Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Young Wives Club by Julie Pennell



Laura Landry’s quarterback husband was her ticket out of Toulouse. But when a devastating football injury sidelines him, they’re forced to move back to the small town she was so desperate to leave. As Brian starts drinking instead of rehabbing his knee, Laura must reevaluate what her future looks like…and if it includes her husband.

For years, Madison Blanchette has been waiting for bad-boy musician Cash Romero to commit to her. When wealthy George Dubois asks her out, she figures she may as well wait in style. Life with George means weekend trips to New Orleans, gourmet meals, and expensive gifts. At first she loves how George’s affection sparks Cash’s jealousy, but when George proposes to Madison, she finds herself torn between two men…

All Claire Thibodeaux wants is to be the perfect wife and mother. If she can do everything right she won’t end up like her mom, a divorced, single parent trying to make ends meet. But when Claire’s husband Gavin, a well-respected local pastor, starts spending late nights at work and less time in their bed, she can’t help but fear that history is about to repeat itself…

Gabrielle Vaughn never thought she’d end up with someone like her fiancé. The son of a prominent congressman, Tony Ford is completely out of her league—which is why she lied to him about everything from having a college degree to the dark truth about her family. She knows she has to come clean, but how do you tell the love of your life that your entire relationship is a lie?

As these young wives come together to help each other through life, love, and heartbreak, they discover that there are no easy answers when it comes to matters of the heart.

4 stars!

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“You should never feel guilty about doing things for you. When you love yourself, it’ll be so much easier for you to love someone else.”

The Young Wives Club is an entertaining, charming and relatable story of four friends from a small southern town. There are parts in this book that reminded me of a more grown up Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (and I love that book!) These four friends are all connected and have different situations when it comes to their romantic life. Laura and Claire are married, while Gabby has a fiancee and Madison’s relationship is uniquely her own.

First off, we have Laura. Laura married her high school sweetheart/the quarterback of her school's football team. When Brian got a football scholarship, it was their ticket out of the small town they’re from. When Brian gets hurt during a game and needs surgery, Laura finds herself back in her home town. Somewhere she never thought she’d be. Laura doesn’t know what to think about her life. She’s young and full of possibility, but she realizes she put all her eggs in Brian’s basket and has no real future except the one that revolves around him…

Next there is Claire. From the outside, Claire has the perfect life and the perfect marriage. She has a beautiful daughter, and her husband Gavin is a pastor and seems like the perfect guy. That’s all Claire has ever wanted in life. To be a good wife and have a family. When Claire finds out that Gavin may not be as perfect as he seems, she doesn’t know what to do or how to cope.

“Things change. And you can’t regret anything that you’ve done. You make decisions based on what you can see in that moment. Sometimes the view shifts.”

Then there is Gabrielle. When Gabby meets Tony, a guy who is so out of her league it’s not even funny, she lets him believe some things about her that aren’t quite true… He thinks things about her family and education are different than they are. No big deal, right? Well, when they become engaged, the secrets add up. Gabby struggles with coming clean and potentially losing Tony, or continuing to live the lie.

Lastly, there is Madison. Madison was definitely my favorite of the bunch. Mads has had it bad for the town’s bad boy Cash since she was a kid. The problem is Cash will never commit. He’s not the type. When Mads starts getting attention from an older guy with money, she starts dating him. Maybe Cash with get jealous? But Mads finds herself becoming friends with George and liking him more than she thought she would. She is torn between the two guys.

What I loved most about this book was the friendship between the four girls and the growth all of them showed over time. It was a character-driven story with a refreshing plot. I felt so connected to all four of the girls in a different way. Anyone who has gotten married young (raises hand- I was 20) knows that sometimes, the struggle can be real. I’m lucky I found a keeper. Not all these girls did. In fact, out of the 5 guys in the book, I only loved 1 of them. That’s okay though, because romance wasn’t the focus of this lovely book. These women had tough choices to make. They had to decide to put themselves first. Not to settle. I loved the message.

“Do not let yourself get lost in this marriage, and don’t forget to follow your own dreams.”

If you’re looking for a delightful and heartwarming story with family, friendship and strong bonds between four great women, this is one I would highly recommend. A great chick-lit!


Julie Pennell grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana, where she ate her weight in crawfish, used the word “y’all” a lot, and wrote a weekly “Teen Scene” column for the local paper. After graduating from college, she moved to New York to work at Seventeen magazine and later Alloy Entertainment as a digital editor. She lives in New York City with her husband and is a regular contributor to Teen Vogue, TODAY.com, and The NestThe Young Wives Club is her first novel.

Twitter: @juliepens
Instagram: @juliepens


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