21 June 2013

Imprint Friday: No One Could Have Guessed the Weather by Anne-Marie Casey

Welcome to Imprint Friday and today's featured imprint: Amy Einhorn Books. Stop by each week to be introduced to a must-read title from one of my favorite imprints. I know you'll be adding many of these books to your wish list.

Can I admit that I was a little nervous about reading this week's Imprint Friday pick? I was afraid that I would have trouble relating the women in No One Could Have Guessed the Weather by Anne-Marie Casey because their lives are so different from mine. I should have known that I could trust Amy Einhorn to find a novel that offers a smart, sharp look at contemporary marriage, motherhood, women's choices, and friendships.

Here's the publisher's summary:

Sometimes what you want in your twenties isn’t what you want or need in your forties. . . .

When Lucy Lovett’s husband loses his job, she is forced to give up her posh life in London and move their family to a tiny apartment in Manhattan, where her husband has managed to secure a lowly position. Lucy finds herself living in the center of cool and hip. Across from their apartment is a trendy bar called PDT—whenever Lucy passes by, she thinks, Please Don’t Tell anyone I’m a middle-aged woman.

Homesick and resentful at first, Lucy soon embarks on the love affair of her life—no, not with her husband (though they’re both immensely relieved to discover they do love each other for richer or poorer), but with New York City and the three women who befriend her.

There’s Julia, who is basically branded with a Scarlet A when she leaves her husband and kids for a mini nervous breakdown and a room of her own; Christy, a much older man’s trophy wife, who is a bit adrift as only those who live high up in penthouses can be; and disheveled and harried Robyn, constantly compensating for her husband, who can’t seem to make the transition from wunderkind to adult.

Spot-on observant, laugh-out-loud funny, yet laced with kindness through and through, No One Could Have Guessed the Weather is a story of what happens when you grow up and realize the middle part of your story might just be your beginning.
Although No One Could Have Guessed the Weather is a novel, the sections could almost stand on their own as snapshots of four New York City women whose lives intersect in various ways. Their friendship is solidified after they decide to take a weekend "equine assisted learning course," which promises to help them with their emotional growth. Let me be quick to reassure you that this is no sappy, feel-good novel; the women's struggles are genuine, but the humor keeps the story from getting bogged down in heavy issues:
It doesn't matter whether you can ride or not," said Christy firmly. "The course is psychological. Lianne says you spend time with the horses and you learn life lessons. Then, when you find yourself in a crisis situation, you think, What would a horse do?" (p. 134; uncorrected copy)
Through alternating chapters, we learn each woman's present situation and how she came to be there (economic troubles, idealized love) as well as a bit about their childhoods and families. Once they go to the equestrian program, the story is carried into the present and beyond as Lucy, Julia, Christy, and Robyn learn to accept the past and look to the future.

All women everywhere have to face questions about motherhood, career, and relationship status while keeping an eye on their birth family (aging parents, siblings in trouble). Is it any wonder why we often find ourselves pulled too thin? As the women in No One Could Have Guessed the Weather discover, no one should feel shackled to a single path. Change may require sacrifice, pain, and courage, but it can be done and often should be done.

Anne-Marie Casey's debut novel is an astute look at contemporary life. You may not be like any of the protagonists, but you know women just like them. I couldn't be more different from Lucy and Julia, yet I understood their pain, rooted for their happiness, and accepted their ultimate solutions. Add No One Could Have Guessed the Weather to your summer reading list; you can thank me later.

To learn more about Anne-Marie Casey, visit her website, where you can see the UK cover and title. Check out her tour schedule there or on her Facebook page. Book club members will appreciate the thoughtful reading guide, which covers the major themes of the novel. And don't miss the fabulous interview/conversation with Adrianna Trigiani!

Amy Einhorn Books is a featured imprint on Beth Fish Reads. For more information about the imprint, please read Amy Einhorn's open letter posted here on January 25, 2010, or click the Amy Einhorn tab below my banner photo. To join the Amy Einhorn Books Reading Challenge, click the link.

Published by Putnam / Amy Einhorn Books, June 13, 2013
ISBN-13: 9780399160219
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy).

8 comments:

Jennifer @ The Relentless Reader 6/21/13, 8:57 AM  

I've added this to my wishlist, sounds like a winner to me! Thanks :D

bermudaonion 6/21/13, 9:11 AM  

I have a feeling I'll like this one, too - you can't go wrong with an Amy Einhorn book!

JoAnn 6/21/13, 10:13 AM  

If it's an Amy Einhorn book, it's got to be good! Adding to my wishlist...

Sandy Nawrot 6/21/13, 12:47 PM  

I'm not totally sure I would have rushed out to get this one, but you are right, you have to trust Amy. She knows what she is doing.

caite 6/21/13, 2:02 PM  

I can't get past the point of wondering if any lowly position could pay for the most tiny apartment in Manhattan.
other than that...

(Diane) bookchickdi 6/22/13, 6:45 AM  

As someone who moved to New York City in middle age, I think I'm going to like this one; great review.

Daryl 6/24/13, 9:52 AM  

i really enjoy peeking into the lives of other women, women who are nothing like me ... adding this to the list, thanks!

Julie P. 6/24/13, 6:22 PM  

I almost forgot about this one. If it's an Amy Einhorn, it's a must read!

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