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Peace and Plenty: Finding Your Path to Financial Serenity

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  368 Ratings  ·  71 Reviews
As featured on Oprah's podcast, SuperSoul Conversations

"When money is plentiful, this is a man's world. When money is scarce, it is a woman's world." Unearthed in a 1932 Ladies Home Journal, this quote is the call to arms that begins PEACE AND PLENTY, Sarah Ban Breathnach's answer to the world's-- and her own personal-- financial crisis. As only Ban Breathnach can, she cu
Hardcover, 426 pages
Published December 29th 2010 by Grand Central Publishing
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Nov 16, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: first-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 08, 2011 added it
Shelves: trash
I hated this book. It did not live up to it's premise AT ALL. I thought this would be filled with practical advice and great ideas (from the author and all her historical sources) about how to get by with less, how to stretch a dime, how to have fun for less, etc. Instead, this book is like "The Secret," in it's complete and utter uselessness. All this author does is justify all the stages involved with realizing you're poor and coming to terms with it. I'm sorry, but if you need to read all 418 ...more
Feb 26, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Peace and Plenty: Finding Your Path to Financial Serenity by Sarah Ban Breathnach has a great deal of promise and certain comes into publication at the right time. Drawing on her own experience with affluence and loss, the author offers from her heart ways to face the fear that these economic times can stir up.

Promising or not, this book is a disappointment. Writing from personal experience, Breathnach tries to cloak her reality in sympathetic terms but the sensitive reader will easily sense th
Dec 04, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ugh..I was so let down by this book. I couldn't make it past the second cd. That's HUGE for me. I always give audio books through the third or fourth cd because a lot can change by then. Unless, you're suffering a horrible slow audiobook death by having to listen to this crap.

I have so many bad things to say about this book that I'll spare you. Who wants to read a slam? I'll just stick to a few top contenders of suckiness.
1. Breathnach assumes you *must* know her story right? Because she's so f
Feb 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-help, finances
All you bestselling authors out there (past, present, future)…listen up. Sarah is here to tell us to “Do as I say,” not as she did.
After Sarah got dramatically wealthy in what seemed to her like an instant (after being on Oprah! Hmmmm....David Bach also dropped Oprah’s name in his book #56 on my blog but Sarah doesn't sound smarmy when she does it), she hired financial advisors, but surprise! None of them told her that she should financially protect herself. Now (one might argue), should she hav
Oct 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of Peace and Plenty by being a First Read lucky winner. I want to thank Good Reads and also Hachette Book Group for sending it to me in a timely fashion.

I did feel lucky because Sarah Breathnach was the author of the book and I had previously bought and read three books by her.

So as I bonded with the new book I thought of it as being titled "Finding Sarah" as that is exactly what happened for me. I had one of my favorite authors back in my hands.

As I read the book I first
Dec 27, 2011 rated it liked it
I loved, loved, loved Simple Abundance. It is one of my 'stuck on a desert island' book choices - I can and have reread it many times.
I can not reconcile that wise, centered, intuitive author with the woman in this book. Having a huge bestseller sent Sarah Ban Breathnach into a horrible tailspin apparently. How could someone so seemly enlightened buy Marilyn Monroe's furs among other things, sending herself from millionaire to pauper in a few short years? The book itself, while fascinating in a
Feb 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
I am a huge fan of Sarah's first book, Simple Abundance. I bought a copy for my sister and several friends. I bought her 2nd and 3rd book hoping to continue the journey with this author and teacher, but I could not get through them. They fell flat with me and only seemed a way to continue in the financial abundance that the first book generated.

