- Title: By the Numbers
- Author: Jen Lancaster
- Genre: Women’s Fiction
- Pages: 304
- Published: June 2016 – NAL
- Source: Publisher
Description: Actuary Penny Sinclair has a head for business, and she always makes rational decisions. Knowing that 60 percent of spouses cheat and that 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, she wasn’t too surprised when her husband had an affair. (That he did so with a woman their daughter’s age? Well, that part did sting a bit.) She just made sure she got everything in the divorce, including their lovely old Victorian house. And as soon as her younger daughter has her hipster-fabulous wedding in the backyard, she’s trading it in for a condo in downtown Chicago…
Well within the average market time in her area, Penny gets an offer on the house. But then life happens. Her children, her parents, and her ex come flying back to the nest, all in need of Penny’s emotional – and financial – support. Spread thin, Penny becomes the poster child for the “sandwich generation,” when all she really wanted to do was make managing director, buy a white couch, and maybe go on a Match.com date… (publisher)
My take: Penny Sinclair is a recently divorced actuary with an almost empty nest in suburban Chicago. She’s planning her daughter’s wedding and once that takes place she can get on with her life. Penny is set to accept a big promotion at work. She also wants to sell her house and move to a smaller place downtown. Can it be that simple? In a word, no.
Penny has to deal with the results from her parenting decisions when the kids were young and she was climbing the ladder at work. She felt guilty and took the path of least resistance which worked at the time but did a disservice to them all in the long run. Despite all that I found Penny to be a sympathetic character. She was doing her best to keep things on track while maintaining her sanity – not an easy task. When Penny thought things couldn’t get more hectic her parents move into her guest room and her ex-husband into her den. Didn’t anyone get the memo about her plans??
Jen Lancaster’s novel about a woman whose chickens have come home to roost had me alternately cringing and laughing out loud. By the Numbers is an entertaining story, perfect for the beach.
About the author:
Jen Lancaster is the New York Times bestselling author of eight memoirs and five novels. She has appeared on the Today Show, The Joy Behar Show, and NPR’s All Things Considered. She resides in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband and their ever-expanding menagerie of ill-behaved pets. Author websites: jenlancaster.com; facebook.com/AuthorJenLancaster; twitter.com/altgeldshrugged