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Balancing Acts

3.10  ·  Rating details ·  821 ratings  ·  127 reviews
A poignant debut novel about the transformative powers of yoga and friendship for four women on the verge of realizing their dreams

With beauty, brains, and a high-paying Wall Street position, Charlie was a woman who seemed to have it all—until she turned thirty and took stock of her life, or lack thereof. She left it all behind to pursue yoga, and now, two years later, she
Paperback, 365 pages
Published March 16th 2010 by Harper Perennial (first published 2010)
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Showing 1-30
3.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  821 ratings  ·  127 reviews

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Jul 20, 2011 rated it did not like it
I'm both a fan of yoga and, i'm not usually embarrassed to say, "chick lit" (though I despise the reference). Therefore, I must say, I had high hopes for this book that looked to marry the two. However, I was sorely disappointed. The book was a quick read which is great for summer but mostly the ability to turn page after page was due to the fact that it lacked any depth whatsoever. To say that this book carried on for almost 400 pages on the most surface levels would be an understatement.

Jul 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: chick-lit, fiction, yoga
A story about four single women in NYC who meet up at their 10-year college reunion (they were only acquaintances in college, not real friends) and decide to bond during a 6-week intro to yoga class.

It's like Sex & the City meets the Friday Night Knitting Club. Only, with yoga mats instead of yarn. Charlie quit her fast-paced Wall Street job to teach yoga and open a yoga studio in Brooklyn; the others include a lapsed-photographer single mom; a romance novel editor who's a lapsed writer; an
Mar 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Charlie used to dominate Wall Street, but has changed paths and now runs a yoga studio with two fellow yoga-lovers; the reason behind her sudden switch from her old, fast-paced life to yoga remains mysterious. Naomi used to love to be behind the camera, but her life changed when she got pregnant with her son, Noah, now 8. Now she's trying to deal with the fact that Noah's once-absent father (and her ex) wants back into her son's life after years of being uninterested. Sabine is the editor of rom ...more
I should create a new shelf, “Debut Novels,” because I am so drawn to them in my local library’s “new fiction” section. While much of the inner thinking of the four reconnected friends has been shared in other novels, there are a few aspects that intrigued me. The yoga studio and classes served as a clean structure allowing the four friends to come together and find new strength and understanding about themselves. As a fledgling yoga student, I was interested in this. The idea of how challenging ...more
Nov 12, 2010 rated it did not like it
This book was awful. I mean, AWFUL. As in, I can't honestly believe that someone agreed to publish it awful.
The basic story is ok. Four women meet at their ten-year college reunion and bond by taking the same yoga class. The problem is, the writing is just terrible. The dialogue is forced, the word choice is often awkward, and many of the characters are silly caricatures (a gay guy who works in a yoga studio and named his bulldogs George and Michael? REALLY? I think I actually rolled my eyes.) I
Jun 07, 2010 rated it did not like it
Poorly written version of every other knitting/book/writing club book out there. Obnoxious dialogue, poorly developed characters, overdone premise.

I wasn't going to finish this book, but I was bored, and had no other new books to read. It was as awful as I feared. The same story - right down to the health crisis that strikes one member of the group... ugh. NO originality here. PLUS, they all start noticing how fit and whatever they are getting... really? from one day of yoga a week for 6 weeks?
Karen White
Aug 10, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: just-for-fun
I SO loved Fishman's SAVING ZOE, but this was a very disappointing freshman effort. It is so formulaic, like she is trying to fit into the chick-lit-struggling-young-women-in-NYC thing and it just doesn't work. And the yoga thing is forced as well.
I normally don't write negative reviews, but I want to say don't judge Fishman's writing by THIS book. Saving Zoe Saving Ruth: A Novel is far and away a better novel.
May 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
My kind of book! Not too deep, fun, great timing for the point in my life where I'm at. The journey of life is definitely all about balancing your goals and dreams with reality, but finding a way to make them come alive!
Jun 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
QUICK QUICK read. I enjoyed this book. But, it's pretty much like most of the other women friend books I've read. Nothing stands out to make me say, "Wow, this book is fantastic." But, it was a great beach read and kept my attention.
Anita Smith
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Sigh. One star just for the sole reason it was a yoga fiction book.

This whole book just felt completely generic and meh. No depth to any of the characters, too many "single-girl-in-New-York" cliches, and underwhelming plot.

Also, I don't know who edited this book, but my God. I've certainly made my fair share of mistakes as an editor, but this was rough. There were only four main characters, and the editor managed to mix up one character for another more than once (getting Naomi confused with Cha
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, it did take me awhile to get into it and glad I kept at it. Great chick-lit!

