Monday, September 4, 2017

How To Change A Life: A Novel by Stacey Ballis

How To Change A Life: A Novel. Stacey Ballis. Penguin Publishing Group. August 2017. 400 pp. ISBN# 9780425276624. 

Meet Eloise, a very talented chef, whose delicious descriptions of food and meal menus will either make you raid your refrigerator, dine out in high-end restaurants, or make you want to sign up for culinary school.  She has a wonderful job as a private chef for a rich family and every need she could possibly have is provided by her boss.  Romance is out the window as memories serve as a barrier to finding someone who can be trusted and who values her as a person.

So if one is content, why is that little internal nudging voice telling her there’s more to life?  The question roars to the fore when she gets together with two life-long friends, Lynne and Teresa.  They are all in the same boat, feeling content but incomplete.  So what do they do?  They set up a challenge for each one of them to complete over an eight-month period.  To make sure there are no shenanigans, they not only set up their own list but add items from each other.  That is the premise of this ambitious, feisty crowd of women that is the essence of this novel.

What will fascinate readers about this plot is what each one learns from the process of seeking higher goals. That is the essence of change, accepting one’s strengths, weakness, and foibles that could fall into either category.  There’s also a sense of intuition that needs to be recognized and honed to know what situations are life-giving and what scenarios are the road to disaster or at the least disappointment.

Eloise is definitely a different woman at the end of this journey, as are the other young women, and more of a fulfilled gal!  That doesn’t mean the trip is over; in fact, appreciating the process or proceeding to obtain goals adds a vivacious quality to Eloise’s life that is so attractive, in addition to a fine romance that engages the reader as well.

How To Change A Life is an enchanting contemporary story that will keep readers flipping the pages to the very last page, wishing the account would never end!  Very nice job, Stacey Ballis!

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