How well do you really know your best friends? Do you truly know what their lives are like, or do you just envy them for the lives they have, thinking they're better off than you are? Kristyn Kusek Lewis explores those questions in her strong debut novel, How Lucky You Are.
Waverly, Kate and Amy have been best friends since just after college. Waverly has always been the link between her friends, but, at thirty-five, she's struggling. She owns a bakery in Maple Hill, Virginia called Maggie's, but she's having trouble paying her bills. She loves Larry, the man she's lived with for ten years, but she hasn't told him she's behind in her share of the bills. And, she wonders why she hasn't pushed Larry for marriage while Kate is married to a man running for governor of Virginia and Amy is married to a doctor and has an adorable daughter, Emma. The opening scene, a dinner party at Waverly's, indicates that everything isn't as rosy as Waverly thinks, but it takes a rude awakening for her to realize what's happening. After a vacation trip to Palm Beach with her friends, it seems that everything falls apart.
Waverly is the narrator of this novel, a moving story about women's friendship, and not taking life for granted. Waverly is the one who feels as if her life is spinning out of control, so it comes as a shock when she realizes her friends' lives are not perfect. In fact, she has to make an important decision. When is it time to risk a friendship in an attempt to save a friend's life?
I had a hard time liking Waverly in the beginning because she was so insecure and needy. However, her character and her feelings are essential to this story, and it became apparent how important her character was, just the way she was written. She was actually perfect for this story.
How Lucky You Are asks interesting questions about life, love and friendship. It's difficult to say more without giving away crucial elements in the story. The book comes with questions for reading groups, and an interesting Author's Note, revealing the impetus behind this story. Kristyn Kusek Lewis' debut novel tackles tough issues, and the author handles the subjects with assurance. The book will leave you wondering. How well do you really know the lives of your best friends?
Kristyn Kusek Lewis' website http://kristynkuseklewis.com/
How Lucky You Are by Kristyn Kusek Lewis. Grand Central Publishing. 2012. ISBN 9781455502035 (paperback), 340p.
*****FTC Full Disclosure - I was sent a copy of the book in order to participate in a blog tour.