From Amazon:
Zoe Fishman’s Balancing Acts is a must for fans of The Friday Night Knitting Club, The Reading Group, The Jane Austen Book Club, and Girls in Trucks. The charming and poignant stories of four former college friends going through mid-life crises who help each other balance their former dreams with their present lives through the power of yoga and friendship, Balancing Acts brims with wi
Steph Skantze
Oct 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book. Ugh. I have never given a book one star but man, this was awful to read. Why did I read the whole thing? I was hoping that someone would have edited the characters or just the writing? I started TO COUNT the number of times I read the phrase, “you know?” OMG. And I was so excited to read about Yoga...nope. Didn’t make it better.
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
I found three glaring errors in this book, so it really lost credibility for me. Terrible proof-reading. Also found the references to "amazing abs" after only a few yoga classes to be spurious. However this author's latest book is great, so don't give up on her.
May 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Fluffy, but I sure enjoyed the yoga parts.
Nov 13, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: chic-lit, library
Could not get into or relate to this book - sex in the city meets yoga studio.....
Jul 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Cute story but felt the ending was lame and storyline fell off. I wanted more closure of the characters. Maybe left open for a sequel???
Aug 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Quick read, chick lit, perfect for vacation!
May 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Well written and relatable characters. More substantial than typical chick lit but doesn't take itself too seriously.
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's a good chick lit story about four former college buddies who reunite years later for Yoga.
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-ones-i-love
Zoe Fishman writes with such familiarity that you feel these four women are in your yoga class. Great read.
Stephanie  from Books Paradise
Freundschaft, Yoga und die Kraft der Liebe... Es kommt anders als man vom Klappentext her erwartet: Charlie ist ist jung und risikofreudig. Nach ihrem Beziehungsaus hat sie ihre erfolgreiche Karriere an der Wall Street einfach an den Nagel gehängt und ein neues Leben begonnen. Das Ganze ist jetzt vier Jahre her, aber Charlie hat die Trennung immer noch nicht überwunden. Vor einiger Zeit hat sie zusammen mit zwei guten Freunden ein eigenes Yogastudio, das Prana, eröffnet. Auf sie nun auf einem Kl ...more
Silvia Liotta
Sep 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alla fine del college Charlie sognava di diventare una famosa broker in un mondo maschilista
come quello di Wall Street, Naomi pensava che il suo amore per la fotografia le avrebbe
fatto girare il mondo, Sabine invece sarebbe diventata una famosa autrice di best seller mentre
Bess sognava di scrivere per il New York Times. A dieci anni di distanza queste quattro donne,
come quasi sempre succede, si ritrovano a fare dei lavori distanti anni luce da quelli che hanno
sempre sognato e per cui hanno impie
Mar 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Zoe Fishman's Balancing Acts was an inspirational, surprisingly upbeat novel centering around the complicated lives of four people -- all women who, by the close of the novel, felt like friends. Fishman does a fantastic job of giving us enough information about each woman to allow us to relate to their predicaments without the story breaking into cliches or random information. I saw a bit of myself in each character, especially Sabine, and could definitely relate to their problems and attempts t ...more
Lydia Presley
Mar 13, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010, fiction, chick-stuff
Let me just say - if you are going to write about four women and their paths toward fulfilling their dreams - at least try to be somewhat unique about it. As I was reading through this book I couldn't get over how similar this book was to books like The Friday Night Knitting Club, The School of Essential Ingredients, and even the story that Balancing Acts mocks in its pages, Carrie Bradshaw and Sex in the City.

Like these books we look at things from all the characters points of view. I saw the s
Feb 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012-reads
I had really high hopes for this book, a book I would have never picked up a year ago. Having recently discovered the true magic of yoga, I immediately fell in love with the synopsis on the back cover.

Charlie worked herself to the bone to succeed at her lucrative, high-paying Wall Street job. She studied instead of partied during her college years. Always. Which is why everyone is shocked to hear she left it all behind for yoga as they huddle at their ten year college reunion. She meets up with
Oct 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Finding a balance in their lives is a common theme for the four women in "Balancing Acts: A Novel."

They met years before in college, and at a reunion, they reconnect and decide to join a basic yoga class for six weeks on Saturday mornings.

A Brooklyn neighborhood is at the centerpiece of this story, and sets the stage for the lifestyle action that follows. I could relate to the women, even though I've never lived in New York; and enjoyed reading about their journey toward finding their balance. W
Feb 26, 2010 added it
Shelves: read-for-review
Balancing Acts came into my life at precisely the right time, I started yoga about 2 months ago and have been loving it. Balancing Acts was the perfect meld of yoga and the type of book I love to read, I just loved it.

I'm instantly attracted to books that are told in rotating perspective and Balancing Acts happens to explore these 4 women's journeys through each of their 4 voices. I loved all four of their voices with Bess just coming in slightly behind the other 3 women because of her initial m
Apr 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: tbr-pile-at-home
Balancing Acts portrays four New York women in their early thirties who reaquaint themselves at their ten year college reunion and agree to take a yoga class from one of the members who has since done a 180 in her career and opened a yoga studio called Prana Yoga. The majority of the book is set in a six week period as they take the class, although we do get to see a slice of their lives three months after the class has finished. We meet Sabine, Naomi, Bess, and Charlie as they struggle with the ...more
May 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I was very disappointed in this book. It is a perfect example of buying a book because of its cover and the write up on the back. I like romance, yoga, etc. I thought the premise was solid but the writing was very teenage like. I became so tired of the constant clichés that I began to keep track of them. The story is about 4 woman in their 30's who go back to college for their 10 year reunion and reunite through a yoga class. From the cover, you would think they were best friends in college, but ...more
Apr 03, 2010 rated it it was ok
I picked up this book to read over spring break - my "trashy novels" choice. It definitely fits in with that moniker. The premise of the book is that four friends from college get back together after their 10 year reunion, and are convinced to enroll in a special Saturday morning yoga class. Through this class, they learn about themselves and grow. All in 6 classes. I know! Amazing. Also, not very believable. The characters were interesting (albeit caricatures), although they seemed to change ch ...more
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