Meg's Reviews > Balancing Acts

Balancing Acts by Zoe Fishman
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's review
Mar 22, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2010, women-s-fiction, sent-for-review
Read from March 22 to 28, 2010

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 to heal what has become broken in their lives.

I've read enough bad dialogue in my life to recognize great conversation, and let me say this: Fishman's conversational skills are fantastic. We weren't dropped in and out of the ladies' chats, left to fill in all the details, but we also weren't privvy to long, meandering conversations that don't seem to go anywhere. I could clearly hear each woman speaking and appreciated the natural speech, complete with the occasional "um" and long pause. Because, you know, that's how we talk.

Though each had a reason for giving yoga a try and stepping beyond what had been comfortable, yoga is just a frame for the larger tale. If you know nothing about exercise -- or, like me, read this book with a cupcake in one hand -- fear not: the jargon is supplemental, easy to understand and not distracting.

With references to Facebook, texting and other hip conveniences, I worry that the novel will feel a bit dated in the not-so-distant future. But for the moment? Balancing Acts was a fresh, fun and engrossing look at friendship, breaking through emotional barriers and marching confidently into a beautiful future. Fans of women's fiction will find shades of themselves in Fishman's characters -- and might find themselves wanting to dash to a nearby yoga studio!

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03/23/2010 page 37
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