The Golden Couple

The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Expected publication: March 8, 2022 – Macmillan Audio

Review audio from the publisher and NetGalley

Description:

If Avery Chambers can’t fix you in 10 sessions, she won’t take you on as a client. Her successes are phenomenal–she helps people overcome everything from domineering parents to assault–and almost absorb the emptiness she sometimes feels since her husband’s death.

Marissa and Mathew Bishop seem like the golden couple–until Marissa cheats. She wants to repair things, both because she loves her husband and for the sake of their 8-year-old son. After a friend forwards an article about Avery, Marissa takes a chance on this maverick therapist, who lost her license due to controversial methods.

When the Bishops glide through Avery’s door and Marissa reveals her infidelity, all three are set on a collision course. Because the biggest secrets in the room are still hidden, and it’s no longer simply a marriage that’s in danger. (publisher)

My take:

Avery Chambers is a former therapist who now consults with people who want to improve their lives, relationships, situations, etc. Her ten step process has proven effective but she only takes on clients who agree to that process. She will definitely earn her exorbitant fee with Marissa and Mathew Bishop. They are a golden couple – almost too good to be true. Authors Hendricks and Pekkanen take the reader on a roller coaster ride full of suspense. I have to admit there were times when I wondered just where this novel was headed. It was a slow build that laid the groundwork for a dramatic scene that answered many questions. The story is told from the POV of Avery and Marissa. At a certain point I wasn’t sure of the reliability of either and decided to just get on board and enjoy the finding out.

Narrators Karissa Vacker and Marin Ireland did a wonderful job giving voice to the characters. Their performances enhanced my enjoyment of the book.


 

Skipping a Beat by Sarah Pekkanen

Title: Skipping a Beat

Author: Sarah Pekkanen

Genre: Fiction

About: Skipping a Beat is the story of a marriage. Julia and Michael meet under unusual circumstances and fall in love while still in high school.  After graduation they head toward their future without so much as a backward glance.  After college they follow their dreams and enjoy the rewards of their hard work – to a point.  It seems that somewhere along the way Michael lost sight of what was once so important – Julia and their relationship.  He’s forced to take a new look after he has a near-death experience. Julia isn’t sure what to do with the new Michael. She’s grown accustomed to their ships-in-the-night marriage and hasn’t expected anything from him in a long time.  She’s certain that her perspective of some events in their marriage is the actual truth. Since they rarely have time for meaningful conversations Michael has been unaware of her perspective. He doesn’t understand why she doesn’t want to join him in a second chance at their life.

My take: Sarah Pekkanen gave Julia a true and believable voice. I found it very easy to relate to her. And Pekkanen didn’t stop there. She also shaped Michael as a real guy. I totally bought his perspective and his driven personality.
In any marriage only the spouses know the intricacies of the relationship. So while Michael and Julia appeared to have the perfect power marriage, only they knew the actual imperfections and how fragile their relationship really was. Michael let the chase of his dream take over and Julia felt the security of their love for each other slip away.
I liked the secondary characters. Julia’s best friend Isabelle and a young boy named Noah both figure prominently in the story. I also enjoyed the opera references throughout and how Julia compared specific ones to aspects of her life.
Like most operas, Skipping a Beat depicts the drama and emotions of life.  I found it to be an emotional and wonderful novel. It would be a great book club selection.

Recommend? Yes, definitely!  I also recommend having a box of tissues at hand (trust me on this).

Source: Atria Books and BookSparks PR

This review is being submitted to the Simon & Schuster Skipping a Beat Sweepstakes