Swapping Lives by Jane Green
I almost quit reading Swapping Lives by Jane Green after just a few pages, and I decided to continue only because of how very much I enjoyed Green's Jemima J. I'm glad I plugged ahead because I actually really liked Swapping Lives and the evolution of the characters.
Vicky Townsley is a single, professionally successful features editor for a London magazine. Since she's on the wrong side of thirty, as they say, the dating life isn't nearly as fun as in her twenties. She envies her brother the spouse, country home, children, and dogs--family life. Will she ever meet the right man, and can she be happy until she does?
Amber Winslow, born poor, worked hard to get to college and earn her MRS degree. She successfully married into the Winslow family, leaving her in the position of being a "housewife" with full-time help with the home and the two children in Connecticut while her husband works on Wall Street. Can we all say "lives to shop, socialize, and have her hair done" together? Yep, I found Amber more than a little annoying at the beginning of the book, but she's really just temporarily lost in the wrong mindset.
The reader actually has quite a bit of time with each woman in her own life before the idea of a swap is advertised in Vicky's magazine, eliciting a firestorm of response from married readers. When Amber is selected and the two exchange lives (and continents!), the real self-learning begins, leading each woman to conclusions about herself and her life the reader has already reached.
A nice tale about the whole "grass is greener" concept and how every life has positives and negatives. There's no special formula for finding happiness, and the people who are most content are likely the ones who appreciate wherever they are at the current moment. This was the right book for me to read now since I'm going through a period of restlessness and discontent in my own life.
My overall personal rating of Swapping Lives is a B+.