Monday, February 14, 2011

Blog Tour-Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough, by Ruth Pennebaker

by Ruth Pennebaker
Berkley Trade
January 4, 2011
320 pp, $15.00

Synopsis from Berkley Books


“Joanie's ex-husband is having a baby with his new girlfriend. Joanie won't be having more babies, since she's decided never to have sex again.

But she still has her teenaged daughter Caroline to care for. And thanks to the recession, her elderly mother Ivy as well. Her daughter can't seem to exist without texting, and her mother brags about "goggling,"-while Joanie, back in the workforce, is still trying to figure out her office computer. And how to fend off the advances of her coworker Bruce.

Joanie, Caroline, and Ivy are stuck under the same roof, and it isn't easy. But sometimes they surprise each other-and themselves. And through their differences they learn that it is possible to undo the mistakes of the past.”~ Berkley Books

My Review

I must confess, when approached to participate in this blog tour, I was somewhat hesitant. This is not a book I would normally gravitate to. Contemporary women’s fiction, especially when quoted as “breezily hilarious” has me suspect. It’s like watching a movie intended to be a comedy, sometimes it is wildly entertaining as you nearly wet your pants laughing, or it falls flat and you wake up sometime later with a stiff neck. Either way in the end some body part hurts.
I prefer the former and when my stomach aches a bit and my emotions tingle with joy. Fortunately, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough is hysterical, a real hoot and simply refreshingly astute with a candid and humorous look into the lives of four unique women, generations apart.

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough follows the interaction of four women, three are related daughter, mother, grandmother with an ex-husbands girlfriend thrown in the mix. (see publisher’s description for plot summary). Surprisingly, Pennebaker is able to capture the distinct personalities of each character, who are generations apart. Her intuition into each personality is flawless. She is a sagacious manipulator of dialogue, able to assume the role of each woman’s soul. The result is a funny and warmly believable story every woman should read. All women will find an aspect of this book to identify with as they embrace the universality of this story. Pennebaker has separated the generations shaping their specific ideology and attitudes . I thank this writer for capturing the universality of women’s difference with an eye for their commonality and the unique beauty of women’s kinship.

On the author’s website, Ms. Pennebaker says to buy three copies of this book, I agree, you will want to pass this one around to all the special women in your life. Highly recommended.

Ruth Pennebaker's website
Watch video

Disclosure: This book was a gift sent to me from the author.  The review for this book is my honest opinion, free from bias.  This book review is also presented as a part of a Blog Tour sponsored by:

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2008-2011]. 


Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

It certainly seems like every woman could find something to identify with in this book. I'm so glad you enjoyed it in spite of your initial concern. Thanks for giving it a shot!

The Bookworm said...

Hi Wisteria! How have you been?
Great review, it does sound like a good read.

Darlene said...

Great review! I can't wait to read this.