‘How Lucky You Are’ by Kristyn Kusek Lewis

I’m always drawn to stories about groups of women friends – how does the  author portray close friendships? Is the dialogue realistic? Does it ‘ring true?’ Therefore, I picked up How Lucky You Are by Krisyn Kusek Lewis with great hopes.

It’s the story of Waverly, Kate and Amy, a tight-knit trio who met in their early twenties. The story is told from Waverley’s perspective who, after years of being the ‘rock’, is feeling the strain. Waverley is facing financial ruin and the loss of her home and business and meanwhile Kate and Amy are dealing with serious struggles of their own.

I won’t reveal what these ‘serious struggles’ are (although it doesn’t take much imagination to come up with possible conflicts married women may experience). Needless to say, I guessed what was going on quite early in the book.

The jacket blurb promised that Waverley would “…discover that there’s a fine line between loyalty and betrayal. And sometimes life is about taking risks in order to get the rewards you crave…”. Well, having just finished the book, I’m wondering if I missed something. Waverley didn’t really face any major loyalty/ betrayal decisions. True, she wasn’t completely honest with her own partner, Larry, but I didn’t get a sense of moral dilemma and nor did I ponder what I’d do in similar circumstances.

So it lacked a bit of punch. What about the friendships? I’m afraid it was a bit blah. The dialogue was nicely done but the lack of other friendships in the three women’s lives plus the fact that Amy and Kate imply that they only hang out together because of Waverley, left me feeling unconvinced.

One thing that irritates the hell out of me is an overdone ‘back story’ – the reader is introduced to the characters and their current situation and then the author goes into rewind, with page after page of what happened previously. I understand that a degree of this is unavoidable but back story can be revealed as vignettes, allowing the reader to fill in the gaps. There was far too much back story and justification of characters in How Lucky You Are.

Waverley’s bakery is an important part of the story, so this book obviously calls for cake! An early mention of lemon coconut cupcakes stuck with me, so I’ve picked out a delightfully unpretentious lemon coconut cake.

2/5 It’s a solid chick-lit offering but didn’t have me as excited as some of the readers on Goodreads – I guess I like my chick-lit a bit sparklier, a bit more frivolous.

* I received an ARC copy of How Lucky You Are from Grand Central Publishing via NetGalley.

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