HOW TO CHANGE A LIFE
By: Stacey Ballis
Published: August 15, 2017
Three Chicago freshmen meet on the first day of school in English class and become the best of friends thanks to their beloved teacher, Mrs. O’Conner. But, now that they are adults, life has pulled them apart a bit. Lynne lives the glamorous, high-powered life in LA. Teresa still lives in Chicago and is married with kids. Eloise is living her dream as a personal chef in Chicago after living in Paris for several years. When all of them run into each other at the funeral for Mrs. O’Conner, they resolve to stay in touch and even complete a bucket list before they all turn forty.
The book mostly focuses on Eloise and her life with her clients that she cooks for, her mom and aunt, and her chef BFF, Marcy. I found all the characters current and relatable and could see this story playing out in real life. In the beginning, Eloise feels like she has a pretty good life. She is happy to live in her house with her state-of-the-art kitchen and sweet Corgi. She doesn’t need a man in her life after what happened in Paris and is content to be a personal chef. Once she reconnects with her high-school friends and the bucket list bet is created, the reader sees Eloise step out of her comfort zone and start to make some changes in her life. I loved the bet and how each woman was challenged to try something different in their life. From spicing up a marriage to networking to being creative, it even inspired me a bit to find ways to add to my own life.
One of Eloise’s challenges is to go on dates and she ends up meeting someone that she really connects with. When their relationship comes up on a hurdle that seems insurmountable, Eloise must decide what is really important in her life and how to manage the relationships that could be impacted. I found this development to the story interesting and how each of the people she trusts offered a piece of advice that was helpful to Eloise.
Since Eloise is a chef, the book includes many descriptions of amazing dishes and meals. At times my mouth was watering and at other times I felt the litany of food that was served to be excessive. The author is also a foodie and you can tell she has a passion for it in her writing. Recipes are included at the end of the book for food that was a major part of the story. I definitely want to try the Cornflake Cookies.
This is a very discussable book because the characters are so relatable and there are many situations to reflect upon. I could see book clubs reading this book and making the recipes to enjoy while discussing. This book is light-hearted, even though the topics are realistically heavy at times. But, you will find yourself laughing, maybe crying, and possibly wanting to adopt a Corgi.
|Stacey Ballis – source|
Stacey Ballis is the author of ten foodie novels. She has also authored a cookbook and is a contributing author to the several anthologies. Her non-fiction cooking pieces can be read at ExtraCrispy.com and Bake From Scratch Magazine. For more check out her website, HERE.
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This sounds intriguing; I love stories of friendships that last from childhood into adulthood. It's interesting how people navigate the relationships when paths diverge after having so much in common as kids or teens.