Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Fiction, Womens Fiction

Review: The Unbreakables by Lisa Barr

UNBREAKABLESA delicious, sharp novel about a woman who jets off to France after her perfect marriage collapses, putting the broken pieces of herself back together while rediscovering her own joie de vivrea lust for life, art, and steamy sex. 

The worst birthday ever might just be the gift of a lifetime…

It’s Sophie Bloom’s forty-second birthday, and she’s ready for a night of celebration with Gabe, her longtime, devoted husband, and her two besties and their spouses. Dinner is served with a side of delicious gossip, including which North Grove residents were caught with their pants down on Ashley Madison after the secret on-line dating site for married and committed couples was hacked. Thirty-two million cheaters worldwide have been exposed…including Sophie’s “perfect” husband. To add insult to injury, she learns Gabe is the top cheater in their town. 

Humiliated and directionless, Sophie jumps into the unknown and flees to France to meet up with her teenage daughter who is studying abroad and nursing her own heartbreak. After a brief visit to Paris, Sophie heads out to the artist enclave of Saint-Paul-de-Vence. There, for the first time in a long time, Sophie acknowledges her own desires—not her husband’s, not her daughter’s—and rediscovers her essence with painful honesty and humor, reawakening both her sensuality and ambitions as a sculptor. 

As she sheds her past and travels the obstacle-filled off beaten path, Sophie Bloom is determined to blossom. Allowing her true self to emerge in the postcard beauty of Provence, Sophie must decide what is broken forever…and what it means to be truly unbreakable.

4 Stars

Women’s Fiction | Contemporary | Adult Fiction

Wow. That is all I can say right now about The Unbreakables. It was enriching, riveting, and honestly, just really refreshing read. I cannot get over how much I related towards the main character; she was human. Flawed, powerful, breakable – she was true. The dynamics between everyone was also just breathtaking. Honestly, I had no clue I would enjoy a Women’s Fiction the way I enjoyed this gem. 

Sophie was really a phenomenal character. I felt a huge closeness towards her entity. Again, a lot of this was due to her ability to represent a human mannerism. She was as much believable as she was relatable (not that I can just fly to Paris with the drop of a hat… but you know what I mean), I absolutely loved her flaws. She was both weak and empowering to her core which just made everything flow beautifully with the plot development. How she questioned herself, what she did, or lack that she did, what became of herself and really the excuses she gives everyone else which only brings her down. What I liked about the her rediscovery, because within the mixed emotional baggage that was her internal conflicts, she meets Jean-Paul and Lea. I think it gave her a sense of reason, or purpose, or perhaps understanding. Not everyone believes one way or the other and they are just as happy all the same. They also really opened Sophie’s eyes to enjoying herself and asking for what she wants. For me, this was really the big turning point for Sophie’s character growth. She absolutely needed these strangers to become her friends. 

You’ve been lost. What you really desire from your time here is to find yourself. You’re still searching, Sophie, and it’s okay. Discovery is not a destination, it’s a process.

And while speaking of supporting characters, I have to also admit I had a serious love hate relationship with the best friend’s of Sophie, who I enjoyed and yet also irked me – but not in a ‘oh my word, I loathe this book’ way but that kind of way when you say, well crap, I know people just like that. Mind blown. I really say this because what made a lot of this novel is how the woman act around, towards and among one another. It is the pinnacle of what growth was intended between the entity of ‘girl power’. There was betrayal, woman-shaming, woman-appreciation; so when I say I had this irk feeling, it was because this circle of friends played such a huge believable role on what developed the dynamic of the group plus how Sophie reacted. 

There were points of jumpiness within the plot development that felt semi-rushed for tastes. After such a great build there were moments of convenience, made it seem too fast paced without the nitty gritty details that I had been drooling over. I won’t get into too many of the details, only because there is some spoilage that comes with it, but know this – it derails a smidge for me with the mixture with Ava, the setup in Paris, Oliver and the ‘project’. Just seemed, lack luster. I understood it all once it came full circle, but it took a bit, and I did rather enjoy the end results. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. Yes, it is so different from the normal reads I do, maybe that is why I felt such a connection, or maybe because the struggles, internal conflicts, the relationship dynamics – maybe everything was just so believable that it tore my heart into two. Profoundly remarkable. I was both heartbroken and beguiled. I just could not help but fall in love with the aspect of rediscovery of Sophie. It was such a phenomenal message within the read that honestly, if you need a good tear jerk with some smiles, easy read, then I highly recommend The Unbreakables, it was such a great read. 

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