Now with this fourth book she is trying to recover from a bad divorce and a loss of all her money. Why not just write a sordid tell-all and be frank abo
Amy R
Nov 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads, 2011
The author knows how to tug on the emotional strings quite well. This book reads as though you're sitting with a kindly, older female relative, just talking to you about loss, choices and picking yourself up off the ground. There were times I wanted to cry in the beginning. Not much farther into the book though, the author brought a sense of peace to the reader, that everything is fixable and temporary. "Peace and Plenty" is aptly named. I recommend it for women going through a financially hard ...more
Apr 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was surprised at the diversity of reviews of Peace and Plenty: Finding Your Path to Financial Serenity. Some readers enjoyed this latest tome from Sarah Ban Breathnach, but many others found it a lot less enjoyable and inspirational than her earlier books. Although I admit I am partial to Simple Abundance and Romancing the Ordinary, which were written during happier and more prosperous time for the author, I still admired her candor in this book in which she owns up to some major blunders with ...more
Carrie Lahain
Sep 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-again
I've read all of SBB's books and am working through SIMPLE ABUNDANCE for the third or fourth time. However, though I like her books, that's not to say that I don't feel conflicted about them. Sarah, as she comes across in her books, has a very theatrical way about her. This can be entertaining or irritating depending upon the reader's mood. Her books do tend to focus on cheering yourself up by buying stuff--though it may be stuff from a thrift store or garage sale. Like a lot of readers, I've fo ...more
Carolyn Hill
Jan 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
I had read and enjoyed some of Sarah Ban Breathnach's earlier books, so thought I would give this recent one a try (and I liked the cover; silly, I know). This book made me wonder why I had liked the others. Admittedly, I didn't finish this, but jumped around reading here and there, and skimming other parts. There is little about her own financial serenity in this book, but mostly what she draws from earlier writers who had experienced hard times. It is more about the high financial anxiety of a ...more
Oct 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I want to thank Anna and Hachette Book Group for selecting me as a winner in this giveaway; and apologize for it taking me so long to finish. When I entered the giveaway I had one perception of what I thought was between the covers; upon winning I realized it was something else and outside my normal reading comfort zone.
Sometimes I was upset with the author, but then she turned around and agreed that what I was feeling she had expected her readers to feel. Wow! That endeared me to her in many w
Judy Collins
Jul 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I purchased the audio Peace and Plenty after seeing Sarah on OWN Super Soul Sunday. I was impressed with her and immediately purchased the audiobook, Simple Abundance and loved it (also started my gratitude daily journal).

Peace and Plenty is a continuation of Sarah’s journey and her own personal-- financial crisis. I love her style for the finer things of life and how she appreciates beautiful things and knows how to enjoy them and make a happy and healthy lifestyle (can so relate). Her voice i
Mary (BookHounds)
Jan 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book should appeal to everyone since it deals with the important subject of money and your relationship with it. There are more arguments and divorce over this subject than any other. Sarah Ban Breathnach will make you think about your relationship with it in new ways. Most people's relationship to money is built in childhood and you will be force to relive some unpleasant facts about it, but the end result is worth it. The author does a fine job of making stories relate to your own experie ...more
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
I loved every minute of reading this book. If you have ever read Simple Abundance,then you will know the author, Sarah Ban Breathnach. This latest book tells her story of losing it all financially and how she had to start a new life for herself. She quotes wonderful women at the beginning of each chapter... just reading the quotes is enough to inspire you! Although the book is about how she finds financial serenity and how you can find it, it is also a book about becoming a better you. It is a g ...more
Oct 19, 2010 rated it liked it
I got to the budget chapter and, well, my attention wandered. I plan to get back to this - it does have lots of good food for thought in there. I enjoy the short chapters based around some random helpful reading she found somewhere more than I do her financial advice - she's admitted already she's no better at that than the reader, so I'm glad she focused mostly on inspiration. If you want numbers & details, there are other books for you. This stays focused on her strengths, which are findin ...more
Jan 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Being a fan of Sarah's work, I did not expect to find that her dreams came crashing down on her after marrying a man who tore her world apart. Even in this situation, Brannach manages to write from her tenuous position of financial ruin and putting the house that she bought into a financial litigation that bars her from living there.

It always saddens me that someone can rise to such success and have it all vanish in the assumption that it cannot possibly go wrong. The story, as Breathnach is so
Debra Vitale
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Although this book did not get the best ratings, I absolutely loved it! I was checking out the new Dollar Tree in Eureka and got it for a buck. I would recommend every young adult female to read this before marriage. She tells her story of going from multi millionare to nothing and how she is rebuilding her life. What I like the most about this book is all the references she gives: other women who lost everything, a lot about "The Depression," book references, movies (she mentioned the movie fro ...more
Wendy Hines
Jun 01, 2013 rated it liked it

In today's tough economic times, we are all feeling the burn. Coupon clipping, frugal living, and recycling has become a day to day routine for us all. But, trying to scrape a few pennies together to make ends meet is just the tip of the iceberg. You have to worry about yourself too - is all that worrying giving you an ulcer? Full of rage, or shame? Sarah shows us how to pull out of our deep funk with grace and able to live with our choices. A great book, not just for women, although it is geare
Courtney Mroch
May 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Ever since a friend gifted me with a copy of Simple Abundance in 1999, I've been a huge fan of Sarah Ban Breathnach's books. I am not one to re-read books. I've re-read both Simple Abundance and Romancing the Ordinary multiple times. (Probably 10 times for SA and at least 5 for RtO.)

