Title: The One That Got Away
Author: Leigh Himes
Hardcover: 384 pages
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)
Meet Abbey Lahey . . .
Overworked mom. Underappreciated publicist. Frazzled wife of an out-of-work landscaper. A woman desperately in need of a vacation from life–and who is about to get one, thanks to an unexpected tumble down a Nordstrom escalator.
Meet Abbey van Holt . . .
The woman whose life Abbey suddenly finds herself inhabiting when she wakes up. Married to handsome congressional candidate Alex van Holt. Living in a lavish penthouse. Wearing ball gowns and being feted by the crème of Philadelphia society. Luxuriating in the kind of fourteen-karat lifestyle she’s only read about in the pages of Town & Country.
The woman Abbey might have been . . . if she had said yes to a date with Alex van Holt all those years ago.
*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher at BEA.*
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5
When I was a couple of chapters into this, if you told me I’d end up liking it, I’d laugh in your face. But, wow, what a surprise! This turned out to be an enjoyable read! Basically, it starts out with Abbey feeling stressed and disappointed by how her life is turning out. Her husband’s business is failing, she hates her job, and she’s just so TIRED. She sees a guy she once turned down for a date in a magazine and wonders what would happen if she had said yes to that date and ended up marrying him instead. Then Poof! Freaky Friday/13 Going on 30-esque magic happens, and her wish comes true — she gets to live the life of rich Abbey married to a successful husband.
I had a very strong feeling about where this would go. She’d realize that all people have problems, learn her lesson, and be grateful for her regular, ordinary life. And it was kind of like that, but the journey there was a lot more interesting than I thought it would be. It wasn’t the hokey over-the-top after school special that I thought, but much more human and aware than that. Abbey goes on a self-discovery tour and realizes that while rich Abbey may seem different, they are really the same person; just different versions of each other. This book is less about learning to not take what we have for granted, but more about that who we are is a culmination of the choices we make, and we make choices ALL THE TIME. Those choices — even the small ones like what food you decide to eat for breakfast, what you snack on, or even whether or not you allow yourself to snack — are what make you the person you are and shape the life you live.
And Abbey realizes that without a kind, generous person like the one she married in her own life, she doesn’t make very kind, generous choices. Her kids are bratty and her friends are bitchy; the nanny doesn’t even want to talk to her very much, because she doesn’t want to deal with her crap. I loved reading between the lines and learning along with Abbey how much of a horrible person she is in this new life of hers. And Himes does a great job in bringing in parallels so we can see just how different everything is, like how her friendships have changed and how she is the typical rich housewife she used to roll her eyes at and secretly be jealous of.
Overall, like I said, I genuinely enjoyed reading this book. It’s a quick read and brings a bit of the author’s unique flair on a classic type of story. While I started off not liking Abbey very much in the beginning, reading about how she copes with her new life and her reflection on how/why things are different with this different husband actually helped me like her and in the end, I was rooting for her to succeed. If this book sounds even a little interesting to you, I recommend giving it a try: it’s surprisingly fun.