Review: A Life That Fits by Heather Wardell

 

Title: A Life That Fits

Author: Heather Wardell

Published: June 2011

Synopsis: Twenty-eight-year-old Andrea returns home from a business trip to find Alex, her boyfriend of fourteen years, nervously waiting for her. Assuming he’s finally going to propose, Andrea’s instead horrified to learn he’s been cheating on her and is leaving to be with the other woman, who he calls Andrea’s opposite.  At first Andrea’s paralyzed by shock and sadness, but the business analyst soon forms a plan: change every last detail of her life and become her opposite so Alex will come back to her.  It’s a challenge at first, but soon Andrea’s loving the changes she’s making, the new activities she’s doing, and the new people in her life. But will she change enough to get Alex back? And if she does, will he fit into the wonderful new life she’s creating for herself?

Status: Read on April 08, 2012 — I own a copy  {Courtesy the author}

My Thoughts:

A Life That Fits features Andrea who is struggling to rebuild her life after her childhood sweetheart dumps her. The end of her fourteen year relationship with Alex leaves her floundering, her identity has been so tightly bound with his that on her own she is not sure about who she is or what she wants. After a period of mourning, Andrea sets out on a journey to win Alex back but what she finds is herself.

A Life That Fits has a strong, positive message for women facing a relationship breakdown. Andrea is naturally crushed at being dumped by the man she had expected to spend her life with and mourns the relationship, entertaining fantasies of reconciliation. After so many years as ‘AndreaandAlex’ she can barely imagine her life without the relationship. For Andrea, it’s not a matter of resuming her life after the break up but reinventing it. The ‘reversal project’ is a great idea even if initially her motivation is skewed. Forcing herself into new experiences allows Andrea to develop her individual identity and builds her self esteem. I admired Andrea taking chances, facing her fear and trying different activities. I liked that she learnt to listen to her ‘gut’ and made mistakes but didn’t let them hold her back, essentially Andrea grew up.
I didn’t feel there was enough momentum in the plot to sustain the novel though. Andrea spends a lot of time grieving her relationship and her career which is realistic but does not make for an interesting narrative. Andrea’s career issues offers a subplot to the relationship focus but I don’t think Wardell exploited it quite enough (I never really got a sense of what Andrea’s job really entailed either other than conference trips and paperwork). I do think that Wardell handles the relationships in the novel authentically though coincidences abound.
For me, the issues with the plot affects the pacing, it does tend to drag in places. There are a few instances of repetitive phrasing and clumsy sentence structure and overall I do think the novel needs just a touch more polish.

I am sure many readers will be able to relate to Andrea’s heartbreak and recovery. A Life That Fits is a pleasant read with an inspirational message that encourages women to find inner strength and individual identity.

Available To Purchase

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About the Author

Growing up, I was an avid (rabid?) reader. I am a natural speed reader, regularly clocked at about 1200 wpm (I read Harry Potter 5 in just under three hours), and always have several books on the go, nearly all in e-book form on my Kindle I have always made up stories in my head, but never considered becoming a writer. Instead, I intended to be a high school music teacher. I was sidetracked by my enjoyment of my psychology courses in university, and ended up with a psychology degree with a concentration in computer science. This took me to a major Canadian bank as a software developer. I stayed there for just over four years, and then went back to school to become an elementary school teacher. After four years teaching elementary school computer science, I took up the National Novel Writing Month challenge and attempted to write a novel in a month. I succeeded, and the first draft of “Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo” was the result. I realized I love writing. I left teaching, and I haven’t looked back since! In my non-writing time, I read, run, swim, crochet, take care of my 55 gallon aquarium and my cat Trinity, and play drums and clarinet. Generally not all at once. For details on my published works please visit HeatherWardell

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rachelle Lerner
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 07:51:03

    I fell in love with an ROTC member in college. We broke up before Senior Year and I took it very hard. It took me some time before I started dating again. About 10 years later, I received a phone call from his mother asking if I remembered her and him. He sent me a holiday card and we met again at a mutual friend’s house. . We will be celebrating our 32 anniversary on May 3.

    Reply

  2. shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 11:35:21

    What a lovely story Rachelle.
    I was 16 when I started dating my husband who was 20. We were married when I was 22 and will celebrate our 17th wedding anniverary later this year :)

    Reply

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