Title: By the Numbers
Author: Jen Lancaster
Publish Date: June 21, 2016 (Today!)
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Actuary Penny Sinclair
has a head for business, and she always makes rational decisions.
Knowing that 60% of spouses cheat and 50% of marriages end in divorce,
she wasn't too surprised when her husband had an affair. (That he did so
with a woman their daughter's age? Well, that part did sting a bit.)
She just made sure she got everything in the divorce, including their
lovely old Victorian house. And as soon as her middle daughter has her
hipster-fabulous wedding in the backyard, she's trading it in for a
condo in downtown Chicago...
Well within the average market time
in her area, Penny gets an offer on the house. But then life happens.
Her children, her parents and her ex come flying back to the nest, all
in need of Penny's emotional and financial support. Spread thin, Penny
becomes the poster child for the sandwich generation, when all she
really wanted to do was make managing director, buy a white couch, and
maybe go on a Match.com date..."
My Two Cents:
In "By the Numbers," Penny feels like her life is falling apart. In trying to "have it all," she is failing miserably. Her marriage is kaput! Her parents might be moving in with her. Two out of three of her adult children are having major issues and may also be moving home. Penny has worked hard for a living but nothing seems to have stuck and now she feels stuck.
First off, Jen Lancaster is on my must-read list. I fell in love with her hilarious, witty, and wise memoirs and now I'm loving her fiction. In her fiction, she creates characters that you fall in love with even if it takes awhile to get there as it did for me with Penny. Lancaster is brilliant in how she woos you though. We first meet Penny through the eyes of her children. Her daughters are totally over her and think that she's a total drag. Her son is the only one that stands up for her. I was expecting the book to be mostly about the grown children's feelings about their mom but the book is really about Penny, a woman trying to pull it all together! Penny is incredibly endearing and I felt for her throughout the book as if she were a friend.
The writing is great. So much of what I have loved about Lancaster's previous books is present in this book. She has really smart dialogue. She also has a great sense of humor and knows how to make her audience laugh out loud. The other thing that I absolutely loved was the ending of the book. I can't give anything away but I loved, loved, loved it! This is a great story about trying to keep your head above water when everything is going wrong!