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A Borrowed Life From theCharts bestselling author of Whisper Me This comes an emotional and sharply witty novel about how life’s unexpected detours can ultimately bring you homeFor twentysix years Liz has perfectly played the part of Mrs Thomas Lightsey, exemplary pastor’s wife and mother But maintaining appearances for the congregation and catering to her demanding husband takes a toll, and she’s lost herself in meeting the expectations of others When Thomas suddenly dies, Liz feels shock, grief, and, to her surprise, the siren song of freedom Dare she dream of a life to call her own?Despite the resistance of her daughter, Abigail, to even the smallest changes, Liz lands a role at the community theater Inspired by new friends and the character she plays, she explores life’s possibilities, including an unexpected—and steamy—relationship with her leading manJust when Liz thinks she might be winning, life hits her with an unthinkable shock She’s pregnant at fortynine Torn between conflicting loyalties to her daughter, her lover, her unborn baby, and herself, can Liz find a way to rebuild her dream life one time? Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and Netgalley for making it possible to read an advanced copy of A Borrowed Life! (2.5 stars)I was intrigued to read this by the very fun cover design and also because the story sort of reminded me of an updated version of the play and movie, Shirley Valentine, about a woman in her 40s who gets a second chance at rebuilding the life she's always dreamed about While I think Shirley Valentine is thedaring take on this familiar coming of age later in life journey, I did find A Borrowed Life to be an engaging read for most of the book Elizabeth Lightsey is stuck in her life at 49 years old Her marriage to the small town Pastor, Thomas, is unfulfilling to say the least, and she belongs to the worst knitting circle with the most judgmental people I can ever imagine She journals to her secret self, her alterego Liz, every morning, hoping to reclaim some part of her bolder,adventurous self Liz expects to be set free from boredom once her husband dies from a heart attack, but true to form, she discovers her new life is just the beginning of a whole new set of challenges and delights It took a while, but I have to say I was fully engrossed in the middle section of the book Once Liz dips her toes into community theatre, a bit of casual sex, and reclaiming her sense of self, does the novel really come alive I loved the Inner Liz sections of the book that revealed a lot of the character's unexpressed desires Her overly opinionated and intense daughter, Abigail, along with a nagging sense that Thomas is trying to control her behavior from beyond the grave, work well together to thwart Liz's chances at full independence, which I found believable Side characters like Val and even Lance, are a true delight I didn't expect this book to have such a heavy romantic scene, but boy, is it worth the wait!The dialogue in the book is somewhat stilted, however Abigail and Thomas (and Earlene, Churchgoer) seem as though they are written as much older people I don't know very many 25 year olds, Abigail's age, who go around using the word obtuse Thomas is written like a 65 year old Pastor straight out of the 1950s (versus 2019 when the novel is set) who appears to only know how to quote the bible rather than talk like a person living in the modern day I wish we could have gotten scenes earlier in the book about what Thomas' and Liz's marriage was actually like and a clearer picture upfront of how Liz ended up there Halfway through the story I started to ask myself why in the world did Liz ever marry this guy!I found the pregnancy angle frustrating and unnecessary Plenty of women go on to reinvent their lives without throwing in pregnancy and children (especially with a woman at age 49 who apparently already went through menopause?!) as an obstacle I wish the author had taken a different path, which would have made the storybelievable for a woman looking to start over In some ways, it seemed like the pregnancy was written in as a way to somewhat temper all of the growth and selfdiscovery that Liz was going through It certainly stopped her budding sexual romantic relationship with Lance I don't know, this storyline kind of felt forced andformulaic than I think what was intended And it made Abigail one of the most unbearable bratty characters I really wanted Liz to stand up to her ! As a side note, and this is probably a technical glitch, but my Bluefire Reader cut out all of the dialogue in written as Texts, so I actually missed what happened in the end, which is a shame! I appreciated King's writing and she does reach levels of emotional depth that surprised me Liz felt like a living, breathing human, and honestly, who doesn't ever find themselves in a bad marriage, a horrible job, or just stuck in an unsatisfying phase of life with no clue how to move forward I found Liz's struggle heartbreaking and something I could identify with on a certain level Apparently King has experience as a medical professional working with those suffering from grief and loss, and she clearly knows what she's talking about here Thanks again to Netgalley for providing this advanced book in exchange for an honest review. I felt this book was quite the wild ride! It follows the life of Elizabeth Lightsey, the wife of a preacher who controls her life and makes every decision for her for 26 years But then he suddenly dies and although she’s devastated, she finally gets her life handed back to her and she’s free to make decisions for herself The craziness that happens after this is absolutely amazing (This story kind of has a housewives vibe to it as the whole community is constantly up each other’s a** and it’s comical!) for Elizabeth, is it too soon for a new romance? To soon to start a new life at 49 years old? This book is about life, love, surprises, change, challenges, loving yourself, sticking up for yourself, standing up for what you believe in (which I found to be pretty bad ass in this book), being able to get the strength to stop caring what other people think of you, and the power of YES instead of no! Overall great read from Kelly Anne King and I do recommend this book if you’re looking for a nonstop exciting and fun story! You will be rooting for Liz the whole time, just like I was!Thank you to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing ( Publishing) for this ARC! This book was exquisite and just what I needed! I've loved King's other books so was pretty sure I'd love this one as well and I did! Liz is the epitome of the obedient pastor's wife, holding weekly knitting circles in her home and raising her daughter (now grown and a nurse) to believe she was put on this earth to serve men and kowtow to them But when husband Thomas suffers a fatal heart attack, Liz realizes she has no real voice of her own until good friend, Val introduces her to community theater where she unexpectedly lands the lead and meets single, handsome Lance (who unfortunately is emotionally unavailable) When daughter Abagail returns home to care for her, Liz recognizes how narrow her vision has been and just how her husband shaped her to believe all the Bible verses literally and not recognize a woman's power or spirit What follows is a wonderful and heartbreaking trial of the relationship between mother and daughter, mother and friend, mother and church ladies, mother and hot guy How does one reinvent herself when tragedy strikes suddenly? We never know until it strikes but I loved King's belief that, When you're held back from being yourself, from living your gifts, how can you possibly be your best self? Oprah worthy, right?? I was tearyeyed at the end as Liz comes to terms with her new life and all the possibilities it holds!Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC! A Borrowed Life is a completely moving and brilliant book from Kerry Anne King Following the sudden loss of her husband, Liz embarks on a journey of rediscovering her life It was frustrating, gripping, uplifting and funny all rolled into one and definitely a book I'll recommend to friends! I do, however, wish someone would push Abigail out of an open window *I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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