Title: Joy for Beginners
Author: Erica Bauermeister
Publication Year: 2011
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Reader: Cassandra Campbell (excellent)
Date Completed: November/2012
Rating: 4.5/5Recommend: yes
In this story of friendship and courage, Kate a breast cancer survivor in recovery announces at a party that she is going to challenge herself to do something that she always felt was too frightening or challenging previously -- for her it will be white water rafting in the Grand Canyon with her daughter. She challenges her (6) friends and supporters through out her health crisis to do the same, with the condition that she, Kate, gets to pick the challenge.
Each of the women has an issue they need to deal with. Marion is an empty-nester, Sara's life revolves around her children, Daria is a woman who has closed her heart to love, Ava, can't bear to deal with loss, Hadley, is a self-imposed home bound young widow, and Caroline, has an ex-husband whose books she hasn't been able to part with. Not all of the challenges Kate chooses are frightening or ones that most of us would see as tough, however, for these women they are significant and critical to help each move on with life.
The women range in ages, and their stories are diverse. I think some readers might even find something in the stories that resonates with them as well. What makes the story work well is that each story is told by one of the women at a time. The reason I was drawn to this book was because, I had listened to the author's first novel, The School of Essential Ingredients, and really enjoyed it. Like this book, it was narrated by, Cassandra Campbell who is a fantastic audio book narrator.