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Following Three Women on Their 30th, 40th, and 50th Birthdays

The Year that Changed Everything  - Cathy Kelly

Well this was ultimately a delightful read. I really got a kick out of following Ginger, Sam, and Callie. I thought it was an odd writing choice that had Kelly go back one month before their birthdays and then jump forward again. Other than that, I enjoyed this book and found Ginger to be the character that I felt for and wanted to read more about. That said, I still enjoyed the characters of Sam and Callie.

"The Year Everything Changed" follows  Ginger, Sam, and Callie, on their 30th, 40th, and 50th birthdays and the year that follows.


Ginger is 30 years old and has never been kissed. She's a larger woman who no matter what she tried has never been able to find a man to be with. Now she's a bridesmaid in her best friend's wedding and hoping that she may meet a man that can be the one. 


Sam is expecting her first baby after years of thinking she would never be a mother. Turning 40 has her feeling older and even though it's her first child, not ready for her new baby at all.


Callie is dreading her 50th birthday party that her husband Jason is insisting that they throw. She's constantly fighting with her 14 year old daughter Poppy and has started taking a Xanax to deal. 


So Ginger's story is wonderful. Working for a newspaper where she rocks her job, she wishes she can be just as strong as confident outside of work. She also has a secret at said job which I got a total kick out of too. When she overhears her so called friend talking about her weight and her clothing she decides to she is going to make some changes to her life. There is some romance that Kelly interjects that I thought worked quite well in the story. I also loved Ginger's family, especially her great aunt. 


Sam....hmmm. Honestly it took me me a while to warm up to her. I initially liked the character, but it took a little too long to get to where I already knew Kelly was going with her character. And her suddenly blaming everything on her mother just made me tired after a while.


Callie also took me some time to warm up to. We definitely see she has her head in the sand about her marriage and her family's wealth. And when we get to why she's estranged from her family I was looking at her sides-way. But then Kelly smartly develops this character and her bratty daughter and I found myself rooting for them. Callie had the most transformation I think from the beginning of this book until we get to the ending. 

I think the main reason why this book works is that Kelly smartly doesn't have the three women meet up right away. We follow them on their separate paths and a few times one of them will reference the other character (without knowing them) and we eventually get to the meeting point for these women further along in the story (around the 80 percent mark or so). The flow was great and Kelly balances out each story. I am almost always disappointed when an author tries to focus on multiple characters because usually what happens is that one person takes up the bulk of the book with the two other ones not really being in it. Or all three stories lose something by the author trying to balance everything.


The ending was very good and I loved how Kelly tied up all of the loose ends. I wouldn't mind another book following these three women.