Title: The Penny Pinchers Club
Author: Sarah Strohmeyer
Release Date: July 2, 2009
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
From the publisher’s website:
Bestselling author Sarah Strohmeyer offers up a timely (and recession-proof) treat about the things money can—and can’t—buy. Living in New Jersey—the state that boasts the most malls per capita—Kat’s favorite recreational activity is a no-brainer: shopping. But when she discovers that her husband, Griff, has been hiding a secret bank account, her joyful consumerism suddenly loses its appeal. Are their fights about money more serious than she understood? Is he, as her friends suggest, preparing for a divorce? Just in case, Kat decides it’s time to start saving.
Drastic times call for drastic measures: Kat starts by canceling cable and kicking her $240-a-month Starbucks habit. But what starts out as a simple effort to cut costs becomes an over-the-top obsession when Kat joins an eclectic but lovable group of savers called the Penny Pinchers Club. Soon she is pumping her gas at dawn (when it is thicker) and serving dinner made from food she retrieved at the grocery store dumpster. Kat is saving money, to be sure, but what she’s really saving is time—time she spends with Griff, their two kids . . . and an old flame who resurfaces at precisely the wrong moment, offering Kat a life where money is no object.
I was a huge fan of Sarah Strohmeyer’s last novel Sweet Love [review], so when I heard she had a new book coming out, I knew immediately I wanted to read it. Happily, The Penny Pinchers Club didn’t disappoint; it was amusing and utterly engrossing.
I absolutely loved the character of Kat, which really surprised me. I’m relatively careful with money (though I enjoy the occasional splurge), so I thought that I would find Kat’s spending habits very annoying. However, I was surprised to find that while it was difficult to watch her spending money that she didn’t have, I didn’t dislike her for it. It was just a part of her personality. Strohmeyer deserves real credit for crafting a vibrant character who is sympathetic and easy to care about.
I also loved the discussion about what money (or a lack thereof) can do to a marriage. The information within The Penny Pinchers Club that money, not infidelity, is the top reason for divorce was very surprising to me. With one person constantly scrimping and saving and the other overspending to the limit, it’s difficult to imagine the kind of strain that would put on a marriage.
Though I couldn’t imagine myself bargain hunting like the Penny Pinchers, I found their antics hilarious. All the characters within the club were endearing in their own way. I’m really glad that Strohmeyer decided to include their personal stories as a secondary storyline. It served as a welcome distraction from what was going on in Kat’s life.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Penny Pinchers Club, from the wonderful characters to the great storyline that Sarah Strohmeyer created. This really is women’s fiction at its best; I highly recommend it!
Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book to review!