Book Review: Skipping a Beat – Sarah Pekkanen

Title: Skipping a Beat
Author: Sarah Pekkanen
ISBN: 9781451609820
Pages:  352
Release Date: February 22, 2011
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Summary:

Julia Dunhill is numb when it comes to her sham of a marriage.  She and her husband, Michael, barely communicate anymore.  It seems as though Michael’s first love is the company he started, and Julia’s compensation for the lack of a true life partner is the oodles of money her husband brings in.  She’s at peace with their arrangement, at least, as much as she can be, and she throws herself into her event planning business to compensate.  But when the unthinkable happens, and Michael’s outlook on life completely changes, she has to ask herself what really matters to her, whether it’s too late to save their marriage, and if she even wants to try.

Review:

I really enjoyed Sarah Pekkanen’s first book, The Opposite of Me, so I was eagerly awaiting her second novel, Skipping a Beat.  I had high expectations for this one, so I started it with a little nervousness, but I needn’t have worried.  Pekkanen knocks it out of the park with her second novel.

I absolutely loved the character of Julia.  Pekkanen really drew me into the story, making sure I was very emotionally involved.  I was invested in Julia; her happiness meant a lot to me, and as a result, I was racing through this book, desperate to know that things would turn out okay for her.  I felt Julia’s hurts and understood her fears; she had come to accept that, while Michael and she went through the motions of being a couple, she had no emotional support.  However, she knew she would always be financially secure, a small comfort, but an important one.  When that rug is pulled out from under her, she has no idea what to think, and all she has to hold onto is her anger.

Skipping a Beat is a very character driven novel, and central to that is introspection and reevaluation.  It’s all about coming to a place of understanding, and realizing what is really important to you in life.  That’s not to say that Pekkanen turns to the cliché “money is nothing, love is everything,” because as we all know, it’s more complicated than that.  It’s one of the things I loved about this book – it would have been so easy to make it typical and clichéd, but instead it’s nuanced and very well done.  What is truly important, and what does Julia want from her life?  What does it mean to really and truly love another person, and do she and Michael have that? 

I thoroughly enjoyed Skipping a Beat.  It’s not often that I cry at books, but this one had me in tears, as I experienced Julia’s emotional upheaval right along with her.  I really adored this book, and with it and The Opposite of Me, Sarah Pekkanen has become one of my favorite authors, and one that I will definitely be keeping a close eye on in the future.

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Comments

  1. There are so many books out there that address life-changing events and women facing important questions in their lives. So to hear that this one moved you so really stands out to me. Sounds like the author was able to get beyond the surface, and nailed it.

  2. There are so many books out there that address life-changing events and women facing important questions in their lives. So to hear that this one moved you so really stands out to me. Sounds like the author was able to get beyond the surface, and nailed it.

  3. I agree- Pekkanen knocked this one out of the park! I liked SAB even more than The Opposite of Me, and I liked that one a lot!

  4. I agree- Pekkanen knocked this one out of the park! I liked SAB even more than The Opposite of Me, and I liked that one a lot!

  5. I started reading this last night so I skipped to your rating. Glad to see you liked it – sounds like everyone has!

  6. I started reading this last night so I skipped to your rating. Glad to see you liked it – sounds like everyone has!

  7. I haven’t read either of her books, but now I am intrigued. They both sound so good

  8. I haven’t read either of her books, but now I am intrigued. They both sound so good

  9. Two words — LOVED IT! And it did make me cry too. That doesn’t happen much!

  10. Two words — LOVED IT! And it did make me cry too. That doesn’t happen much!

  11. This sounds fantastic. Great review. I can’t wait to try it!

  12. This sounds fantastic. Great review. I can’t wait to try it!

  13. I haven’t read any Pekennen, but I have heard good things about her books. I think the intricacies of a marriage without communication but funded by a lot of money are very interesting, and I would like to try this one for myself. Thanks for the great and enthusiastic review!

  14. I haven’t read any Pekennen, but I have heard good things about her books. I think the intricacies of a marriage without communication but funded by a lot of money are very interesting, and I would like to try this one for myself. Thanks for the great and enthusiastic review!

  15. Reading your review, which intrigued me, I looked for more details, and this really does sound a very good book. I was thinking it might be similar to others but I don’t think I’ve heard of a book quite in this vein. So thank you for the recommendation, I’ll definitely be reading this!

  16. Reading your review, which intrigued me, I looked for more details, and this really does sound a very good book. I was thinking it might be similar to others but I don’t think I’ve heard of a book quite in this vein. So thank you for the recommendation, I’ll definitely be reading this!

  17. Wow, high praise! I remember thinking I wanted to read The Opposite of Me when that came out, but never quite got around to it. Now I’ll definitely have to add both of these books to my wishlist!

  18. Wow, high praise! I remember thinking I wanted to read The Opposite of Me when that came out, but never quite got around to it. Now I’ll definitely have to add both of these books to my wishlist!

  19. I thought this book was fantastic too! It was even better than The Opposite of Me.

  20. I thought this book was fantastic too! It was even better than The Opposite of Me.

  21. I adored this book as well. So beautiful! And absolutely one where tissues are needed. I cried through quite a bit of the last half of the book. Fantastic review!

  22. I adored this book as well. So beautiful! And absolutely one where tissues are needed. I cried through quite a bit of the last half of the book. Fantastic review!

  23. Oh, Sarah Pekkanen — she’s everywhere, and it sounds like it’s for a very good reason! I’ve had The Opposite Of Me camping out in my bookcase for far too long, and I can’t wait to read that and this one, too. Great review!

  24. Oh, Sarah Pekkanen — she’s everywhere, and it sounds like it’s for a very good reason! I’ve had The Opposite Of Me camping out in my bookcase for far too long, and I can’t wait to read that and this one, too. Great review!

  25. Thank you for this beautiful review. And I love reading all of these comments! xoxo

  26. Thank you for this beautiful review. And I love reading all of these comments! xoxo

  27. I am so happy for Sarah! What a great review!

  28. I am so happy for Sarah! What a great review!

  29. I still need to read her first novel! I’m glad to hear you enjoyed this one so much too!

  30. I still need to read her first novel! I’m glad to hear you enjoyed this one so much too!

  31. OK, I’m back. I finished it this morning. Wow – I need to go restock my Kleenex supply. This book should come with a warning on the cover!!!

    I loved it 🙂

  32. OK, I’m back. I finished it this morning. Wow – I need to go restock my Kleenex supply. This book should come with a warning on the cover!!!

    I loved it 🙂

  33. I have not had the chance to read anything by Pekkanen but this book sounds wonderful. I love books that have great character development so that you feel yourself really feeling for the characters – feeling with them and ultimately rooting for them. I also love what you said about this book being nuanced because life is complex. There are no easy answers.

  34. I have not had the chance to read anything by Pekkanen but this book sounds wonderful. I love books that have great character development so that you feel yourself really feeling for the characters – feeling with them and ultimately rooting for them. I also love what you said about this book being nuanced because life is complex. There are no easy answers.

  35. I saw the author speak in NY earlier this week and can’t wait to get to this book. You will be happy to hear that she is working on her 3rd book now so there is another on the way!

  36. I saw the author speak in NY earlier this week and can’t wait to get to this book. You will be happy to hear that she is working on her 3rd book now so there is another on the way!

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