The Overdue Life of Amy Bylerby Kelly Harms Published 01 May 2019
|The Overdue Life of Amy Byler.pdf|
|Publisher||Lake Union Publishing|
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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.
"The Overdue Life of Amy Byler" Reviews
I have been reading some heavy novels recently and thought it was time for something a little less oppressive. This one fit the bill perfectly.
Amy Byler is a school librarian and single mom with two kids, ages 12 and 15. Her husband up and left them for nebulous reasons three years previously. It has been a struggle to make things work, but Amy has indeed made a good life for her family even though she is worn down from her efforts. Suddenly Amy’s husband reappears and wants three months of re-bonding time with the kids, which eventually results in Amy getting a “momspringa” vacation in New York City.
This book is engaging, funny, and thought provoking. Amy finally has time to actually think about finding her true self, and to try to determine in what direction she wants her life to go. Things are complex, and Amy has much to sort through. What exactly does her husband want? How will the kids react to him? Does she still love him or is she ready to move on to someone else? Her whole recent adult life has revolved around being a wonderful mother to her kids. But at what cost to herself? Is it possible to find a way to take better care of Amy? The cast includes a couple of great longtime friends of Amy’s - a magazine editor and an ex-nun (whom I loved) who dole out advice and a couple of interesting male companions Amy connects with during her journey in New York.
Amy has a ton of decision trees in this novel, and it was fun to think about what I would do in her position. Humor is present throughout; I smiled a lot and laughed out loud several times. I also liked the fact that two of the main characters are librarians and we get some good librarian book talk in this story. Extra credit goes to Ms. Harms for her dialogue, which simply sparkles.
Amy is so easy to cheer for and I kept hoping for a way for everything to fall into place for her and her family. I looked forward to grabbing the book every time I had a few minutes to read; I felt invested in the characters and was engrossed in their story.
I recommend The Overdue Life of Amy Byler to anyone looking for a quick, easy, and fun read featuring a very likeable main character on a thoughtful journey.
Thank you Net Galley, Lake Union Publishing, and Kelly Harms for the gift of an advanced review copy. Thanks also to Sonja Yoerg for kindly bringing this book to my attention. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way.
Quit reading this review and go read this book! It is laugh-out-loud hilarious and I still can't figure out how Harms can so seamlessly transition from writing a snarky but charming teenager to writing a full grown woman in the midst of her #momspringa (Don't know what that is? Well, GO READ THE BOOK.) in a matter of a page. I could not put this book down!! I'd give it 10 stars if I could!
I’m spilling over with love for this book.
There is a very bookish theme, sparkling banter between the characters, including in-depth discussions on books. And there is food porn, there was so much food consumed that I was constantly hungry. And there was journaling. And a New York setting. And all the humour, literally laugh out loud moments.
And, and, and.
I could keep whispering sweet nothings about this book, but I rather you discover the joys of it yourself.
If you love books bursting with wit, and highlighting the power of female friendships, and the joy of finding yourself, then I highly recommend this gem of a book to you.
(free review copy) As a school librarian and a 38-year-old mom of 3, I feel like I'm the EXACT target audience for this book! I related to so much of the story and I loved all the nerdy bookish references. So much fabulous humor in the journal entries and emails from Amy's teen daughters, as well as in her interactions with her 2 friends via text and in person. All around a perfect fun read for any mom you know! Great Mother's Day present.
I needed something quick and fun to read, and this book fit the bill. It's pretty stereotypical chick-lit. The woman has been wronged by a man who comes back to make amends and gets a fun vacation to NY out of the deal where every guy is either her gay best friend or wants to sleep with her. Confused feelings about the men in her life, conflicted about what she wants out of life, cue in some deepish thoughts. Happy endings all around.
The one knock I have about this book is the way the teenage character talk and interact with their parents. A 12 year old boy uses the word "darling" unironically for one example. An adult man introduces his girlfriend to his teen daughter by calling her "sexy." When I was fifteen, I would have vomited if my father had called my own mother sexy, much less some woman I've never met before but deep down know my father is sleeping with. Look, I know it's 2019 and every parents wants to be woke (after they Google what that's supposed to mean) and the cool mom or dad, but teens are still teens and they still hide periods from their dad and the fact that their new boyfriend felt them up from their moms. It just felt unnatural. A lot of the dialogue did.
Ask me in a week what this book was about and I probably won't be able to remember. But I had fun reading it, and that's all I wanted.
Amy Byler's husband ditched her and their kids three years ago, so when he shows up, full of reget, we can forgive her for being less than welcoming. Still, she could use a break--and a life.
What follows is so engaging, I had to clear my calendar. Harms dances on the knife edge between snort-your-coffee humor and bull's-eye insights, often in the same sentence. As a card-carrying curmudgeon, I resist such tactics, but here I never felt played. Instead, I was swept up in Amy's Everymom dilemma, her quest for a full life without sinking into the swamp of selfishness.
Whip-smart and honest to the core, THE OVERDUE LIFE OF AMY BYLER is a thoughtful, nimble charmer.
Did I mention the hot librarian?