I was super excited when I heard she was releasing this book. My husband bought it as a Christmas present for me when it was released. I was so excited to start it in the New Year. I assumed it would be like her othe
Based on the title of the book and the fact that Sarah Breathnach has written some extremely helpful and important books in the past, I was expecting a lot from "Peace and Plenty" and believe me, when it comes to financial issues, I can use all the suggestions out there. I don't feel that this book lived up to my expectations, but I do have to admit that my expectations were very high.

I was hoping for a lot more practical advice, and I was finding that at the end of many of the chapters there wo
Jen Lawrence
I read Ban Breathnach's Simple Abundance when it was hitting the New York Times' best sellers list and was interested to see that she's written something on financial peace. I assumed she was still the wealthy woman she was when hanging around the Oprah set, but it turns out that her most recent husband was a bit of a cad and left her in vastly diminished circumstances. She went from owning homes around the globe, including Newton's Chapel in the UK, to couch-surfing with family. She knows of wh ...more
Jan 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
I would give this 2.5 stars. I found the book to be uneven. It's by the author of Simple Abundance, which was a huge bestseller in the 1990s. The author talks about how she made lots of money from her books, and eventually ended up owning 3 homes (including Sir Isaac Newton's chapel as a writing retreat) and employing a staff and living a rather lavish lifestyle (with a closetful of Manolo Blahnik shoes). Then she started having financial problems with the economic downturn combined with going t ...more
Jackie Law
Jan 22, 2012 rated it liked it
"If your imagination is blocked... you can't be sighing with pleasure over repurposing your never-used dining room into a cozy library, happily imagining....." xvi

"When cataclysmic change arrives, why does there always seem to be rapid and ruthless reckoning required, especially before we even process what has happened? ... But Reader, trust me: This experience is essential. It will make our new life all the more sweet when we find our way back. And we will find our way back." (19).

"Our goal is
Feb 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
In "Peace and Plenty" the author really sheds some light on a few truths about money, such as how women relate to money, and how it can effect relationships. She is writing from a place of having been there. She tells of one minute being a freelance writer without a comma in her checking account, and the next being a millionaire after her book Simple Abundance became a hit. Sadly for her she lost it, she fell back down the financial ladder and had no money. With this book, she teaches and inspir ...more
Sep 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Parts of this book are clearly directed at women who have money left over at the end of the month, so, some of the strategies are tough to implement for my particular situation. I did like how she showed the connection between feeling at-home in your own home and how that reduces the urge to splurge (on too much take-out/restaurant bills, clothing that can only be worn to one event, rent on a place that's really too big for your needs). I saw a lot of my old spending habits, especially the part ...more
Mar 05, 2011 rated it did not like it
I was mixed on this one. Some good stories...not enough advice that I was craving. Slow and a bit repetitive in parts.

I gave it to mom to read, and will see what she thought of it before I revise this review.

Update: April 19. Mom started to read the book at the doctor's office. She had a 3 hour wait. She got most of the way through the book but told me she wondered if it was ever going to get better. The man next to her was reading over her shoulder, and told my mom that he thought it wasn't tha
Sep 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
Ah, self-help books. Especially self-help books for women. I almost invariably find them insipid. Sarah Ban Breathnach's are no exception--in fact, they are particularly, frustratingly bourgeois. But, like diet books and personal finance books, I keep reading them. Why? I am not markedly dissatisfied, fat, or hard-up for cash. But there is something a little comforting about them, in a conventional, middle-brow sort of way, maybe because I don't really need them.

Anyway, if you like this sort of
Jan 16, 2011 rated it did not like it
So, I really liked the concept of this book, but it didn't SAY anything! I forced myself over an entire week to read 100 pages, hoping that there would be some substance...but nothing. She keeps referring back to her first book that was a best seller. So, if she didn't have anything new to say, it appears that the author wrote this book simply because she was broke. There's lots of fluff and talking about the subject. I have never disliked a book so much...there have been only 2 other books in m ...more
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In addition to SIMPLE ABUNDANCE, Sarah Ban Breathnach is the author of THE SIMPLE ABUNDANCE JOURNAL OF GRATITUDE, SOMETHING MORE, and MRS. SHARP'S TRADITIONS. She currently resides in California. Please visit her website at
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“This is how women self-sabotage and self-destruct. Unless we have constant witnesses to our hard work, we are convinced we pull off every day of our lives through smoke and mirrors. (27)” 36 likes
“Not having money to spend doesn’t mean we can’t have well-spent moments every day. (42)” 36 likes
More quotes…