Thursday, January 12, 2012

Seven Year Switch by Claire Cook

3.5 Star

Just when Jill Murray’s finally figured out how to manage on her own, her ex-husband proves that he can’t even run away reliably. After seven long years missing in action, he’s back?crashing into the man-free existence Jill and her ten-year-old daughter have built so carefully. And what’s a good mother to do? To a child, even a deadbeat dad is better than no dad at all.
Jill’s life just hasn’t turned out quite the way she planned. By now, she’d hoped to be jetting around the world as a high-end cultural coach. Instead, she’s answering phones for a local travel agency and teaching cooking classes at the community center.
Enter free-spirited entrepreneur Billy, who hires Jill as a consultant for an upcoming business trip. Is their relationship veering off in a new direction? And what about her ex? Jill couldn’t possibly still have feelings for him . . . could she? Suddenly, her no-boys-allowed life is anything but.
They say that every seven years you become a completely new person, but Jill isn’t sure she’s ready for the big change. It takes a Costa Rican getaway to help her make a choice — not so much between the two men in her life, but between the woman she is and the one she wants to be.

Kaley - 3.5 Star

Ever since I learned Claire Cook wrote Must Love Dogs I wanted to check out one of her novels. I have to admit that I was a little wary when I was given Seven Year Switch to read - what happened if I didn't like it as much as I was expecting to? - but luckily, my fears were unfounded as I really enjoyed this book.

I'm a very fast reader so I managed to devour this book in a day but I think others would get through this book quickly as well. The chapters are short and the story moves along at a good pace. I found myself hooked after just the first couple of chapters.

While I only rated this at 3.5 stars, I definitely think other readers would rate this novel higher. I say this because I don't think I was the ideal reader for this book. The story follows a single mom and her journey to find herself while being the best mom she can be to her ten year old daughter. As much as I enjoyed reading this book, it's hard for me to really put myself in Jill's shoes when I'm nowhere even close to her stage in life. I actually found myself identifying more with Anastasia who desperately wants her dad to be around and doesn't quite understand why he's not. Should I always put myself in the main character’s position? No, not really. I just found I couldn’t quite relate to Jill as much as I would have liked.

I found that I was conflicted about who I wanted Jill to end up with in the end. Should she stay with Seth or try something new with Billy? What would actually be better for her? I'm pretty sure I'm happy with the way things turned out but I was still thinking about the conclusion for a few days after I finished the book. I found myself evaluating her choices right along with her. What I gathered was that Jill only thought she had two options – Seth or Billy. But what about a third option? How about neither? It sometimes seemed like she was trying to force either man into her life. She had such a fantastic life changing trip to Costa Rica that I think I was expecting a slightly different outcome. However, like I said, I think the ending works and am happy for Jill.

Overall, I liked Seven Year Switch. I didn’t love it but that doesn’t mean others wouldn’t. This is a great read for chick lit lovers, especially those who enjoy stories featuring strong single moms. This was a good read and I will make sure to check out more of Claire Cook’s books in the future.

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