Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Balancing Acts by Zoe Fishman

Balancing ActsBalancing Acts by Zoe Fishman
2010, 368 pages

Charlie, Bess, Sabine, and Naomi reconnect at an informal 10-year college reunion in New York City. Charlie is there to recruit students for her fledgling yoga studio, and Bess, Sabine, and Naomi, all intimidated by and uninitiated to yoga, agree to a six-week class. As the class progresses, so does the friendship between these women as they all struggle to overcome obstacles in their personal and professional lives.
Bess, Sabine, and Naomi were all standing awkwardly in the middle of the studio, clutching their mats with apprehension. Charlie was suddenly sure that they hadn't looked much different fourteen years earlier, arriving at college with their suitcases and shower caddies--their clothes smelling of Mom's detergent. Their nervousness was endearing, but Charlie had to nip it in the bud now, if she expected them to get anywhere in that morning's class. They only had six weeks, after all. They had to let go. (p65)
I read a review of this book a couple of weeks ago from Heather at Book Addiction, and soon after I was at the bookstore trying to pick up some light reads, and I bought this one on an impulse. The story of four women in their thirties finding friendship and overcoming obstacles in their lives was pretty much what you'd expect from a chick lit novel, but there were a few aspects that I liked about this one.

It took me a while to connect with the four main characters in this novel, and even at the end I feel like the four women weren't as well developed as they could have been. Despite this, after a slow start I did become invested in their stories, partly because in each of these women's situations I found something I could relate to, whether it was Naomi's fears about her health, Sabine's struggles to return to writing in addition to her full time job, or Bess's reluctance to move across the country to be with her boyfriend.

I also enjoyed the focus on yoga. This book definitely made me want to get myself in shape and go to a yoga class! I thought the writing could be corny sometimes, but overall I enjoyed reading these women's stories, and would conditionally recommend it to fans of chick lit.
"Yoga is about surrendering to a sense of flow and internal rhythm," Charlie explained. "You connect with your inner being to flow more successfully on a physical level. You are evolving inside in order to evolve outside." (p191)

9 comments:

  1. I have this one on my radar! And like you, I would buy this too on an impulse, if I come across it somewhere! Good review, I like the focus on yoga! Sorry the character development could have been better!

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  2. OK... I need to read this book. I'm on spring break with the kids this week and I need a lighter read to go with it. Thanks so much for the review!

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  3. Dana, I enjoyed your thoughts on this book. I'm starting a yoga class next week, my first, and it seems this might be a good book to go with it. :-)

    Thanks for sharing!

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  4. I heart yoga so I think I would really enjoy this book! :)

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  5. This sounds like a cute read! I've taken a few yoga classes in the past so this might be a good book for me. I wouldn't be able to relate to the characters that much, though. Great review!

    Emidy
    from Une Parole

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  6. This sounds like a good read, though like you, I'd probably be looking for richer character development.

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  7. this sounds good, I like doing yoga :)
    great review!
    http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

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  8. This looks like it may be a good light read for the Read a Thon! I have tried yoga many times but have never clicked with it even though I know it has so many health benefits . . . .

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  9. I'm really picky about chick lit, but some times you just need a light read!

    --Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

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