Overworked and underappreciated, single mom Amy Byler needs a break. So when the guilt-ridden husband who abandoned her shows up and offers to take care of their kids for the summer, she accepts his offer and escapes rural Pennsylvania for New York City.
Usually grounded and mild mannered, Amy finally lets her hair down in the city that never sleeps. She discovers a life filled with culture, sophistication, and—with a little encouragement from her friends—a few blind dates. When one man in particular makes quick work of Amy’s heart, she risks losing herself completely in the unexpected escape, and as the summer comes to an end, Amy realizes too late that she must make an impossible decision: stay in this exciting new chapter of her life, or return to the life she left behind.
But before she can choose, a crisis forces the two worlds together, and Amy must stare down a future where she could lose both sides of herself, and every dream she’s ever nurtured, in the beat of a heart.
Amy Byler is a single mom in a small town in Pennsylvania. She works as a teacher and librarian at a prestigious prep school. Her time and energy is stretched very thin. When her ex-husband reappears and wants to take the kids for the summer, Amy has the opportunity to go stay with her best friend from college in New York City. She has a chance to rediscover the person she was when she was young and single. This summer away changes her life.
The Overdue Life of Amy Byler is such a fun book. There are elements of The Devil Wears Prada (a best friend who is a powerful editor of a fashion magazine), Sex and the City (single life in New York City), and also a really good rom-com (hot male librarian with a meet cute story).
Amy ends up being profiled by her friend's magazine as being on a Momspringa -- like the Amish Rumspringa, where young Amish people go off into the "English" world for a while to decide if they want to be Amish or not. The Momspringa storyline is a hoot! It includes a makeover, a popular spinning class, and blind dates in the city arranged by the magazine.
The heart of the story, though, is the conflict Amy feels about her love for her children (and how much she misses them) vs. her new romance with Daniel (the hot male librarian) in NYC. Amy wants to have it all but doesn't know how that can happen.
The writing is lots of fun! It includes excerpts of her daughter's summer journal, Amy's first person telling of her summer adventure, and texts back and forth between Amy and her friends. This is a lively book -- I read it over the course of a few days (in every spare moment because I wanted to get back to it!) but it would be a great vacation read.
There is an innate intelligence to the book because Amy is a librarian, her love interest is also a librarian, and there is a lot of book chat. For instance, Amy describes her need to clear the air: "I prefer the air a bit hazier. ... Not as thick as a Bleak House fog, but more like a Great Expectations mist" (p. 211).
Did I mention the humor in this book? There are whole chapters that are just laugh out loud funny -- and I am not someone who usually laughs out loud!
I highly recommend The Overdue Life of Amy Byler for a beach read, a weekend read, or a perfect literary pick me up. Five stars for summer fun!
Kelly Harms is an author, a mother, and a big dreamer. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with her sparkling son, Griffin; her fluffy dog, Scout; and her beloved Irishman, Chris. Before this midwestern life, she lived in New York, New York, and worked with many of her author-heroes as an editor at HarperCollins and then as a literary agent. When she’s not lost in a book that she’s either writing or reading, you can find her on the water, in the water, or near the water. Say hello anytime at www.kellyharms.com.
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