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The Year that Everything Changed

The Year that Everything Changed - Georgia Bockoven The Year Everything Changed is an immensely readable, albeit predictable, story about family and love. Four women are thrown together at the behest of their biological father. Two never knew him; two were seemingly abandoned by him at young ages. All must adjust their expectations and opinions of him in order to seek closure, if closure is what they seek. No matter what their relationship to their biological father, all must adjust to the fact that they each have three "new" sisters.There is not much that is a surprise in Georgia Bockoven's latest novel. The reader can predict every plot twist and turn in the novel several pages, if not chapters, in advance. The characters are one-dimensional with little to no character development. The novel itself is too short to adequately build any empathy with any of the characters or to learn more about them at a level deeper than the superficial. It is a testament to Ms. Bockoven's writing that in spite of all this, a reader will find it difficult to stop reading. In fact, I would say that I kept reading The Year Everything Changed because of these normally negative elements.The Year Everything Changed makes no demands on the reader. One only has to suspend a modicum of disbelief at some of the occurrences. The story is prettily written, glossing over some of the more dubious situations with lighthearted grace. It requires no deep philosophical studies but rather shows the ebbs and flows of love - parent, spouse, child - over generations and how one's perceptions can so easily be skewed by others. It is a simple reminder that one very rarely knows the entire story of someone else's actions. The Year Everything Changed fits in to the ubiquitous genre of "chick lit". I think a more fitting term would be to describe it as "relationship lit" since the novel is more about the relationships between parent and child than about women in general. As expected, there are no earth-shattering revelations. Instead, it is a charming story about love that is ridiculously difficult to put down and that leaves a reader with the all-important "warm fuzzies". Everyone deserves/ needs a book like this periodically. Acknowledgements: Thank you to Megan Traynor from William Morrow for my review copy!