Title: The Transformation of Things
Author: Jillian Cantor
Release Date: November 2, 2010
Publisher: Avon A
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Rating: 4.25 out of 5
Jennifer Levenworth has a life that many envy. She doesn’t have a job and spends her time doing charity work with the other country club wives that live in her area. Her husband Scott is a well-respected judge, and though they don’t see much of each other, things seem to be great on the surface. That is, until Scott is indicted on bribery charges. Jen gets this information, not straight from her husband, but from the TV at the salon where she’s getting her hair done. In that second, she knows that her life will change irrevocably and she must deal with the fallout.
I’ve heard good things about Jillian Cantor’s YA novels, so when I heard she had an adult novel coming out, I knew I wanted to read it. I was surprised to find that her story reminded me a little of Allison Winn Scotch’s novels – there is a magical quality to this book, giving Jen insights into those around her that she wouldn’t normally have. I appreciated the way Cantor wove these revelations seamlessly into the story, helping Jen understand that, even though others may appear to have the perfect life, there is always more going on under the surface than you can see from the outside.
Jen was really a great character. I loved how the changes in Scott’s life made Jen realize some important things about herself. Compromise is always good in a marriage, but it’s also critical to make sure your voice is heard, rather than silencing your doubts and fear so your partner will be happy. Jen learns this lesson the difficult way, realizing that there were many things wrong with her marriage long before Scott’s indictment. She also learns about the importance and value of friendship as she is dropped from the social scene of her community.
I really enjoyed The Transformation of Things up until the very end, when something happened that shocked me. This surprise twist took away from the novel and I was disappointed by it. Unfortunately, I can’t discuss it in a review without giving away the entire plot of the book, so I’ll just say that, while the twist didn’t ruin the book for me at all, I wish the choice to include it hadn’t been made.
The Transformation of Things was a sweet book with wonderful characters. Jen was an appealing woman and it was very easy to sympathize with her, but Cantor didn’t stop there. She made sure that the major secondary characters were also fully fleshed out. With these great characters and a storyline about personal growth and change, this is a book that women’s fiction fans will really enjoy. It would also make a great book club pick, as readers will be itching to discuss that twist at the end. Cantor is a promising new voice in women’s fiction, and I certainly hope she’ll choose to write more books aimed at an adult audience.