The Unbreakables by Lisa Barr is a tribute to one woman’s journey of love, loss, and self-discovery. 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.
The Unbreakables is reminiscent of Eat, Pray, Love, as Sophie is on a journey to rediscover herself after everything from the life she once knew is destroyed. After leaving her home and journeying to France to help her heartbroken daughter, Sophie must face a life of uncertainty as she too faces the unknown. As she encounters new experiences with unexpected people, Sophie begins to explore boundaries she never considered as a wife and mother. Though the reader may not have gone through such dramatic events as Sophie has experienced, one can easily relate to a time when they had to do some soul-searching. Lisa Barr’s descriptive and poignant writing style allows readers to easily relate to Sophie. Not only did I feel as though I was with Sophie in her hotel room looking out at the beautiful views of French country or in the studio sculpting with her, I felt her pain and passion as she assessed her life and her future. Sophie’s, as well as other characters’ emotions, easily translate from the page to the reader.
Though I was engaged while reading The Unbreakables, I lost interest in a few sections of the book, which I don’t know if it was the actual book or just my frame of mind while reading. However, for the most part when I found myself beginning to drift I was quickly brought right back to the story. (Somewhat of a spoiler alert ahead). I found myself relating to Sophie throughout the book but at times was annoyed or angry with some of her decisions, especially at the end. After such intense betrayals, she so quickly and easily forgave and forgot the hurt she experienced from her friends - which just didn’t sit right with me. The way the conversation played out with her two friends, Lauren and Samantha, was a bit too dramatic and predictable for my taste, though I know this was the best way for it to play out with Sophie’s journey. In spite of some of the more predictable happenings in The Unbreakables, I wasn’t let down once I finally finished the book. If anything Sophie’s story is one of resilience and empowerment even in the toughest of times. It is empowering to see Sophie come out of her trials stronger and having reconnected to her passion of sculpting. Sophie’s story is a bold reminder that self-exploration is not always the easiest but is inevitably rewarding in the end. At times the story is adventurous and sexy, and then heart breaking and raw, creating a fascinating and endearing journey. Though I spent most of my time reading this book cozied up in bed, I think this book is perfect for a women’s book club read and to be shared amongst friends.
A special thank you to GetRed PR for sending me a copy of this lovely book.