The One That Got Away (★★★★☆)

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Leigh Himes  *  Hachette Books  *  May 31, 2016  *  384 Pages

Advanced Reader Copy provided by Amazon Vine.

Abbey Lahey is exhausted. She’s a thirty-something mom of two kids, trying to keep her family afloat financially while her husband’s once-booming landscaping business flounders. She hasn’t had a break in years, and the pressures of daily life–bills, family, school, work, all of it–are finally getting to her. Though she loves her husband and her children with all her heart, she’s beginning to resent feeling pulled in a million directions while simultaneously being criticized for not getting anything right. She feels like she’s gone from “living for today to simply getting through it.”

On a particularly bad day, Abbey decides to soothe herself by buying a gorgeous purse at Nordstrom that is well out of her family’s budget. After her husband finds out the purse costs over $500, he demands she return it. And the very next day, she does–well, she tries to. While juggling the to-be-returned purse, her coffee, and her own worn bag of random stuff, Abbey loses her footing stepping off the escalator and accidentally falls over the second floor railing. She hits her head hard on the piano bench below, and when she wakes up, she finds herself in an alternate universe. Suddenly she is Abigail van Holt, wife of a handsome and rich soon-to-be senator. Her two children are still her own somehow, but her body, wardrobe, bank account, friends, and social engagements are vastly different. Far from being the working class mess that was Abbey Lahey, Abigail van Holt is perfect and polished political royalty.

This book is basically everything you expect it to be. If you think you have a good idea where the story ends up, well, you’re probably right. There aren’t many surprises here. But, still, The One That Got Away is a really fun read. The story stays light, even in its darkest moments. The characters are engaging, for the most part–and I didn’t mind that author Himes never goes especially deep with any of them. There are definitely some stereotypes in here about what it means to be rich or poor, but nothing too irritating or offensive. Ultimately, this is a book you read in order to be entertained, and it does a great job of doing that. I ended up really enjoying it.

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