Still reeling from her recent divorce, Christine, the beloved protagonist of Dora Heldt’s uproarious Life After Forty, is sure that yet another birthday is the last thing she needs. But here it comes nonetheless, the big 4-4, in all its lonely mid-life glory. Making matters worse is Christine’s fear that, throughout her life, she has relied too heavily on the support of her girlfriends. As the big day nears, she begins to think that none of those women can understand just what she is going through. Alarmed by Christine’s growing despair, her best friend and sister hatch a plan to prove her wrong: they will gather together all of Christine’s old friends from the various stages of her life and throw a surprise party the likes of which she has never seen. Of course finding all of those women turns out to be easier said than done! Nonetheless, the final result proves to be a priceless gift, a moving and laugh-out-loud funny portrait of one woman’s life as told through the stories of her friendships.
When I first received Inseparable in the mail, I was all gun-ho about reading it. The summary made it sound interesting, and I just loved the fact that it was about friendship, so I gave it a try, and I was pleasantly surprised! It turned out to be a fun and quick read, even though I had a few slight problems with it.
Inseparable tells the story of Christine, a middle-aged women living a fun, nearly care-free life in Hamburg, Germany. Christine loves the few close friends she has, but she's never been one to really put a lot of faith in friendship, especially with other women. She was scorned once, and in her opinion, why be scorned again? However, Christine's friends as well as her sister decide to surprise for her forty-fourth birthday with a surprise party filled with all of Christine's friends from her past. Their goal is to show her that friends are still important and worth the risk. Will everything work out? Will Christine gain more faith in friendship, or will she move two steps back? Only time and more pages can tell!
One of the things I loved most about this book was the German backdrop. It was also interesting to see not only the various backdrops of the country, but the wide variety of differences between their culture and that of America.
Another high point was the characters. For the most part they weren't the most highly developed ones out there, but I still enjoyed reading about them. I especially liked Christine. She was a strong and timber women, and throughout the book I was continually rooting for, especially when it involved her becoming more close to her current and past friends. I also enjoyed how Dora Heldt introduced a variety of other character POVs. It was fun getting into the heads of all of Dora's friend, that's for sure, and it also added an extra, unique glance into Christine's life.
The plot of this was for the most part slow moving, because it focused more on friendship then on any specific action and adventure. However, it still managed to move the book along at a good pace, especially since I found the way Dora dealt with the friendship theme interesting. Friends are important part of life, and even though some people would rather not get hurt then risk the jump, it's still important to take chances. The women in this learned this over the book, and it really managed to provide lots of great development on their part.
Sweet, fun, and fully entertaining, Inseparable by Dora Heldt is a great addition to women's fiction. I look forward to seeing what she writes next.
Inseparable (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads) is now out!
Source: Publicist at Little Bird Publicity- thanks Katie!