Author: Jennifer Weiner
Published by: Atria Books on Aug. 29, 2023
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction
Format: ARC, Paperback
Source: Simon & Schuster Canada
Book Rating: 8.5/10
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner comes a warmhearted and empowering new novel about love, family, friendship, secrets, and a life-changing journey.
Thirty-three-year-old Abby Stern has made it to a happy place. True, she still has gig jobs instead of a career, and the apartment where she’s lived since college still looks like she’s just moved in. But she’s got good friends, her bike, and her bicycling club in Philadelphia. She’s at peace with her plus-size body—at least, most of the time—and she’s on track to marry Mark Medoff, her childhood summer sweetheart, a man she met at the weight-loss camp that her perpetually dieting mother forced her to attend. Fifteen years after her final summer at Camp Golden Hills, when Abby reconnects with a half-his-size Mark, it feels like the happy ending she’s always wanted.
Yet Abby can’t escape the feeling that something isn’t right…or the memories of one thrilling night she spent with a man named Sebastian two years previously. When Abby gets a last-minute invitation to lead a cycling trip from NYC to Niagara Falls, she’s happy to have time away from Mark, a chance to reflect and make up her mind.
But things get complicated fast. First, Abby spots a familiar face in the group—Sebastian, the one-night stand she thought she’d never see again. Sebastian is a serial dater who lives a hundred miles away. In spite of their undeniable chemistry, Abby is determined to keep her distance. Then there’s a surprise last-minute addition to the her mother, Eileen, the woman Abby blames for a lifetime of body shaming and insecurities she’s still trying to undo.
Over two weeks and more than seven hundred miles, strangers become friends, hidden truths come to light, a teenage girl with a secret unites the riders in unexpected ways…and Abby is forced to reconsider everything she believes about herself, her mother, and the nature of love.
Humorous, heartwarming, and uplifting!
The Breakaway is a sweet, slow-burning romance that takes us into the life of the hardworking, kind Abby Stern who, after needing a little space before taking the next step with her current boyfriend, Mark, decides to lead a twelve-day bike tour from NYC to Niagara Falls with two unexpected participants among the pack. One a former one-night stand notorious for his playboy lifestyle whom she’s never been able to completely forget, and the other her mother, whom she’s always had a strained complex relationship with due to her lifelong criticism of Abby’s above-average weight.
The writing is sentimental and engaging. The characters are layered, supportive, and endearing. And the plot is a touching tale of family, friendship, self-discovery, happiness, healing, taking chances, growth, revelations, tender moments, light drama, misunderstandings, romance, passion, new beginnings, the importance of body autonomy, and the joy of cycling.
Overall, The Breakaway is another charming, timely, thought-provoking tale by Weiner that has everything I’ve come to know and love about her novels, including a good dose of hope, heart, healing, and humour that always keeps me coming back for more.
This novel is available now.
Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.
Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.