Title: Baggage Claim
Author: Tanya Michna
Release Date: May 5, 2009
Publisher: NAL Trade
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
From the back cover:
When Beth Overton, a stay-at-home mom, learns that her husband has fallen short on his part of their marriage bargain, she’s forced to rethink hers. But first she’s got to retrieve the luggage she’s accidentally switched with someone else…
Carly Frazer, a divorced history professor, keeps telling herself she’s got her life completely under control…until it falls completely apart. With a major career move in doubt and her recently widowed mother moving in, Carly’s got troubles galore—and another woman’s suitcase.
When Beth and Carly meet in a hotel bar to switch bags, they are two very different women who never guess that a twist of fate, and their subsequent unlikely friendship, are about to take their lives in surprising new directions…
When I first heard about Baggage Claim, I wanted to read it because I thought it would be light and easy. While it was both of those things, what I didn’t expect was a book that I couldn’t put down! The story was engaging and the characters were very sympathetic. Baggage Claim was an extremely enjoyably read.
Carly was a difficult character to sympathize with at the beginning. She seemed prickly and harsh and was unbelievably cold. However, as the novel progresses, it becomes clear that Carly is much more complicated than she appears to be. She was emotionally abused by her father and keeps everyone at an arm’s length because she doesn’t want to be hurt again. It’s wonderful to watch her open up and learn to live in Baggage Claim.
Helen, Carly’s mother, is an entirely different matter. In fact, she is the opposite of Carly; at the beginning, she seems to be a frail old woman who deserves sympathy because she doesn’t seem to have Carly’s love. But as the pages turn, the reader realizes that, once again, there is more going on than appears at first glance. I loved getting to know these two characters and understanding their circumstances.
Though all of the characters in Baggage Claim were extremely well-written, I have to admit that Beth was my favorite. She was wonderful and engaging; I loved watching her come into her own. At the beginning of the novel, she seemed extremely naive. Her initial behavior towards Allen, her husband, after their first fight makes that abundantly clear. However, she grows up quickly as she realizes how much she has let Allen walk all over her in their marriage. It is gratifying to watch Beth regain her strength and learn to stand up for herself.
Baggage Claim is an engaging novel that any fan of women’s fiction will enjoy. The characters are wonderfully drawn, the novel is well-written, and the story is very effectively done. I highly recommend it!
Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book to review.