that give shape to women’s lives.  

Review: An idyllic setting of a Vermont B&B, two seemingly happy couples but what's underneath? What about when you throw a mysterious stranger? What will happen? Are Alyssa and Rand really that happy? Are they ready to give up their carefree lifestyle to start a family? Can Kira and Peter meet in the middle when it comes to a major decision?  Will Dawn's past quickly catch up to her? How will it affect all 5 of them?

Catching Air is a quick and enjoyable read. All the characters move the story along in their own way, they are each a piece to the puzzle that Ms. Pekkanen is putting together. While I might not have liked all them as much as previous novels, I did find them redeemable. Perhaps the one I liked the most was Kira. I liked her the way she was orderly and organized. She wasn't without her flaws: judgemental, righteous, a bit OCD but we all have them. She did end up confronting her fears and what was holding her back in moving her relationship forward with Peter. I liked that she decided to do that, even if the timing wasn't ideal.

As for Alyssa and Rand, well there's always going to be trouble when you aren't on the same page of a marriage. Sometimes you can get over it and sometimes you can't. Rand was selfish but so was Alyssa in her own way as well. She moved forward with a life changing event because it was important to her. You can't go from being carefree and dropping everything to travel, to immediately wanting to put down roots.

Then, there is the mysterious Dawn. Except she's not that mysterious to us readers, but she is to the rest of the B&B gang. She's skittish, for good reason and she's naive. Dawn's also a little lost and doesn't have much self-esteem. I liked how she did come into her own while helping out at the B&B. She really did become Kira's right hand in the kitchen, especially when everyone else was so useless.

The relationship that I liked seeing flourish the most was the one between Kira and Alyssa. They barely knew each other and immediately found common ground with running the B&B. It seemed to be a passion for both of them once they were in it.

While some of the stories were were wrapped up nicely, they all left you wondering if they would be ok in the end and I'm ok with that. Life isn't always able to be wrapped up with a big bow, it's messy.

For those of you who are Sarah Pekkanen fans, then you won't want to miss this new novel. If you've never read her before, then Catching Air is a good place to start. Although I highly recommend Skipping a Beat, if you had to choose.



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