When the book opens, Charlie is in the middle of a deep depression that she struggling to climb out of but can’t. She’s Bipolar and has successfully been controlling the deep lows and the manic highs, but for reasons she doesn’t understand, this depression has her by the throat. Elizabeth is a high-profile business owner who micromanages her employees, can’t delegate, and can’t take a step back. A wake-up call in the form of a trip to the hospital gets her attention and she acknowledges she can’t keep up the pace she’s maintained for years. She tells herself she’ll change soon. When her best friend dares her to run the Chicago marathon, she can’t ignore the challenge and signs up for a training program for marathon newbies. There she meets Charlie.
This book is wonderfully written, the characters are well drawn, likable, and complex. The pacing is perfect. Each character has flaws – Charlie knows hesr while it takes Elizabeth a while to get to the point of admitting hers. The conflict is evident throughout the book but comes to a head when Elizabeth decides to back away from Charlie for Charlie’s own good.
Kabak does not allow Charlie’s depression to make the story drag or to overwhelm the story. However, she handles Charlie’s Bipolar condition realistically and the reader who has little or no knowledge of Charlie’s diagnosis will be a much better-informed person going forward.
Kabak’s secondary characters, like Charlie’s mom and Elizabeth’s best friend, are both overbearing and less than supportive and therefore unusual in the genre.
If you’re looking for a book with characters you can’t help but like with conflicts that are “real,” then this is the book for you. If you want a well-paced book that is also well-written, do not pass on this book.
My thanks to NetGalley and Bella for an eARC.
Buy this Book on