Sunday, September 4, 2011

Review: She Makes It Look Easy by MaryBeth Whalen

When Ariel moves into a new neighborhood, she hopes to make some friends to help ease her lonely days. She's a mother to three and her husband is constantly traveling and working. So when her neighbor Justine reaches out to her, Ariel is delighted.

Ariel quickly finds herself looking up to Justine. She seems to have it all together--her children are always cleaned and well dressed, the house is clean, and Justine runs multiple things at the church. Justine takes her under wing in a way, and Ariel is grateful...only Justine doesn't open up her heart to Ariel as much as she wishes she would.

Justine, alternately, feels like she's trapped in a loveless marriage and is exhausted from everything she does. Her best friend lived in Ariel's house before Ariel moved in and she feels all alone without joy in her life.

She Makes It Look Easy is about the complex relationships between women--about how sometimes you feel you can understand someone from what they project to the world when something completely different is going on within them. Whalen tells her tale from alternating viewpoints, though I do feel she devoted much more time to Ariel than to Justine. Even so, I feel she did a good job of painting what was going on in Justine's mind.

I thought She Makes It Look Easy was a really interesting story and I appreciated the way it portrayed what sometimes happens. It's so easy to judge another person by how their lives appear on the surface and to envy them. But it's impossible to know what's going beneath the surface and even what might motivate them to act and behave the way they do. It often requires taking the focus off ourselves and putting it on someone else.

I have to admit that at first I thought this story might go into a certain bold direction and then it ended up being totally different. That's okay, though, it was still a book I wanted to keep reading to the end. (a rare feat these days)

Rating: 4.25/5
Things You Might Want to Know: Christian Fiction
Source of Book: Received from publisher for review
Publisher: David C Cook


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