Book Review: Balancing Acts – Zoe Fishman

Title: Balancing Acts: A Novel
Author: Zoe Fishman
ISBN: 9780061711800
Pages: 384
Release Date: March 16, 2010
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:

Charlie has left her high paying Wall Street job in order to pursue her dream of opening a yoga studio.  Now that she’s finally got it up and running, she figures it can’t hurt to do some networking at her ten-year college reunion.  However, she doesn’t expect to meet three women from her college days that she really connects with.  Naomi is a single mom who does website design from home, while Sabine is a romance book editor but dreams of writing her own book one day.  Bess works for a gossip magazine, but is searching for that “big story” that will turn her into a real reporter.  When the lives of these four women intersect, none of them will be the same.

Review:

Balancing Acts is a fun women’s fiction novel that is easy to read and full of warmth.  I love that it centered around yoga, and that it was such a passion of Charlie’s.  These four women in a yoga studio together every Saturday morning seems like the perfect way to start the weekend, and with Zoe Fishman’s great writing, the reader will feel like they are the fifth member of this delightful class.

I appreciated all four of these women, though I have to say I enjoyed reading about Bess’s journey the most.  It’s ironic, because she was actually my least favorite character when the novel began.  She was selfish and desperate to prove herself, and as a result, she wasn’t very appealing.  However, she began to transform as the novel progressed and made some serious realizations about herself.  I loved the fact that this growth was organic and Bess came to it on her own, rather than being spurred by some sort of dramatic confrontation.  Fishman did an excellent job writing this storyline, and indeed, the stories of all four women.  It would have been easy to fall back on clichés and overused plots, yet that’s not what happened.  It made the novel as a whole very refreshing.

The underlying message of Balancing Acts is also a welcome one – to slow down and breathe.  Fishman discusses these women and their dreams in this book, but it’s not in a conventional way.  Instead, she gently reminds us that our dreams can change over time.  Ten years out of college, these women want and need different things out of life then they did when they were fresh-faced undergraduates.  It’s necessary to face your problems and be willing to let them go in order to have the balance in life that you really want.

I really enjoyed Balancing Acts and definitely recommend it to fans of women’s fiction.  Charlie, Bess, Sabine, and Naomi (my personal favorite character) are well-written and each of their personalities leap off the page.  By the time you finish this book, you’ll feel as if you’ve known them for years.

Comments

  1. Sounds like a good book. I enjoy books about people learning to “slow down and breathe” (and hopefully realize that its ok for our dreams/goals to change).

  2. Sounds like a good book. I enjoy books about people learning to “slow down and breathe” (and hopefully realize that its ok for our dreams/goals to change).

  3. This one sounds like a fun summer read. I’m fascinated by yoga, but I never seem to actually start doing it. Perhaps this novel will provide some impetus. Thanks!

  4. This one sounds like a fun summer read. I’m fascinated by yoga, but I never seem to actually start doing it. Perhaps this novel will provide some impetus. Thanks!

  5. Might give this a try,Thanks.

  6. Might give this a try,Thanks.

  7. Sounds like a good beach read! That is usually when I read the lighter “women’s” genre-it just feels well suited to sun and warm breezes. Thanks for the, as usual, well written review!

  8. Sounds like a good beach read! That is usually when I read the lighter “women’s” genre-it just feels well suited to sun and warm breezes. Thanks for the, as usual, well written review!

  9. Sounds like a great book with a great message!

  10. Sounds like a great book with a great message!

  11. Good review! I am itching to read this one!

  12. Good review! I am itching to read this one!

  13. Great review! I am glad that Bess grew on you and that you had such a good time with the book. I will have to pick this one up. Thanks!

  14. Great review! I am glad that Bess grew on you and that you had such a good time with the book. I will have to pick this one up. Thanks!

  15. I recently purchased this book. I’m looking forward to reading it.

  16. I recently purchased this book. I’m looking forward to reading it.

  17. This sounds like a good one for my book club to select at some point in the future. It has all of the stuff about women and friendship AND several of my book club members do yoga regularly so there is that connection too.

  18. This sounds like a good one for my book club to select at some point in the future. It has all of the stuff about women and friendship AND several of my book club members do yoga regularly so there is that connection too.

  19. This book sounds pretty cute and I love books with women’s friendship as a theme!

  20. This book sounds pretty cute and I love books with women’s friendship as a theme!

  21. hello –

    as the author of balancing acts, i just wanted to thank you personally for such a wonderful review. i am so glad that you enjoyed the book and found my characters compelling. thank you!!

    sincerely,
    zoe fishman

  22. hello –

    as the author of balancing acts, i just wanted to thank you personally for such a wonderful review. i am so glad that you enjoyed the book and found my characters compelling. thank you!!

    sincerely,
    zoe fishman

  23. This book is already on my to-read list. Your review reinforced why this will be a good summer selection!

    JHS
    Colloquium

  24. This book is already on my to-read list. Your review reinforced why this will be a good summer selection!

    JHS
    Colloquium

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