Are you looking for a fun, quirky story that has you guessing and rooting for the main character? Well, The One That Got Away by Leigh Himes is the perfect pick. I absolutely loved it and am hoping, fingers crossed, maybe for a sequel 🙂 I loved the main character that much and the plot was so fantastic. This is a wonderful debut for Himes and I can tell she is going to have many fabulous books in her future.
The One That Got Away centers around Abbey Lahey who is married to Jesse. She lives a typical mom and family life where she feels under appreciated and overworked. She starts to daydream at work one day about a former coworker who she had a crush on, Alex Van Holt, who also had a crush on her. Alex, who is drop dead gorgeous and super successful, always lingered in the back of her mind as the one who got away. While at Nordstroms one day, where she was returning a bag that she couldn’t afford or justify, she slips and falls. As she comes to, she realizes she is living the life of Abbey Van Holt. Married to Alex with a family, she is living the upper class, rich life while supporting Alex who is running for election. She is super confused and wondering how to get out of this but not before she enjoys the finer things in life with Alex. The bags, the clothes, the shows, OH MY! (think Carrie Bradshaw 😉 Soon she starts to realize that this road not taken was not taken for a reason and that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
This book was an instant favorite for me and would absolutely make a perfect movie. Himes is so charming with her words and storyline and the characters are developed so perfectly. This is a must read debut for any reader who loves a light hearted, fun read. I have chose it as my Poolside Pick for this week and was so honored to be able to “Bliss Chat” with Leigh about the book and a few of her favorite things!
Bliss Chat with Leigh Himes
1. I loved this book so much! What made you decide to write about the road not taken?
Thank you, Courtney! Like my character Abbey, I saw a photograph in a magazine of a man I almost dated years before. After my husband and I had a good laugh about how I sure didn’t choose wisely, I remember thinking it would be a good set-up for a novel. Weeks later, I couldn’t get the idea out of my head so I sat down and started writing, and then couldn’t stop.
2. Who did you enjoy more in developing Jimmy or Alex? Abbey Lahey or Abbey Van Holt?
Great question. At first, I’d say Alex because in many ways he’s my dream guy. He’s handsome, charming and ambitious, but also self-deprecating and funny. But Jimmy has my heart, too, because he’s so real. I’ll be standing on the sidelines of my son’s soccer game or in the school pick-up line and think “lots of Jimmy’s here today” and I mean it as the ultimate compliment. As for Abbey, it has to be Abbey van Holt… I’d love to live her life for a few days.
3. In your life is there a road you wished you traveled or do you ever think about that in any situations that may have been from your past?
I used to have so many regrets and would analyze my decisions constantly. Why didn’t I move to NYC when I was twenty-two? Why did I buy this old house? But writing this book, and getting older, has been cathartic. Now I don’t believe in roads not taken… all our experiences are just steps on the path we were meant for.
4. What has been your most favorite thing about the process of this book and going on book tour?
The best thing about writing is falling in love with your characters. On tour, it’s meeting fellow book lovers. I’ve met school librarians, veterinarians, reporters, artists, emergency room nurses, fellow novelists, etc., and I love hearing about their lives and how they make things work.
5. As a writer, where is your favorite place to write?
In my bed! We don’t have air conditioning anywhere but our bedrooms so in the summer I’ll sneak back upstairs in the afternoon with my laptop. I have to bring coffee, though, to prevent nappage.
6. Name 3 blissful things that you can’t live without?
Besides husband/kids/dog, I’d say avocados (in any form), super-hot baths, and my NinoBrand sweatpants, which are so cool they make me proud to be a “sweatpant mom.”
7. What is the first thing you do when you complete a book?
I’ve only completed one, and if memory serves, my husband and I went out to our secret place: a little strip mall beer shop in Ardmore, Pa. that serves drafts and hot dogs in the back. So maybe that will be my new end-of-book tradition.
8. What was the last book that you read?
The excellent “The Expatriates” by Janice Y.K. Lee.
9. While on tour what is a must-have beauty product in your make-up bag?
A friend turned me on to Beauty Counter products and I am obsessed, so I always travel with my BC Cream Cleanser and Night Cream. My other current obsession is eyebrow pencils… right now I am using one from Hourglass.
10. Are you looking forward to any books that are coming out in 2016?
Yes! On my list are “June” by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, “If I Forget You” by Thomas Greene, and “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead. But before that, I’m checking out two paperbacks: “A Window Opens” by Elisabeth Egan and “Everybody Rise” by Stephanie Clifford. I’ve heard great things and I like to support debut authors! 😉
*Thanks to Hachette for sending a copy for review to Bliss, Beauty and Books!