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Brooke's Pick: The Good Part by Sophie Cousens



When she makes a wish to skip to the good part of her life, 26-year-old Lucy Young wakes up to a handsome husband, a high-powered job and two perfect children, and as she embraces the new relationships and the perks of maturity, she must ask herself some difficult questions.


What would you consider to be the "good part" of your life?  Have you lived it yet, or does it lie somewhere in your future?  That's the brilliant idea behind Sophie Cousens' new novel, The Good Part, which follows a down-on-her-luck twenty-six year old Lucy Young as she wishes away her youth in exchange for the "good part" of her life.  Lucy wakes up sixteen years later at age 42 to discover that she has a husband, kids, and high profile job ... but at what cost?  What happened in those sixteen years that she cannot remember?

 

As Lucy sets out on a journey of (past) self-discovery, she learns how she came to be her future self.  Some parts of her life she loves - her job, her husband, her home ... maybe her kids? - but as she discovers some of the darker things that have happened to her between now and then, she grieves the years, and people, she lost.  As Lucy becomes more accustomed to her future life, she has to decide ... does she stay here in the now, or does she try to find her way back to the past?

 

The Good Part is a fun and fanciful book that manages to also be profound and thought-provoking all at the same time.  This novel is an utter delight to read, positing a question that is intriguing to ask - "If the 'good part' of your life was waiting for you in the future, would you skip ahead to it?"  I personally would not want to time travel myself, but it makes for a rather enjoyable "no-risk" read.

 

While much of The Good Part is light-hearted and funny, it also deals with some heavy topics, and relies heavily on self-reflection, as Lucy, who begins the novel as an immature and naïve twenty-something, grows into the woman she was always meant to be.  I loved how Cousen used Lucy's "memory loss" as a plot device, revealing "secrets" about Lucy's past to both the reader and Lucy herself at the same time.  I found this to be utterly compelling and page-turning!

 

On the other hand, Lucy could be a bit insufferable at times, and her son Felix must be some sort of prodigy in the making because he was well-advanced for his age ... I had to suspend disbelief every time he entered a scene because he had the brain and vocabulary of someone much beyond his years.

 

Recommended to lovers of Melissa Wiesner's The Second Chance Year. - Brooke, Public Relations Librarian

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