The Goddesses by Swan Huntley

Hey! I’m not dead! Well, not really. I’ve spent the last two months working on my book and trying to stay slightly cool in this heat. The book isn’t quite done, but the first round of editing is over with, so if anyone knows any beta readers, that would be great! {Really, I’m terrible at sniffing them out for myself.}

But for today, I’ve got a treat for you because this book was a treat for me.

 

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Title: The Goddesses {320 pgs.}

Genre: General Fiction/Psychological novels

Publication Date: July 25, 2017

Summary:

When Nancy and her family arrive in Kona, Hawaii, they are desperate for a fresh start. Nancy’s husband has cheated on her; they sleep in separate bedrooms and their twin sons have been acting out, setting off illegal fireworks. But Hawaii is paradise: they plant an orange tree in the yard; they share a bed once again and Nancy resolves to make a happy life for herself. She starts taking a yoga class and there she meets Ana, the charismatic teacher. Ana has short, black hair, a warm smile, and a hard-won wisdom that resonates deeply within Nancy. They are soon spending all their time together, sharing dinners, relaxing in Ana’s hot tub, driving around Kona in the cute little car Ana helps Nancy buy. As Nancy grows closer and closer to Ana skipping family dinners and leaving the twins to their own devices she feels a happiness and understanding unlike anything she’s ever experienced, and she knows that she will do anything Ana asks of her.

Last year, I had the great opportunity to read We Could Be Beautiful by Swan Huntley, and I had a hard time with the book because of the main character, Catherine West. She was spoiled and obnoxious and I wanted her to fail, until I didn’t.

Swan Huntley writes the most horrible characters.

Not like that! She’s a fantastic writer, one of those writers who spins a tale so intriguing that I devour the book as quickly as I can. But the characters. Oh, my, the characters. First it was Catherine, the hipster card shop owner, and now comes Nancy, she of the cheating husband and first world problems.

Nancy and Chuck move to Hawaii because of a job transfer, and also so they can get their lives back on track. They live separate lives thanks to Chuck’s cheating, and their twin boys are beginning to feel the pressure. Nancy decides that she wants to become a different person than her San Diego water polo mom persona, and she does what every woman does when she wants to change herself: she takes up yoga. Not only does Nancy fall in love with the stretching and the breathing, but she befriends the teacher, Ana, a kindred spirit who happens to look a lot like her. Ana and Nancy – now going by Nan, a cute nickname given to her by Ana – travel around Kona, doing good deeds and trying to up their karma points. But when Ana reveals that she’s dying from cancer, their good deeds takes a turn for the dark.

Nancy is bad {like, really bad, so bad that there were moments when I wanted to shake her and ask her if she was being for reals}, but Ana is worse, no matter what she says. Not only is she not who she wants the rest of the world to think she is, but she’s the type of person that makes you question every friend you’ve ever had in your life. You wonder if Susan from elementary school was really a psychopath or if Laura from high school secretly wanted to stab you in the back. You even start to think about how you are as a friend, and there’s that horrifying moment when you wonder if you were ever an Ana to someone else’s Nancy.

This is the type of story where you’re supposed to step back and take a look at your own life. Am I like Nancy? Am I going around on this hamster wheel of life and pretending to be happy?  Am I stuck in a rut of my own making? Or am I like Ana, taking life by the balls and flipping off everyone else that comes close to me? Or can I find the happy medium, the place where I’m happy just sitting on the couch, but also able to be spontaneous once in awhile?

Mostly this book just makes you angry, like to the point where you’re wishing that Ana was a real person and you could just kick her in the shin. Or maybe that was just me.

Seriously, though, The Goddesses is beautiful and dreamy, and the backdrop of Kona gives everything a serene feel. You’re going along with Ana so happily because she’s fun and free and Hawaii is beautiful, and it all makes you forget about the dark clouds on the horizon. Nancy is the weird type of character that you hate, but you find yourself cheering for by the end. And, since it’s out today, you don’t have to worry about the long wait to get your hands on it. So, go! Snatch up a copy and tell me that it’s not one of the best books you’ve read in awhile.

I’ll wait.

 

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