"...Adults need to have fun so children will want to grow up."
To celebrate the life of one of it's circle, 7 women agree to do the one thing that terrifies them. But there's a twist, they don't get to pick that thing.
In Erica Bauermeister's Joy for Beginners each chapter focuses on a different woman as she attempts to do the task assigned to her. The chapters don't just focus on the task though, they give us a little background that shows why that particular woman is the way she is how that particular task makes sense. Bauermeister also slips in bits and pieces about the other women in each chapter.
The GoodHaving each woman in her own chapter allowed Bauermeister to go deeper into each person's character. That combined with the women having minor roles in other chapters made them more believable. I could see my own friendships reflected in the lives of the characters. The women were simple and real.
The Not So GoodThe women in each chapter have flashbacks to help you understand their characters. The only problem for me was knowing "when" in the story I was. I thought the flow was disrupted by these necessary pieces because I kept trying to put a "date" on the events. I wasn't sure if each woman was during her challenge slightly in the future or the next year since that's when Kate's challenge is supposed to take place and she's the last woman chronicled.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. There is much to remind you about being "you" and doing things that make life meaningful and rich. It's about sharing the journey with friends and family but making sure you are participating not just supplying everyone else's journey. In short, live don't just exist. I would recommend Joy for Beginners to women who enjoy a quiet, thought-provoking story.
GiveawayThe publisher is giving away one copy of Joy For Beginners. Just leave a comment and your email address from June 27, 2011 - June 30, 2011 11:59pm. Name will be picked by random.org. US/Canada Only. One entry per person, please.
Read an excerpt of Joy for Beginners
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Thank you to Putnam/Penguin and TLC Book Tours for this ARC.