Book: Life Swap (US Title: Swapping Lives)
Genre: Chick Lit / Contemporary Fiction
Author: Jane Green
These days, with easy-to-use softwares that can produce amazing graphics, there is an abundance of beautiful covers in the market. So, quite tough to grab reader’s attention with something unique which can stand out among other books sitting on stands. In this case, the superb quality of what’s inside the book, does not match with what’s outside, i.e. the cover!
There have been so many covers over the years due to re-print and new editions of the book (as you can see below!). I like the latest one which I posted at the top, though I think it can be made a lot more attractive with better graphic skills. Since, this is not a judging factor as to how well the book is written, I will not cut any points because of a slightly let-down cover.
From the outside Vicky Townsley would appear to have it all. Features Director of the hugely successful Poise! magazine, she lives alone in London, is single and seriously successful. But she'd give it all up in a heartbeat for marriage, children, and a house in the country. Amber Winslow on the other hand, has exactly what Vicky Townsley wants; a huge stone mansion in Connecticut, children and a busy charitable commitment for the local Women's League.
But Amber isn't happy either. She hasn't found quite the fulfilment she had expected from being a full-time wife and mother, so when she spots a double page spread in Poise! magazine asking married readers to life swap with a glamorous, single journalist in London, she sits down and writes a letter. But she never expects to be picked... (Courtesy: Amazon.com)
While browsing through local bookstore, I picked up this book and what a gem I discovered! This is the first book I read from Jane Green (I am surprised I did not know about this best-selling author before!). I am looking forward to reading her upcoming release, “The Patchwork Marriage” (already put it in my Amazon Wish List so I can buy it as soon as it releases!).
This book tells the story of two women who are desperately wishing for something that they do not have. As you can easily figure out from the blurb, Vicky is a thirty plus single woman from London, who wishes to have a married life with a loving husband, beautiful kids, big house and a cute dog. On the other side of the Atlantic, there lives Amber whose life includes all these above-mentioned things but she is still not satisfied emotionally and longs to fill the void inside her.
Both women wonder as to what it is like to live their dream-life but when they are given the opportunity to step in other person’s shoes, they realise how difficult it is and it turns out to be a journey for them to rediscover themselves and figure out what they actually want from life.
Whether you are single or married, this book will touch your emotional chords in many ways. With Jane’s addictive and inspiring writing, your thoughts will keep circling around these two women and you will be turning pages swiftly to know what will happen until the end of the book. I myself read those 480 pages in one sitting, because I just could not seem to get Jane’s heroines out of my mind.
Unlike most chick-lit novels having plastic heroines, Jane has created life-like, real characters that you can easily empathize and sympathize with. They make you think if this situation happened to you, you may have reacted the same way. I love to read about characters who are flawed and imperfect, having quirks and madness that we can all relate to and this book did just that!
Among the supporting cast, I loved how the character of Richard changed from being the embodiment of all-perfect to vulnerable and messed up. My most favourite character has to be little Grace, who in many ways is the real-Amanda - a reflection of what she used to be before she became “the desperate social climber itching to get out”. I was so glad to see that Jane did not chose the predictable ending but left it open-ended though on a positive note.
By constructing a modern and realistic story, showing how the dynamics of relationships have changed over the years, “Life Swap” is a well-crafted and mature novel written in the most heart-warming manner by Jane Green. It is an indirect commentary on the social skills such as dating, marriage, love, sex and parenting and yet manages to stay engaging and exciting with the right amount of humour and a touch of glamour here and there.
One of my favourite books are those which enlighten me and entertain me at the same time and this book did both skilfully! I would love to quote a beautiful line from this book which is so uplifting. I know it has been said before many times but some things should be reminded in life again and again, so here it is:
“It’s not what you think about that matters in life, it’s what you actually do about it”.
Do I still need to tell you that you must read this book if you have a mature taste that goes beyond pretty shoes and pink nails? Highly recommended for those who have ever considered “the road not taken”.
To purchase this book, click here.
About the Author:
Jane Green is a former journalist who gave up her job on the Daily Express to write a real woman's account of being single in the city. That account became Jane's first novel, Straight Talking. A huge success, Straight Talking was followed by ten more bestselling novels: Jemima J, Mr Maybe, Bookends, Babyville, Spellbound, the Other Woman, Life Swap, Second Chance, The Beach House and Girl Friday. Jane lives with her husband and children in Connecticut.