Balancing Acts

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Balancing Acts

An evite to an unofficial reunion for alumni from Boston University has four former classmates meeting for the first time since their college days. All of them work and live in the New York City area and each is unique and special.
Charlie is part owner in a yoga studio. This isn’t where anyone would have placed her based on her college day where she was focused on business and after the almighty dollar. After several years working on Wall Street and a heartbreaking romance, Charlie started over doing something she loves. She looks at this reunion as an opportunity to drum up business.
Naomi is sure she won’t know anyone there. She only attended for her freshman year and then she flunked out. Strangely, she is remembered and so is her photography. Naomi isn’t doing any photography lately. Instead, she’s a single mom to an 8 year old boy and does web design.
Bess has always wanted to be an investigative reporter which is why she’s not too thrilled with working for a women’s tabloid. She’s come to the reunion in search for a story and not a positive one. Her hope is this story will be her launching pad into something bigger and better.
Sabine also writes but not like Bess. Sabine wanted to write a novel but she’s editing them for a living. Somewhere along the line she’s just lost the drive to write.
Some how during that reunion, Charlie talks the other three into taking yoga classes for the next 6 weeks. None are sure what they are getting into. In fact, a couple are sure they will be horrible at yoga. Over the next 6 weeks though, these four women will evolve. 
This book is divided into four sections. Each reflects the changes going on the in the women’s lives and in their yoga class. Within each section are chapters. Chapters are from one of the woman’s point of view, though occasionally there will be two women heading up a chapter.
The characters are wonderful. They evolve, they interact and they aren’t perfect. They also don’t live in a vacuum. The have relationships with men, their parents and in Naomi’s case, her son. All of these relationships are complex and the problems facing them are as real as you would find anywhere. What do you do when your boyfriend ends up on the opposite coast? How do you deal with your son’s father wanting to be part of his life after being gone for most of it? Do you dare open your heart to love when it was shattered the last time?
But this isn’t a self help book nor do the characters have all the answers. They deal, they figure and sometimes bad things happen to good people. As the title says, it’s balancing acts.
This is Ms. Fishman’s debut novel and it’s perfect. It makes me wonder what she’s going to write next and is it even possible to match the excellence of this one. This book came alive and its characters are real. I didn’t want to put it down and I want to know more. Yet, I’m not sure a sequel would work and this book truly is complete as it is. I just don’t want to let go of these wonderful women and the people in their world.

Book Blurb for Balancing Acts

A poignant debut novel about the transformative powers of yoga and friendship for four women on the verge of realizing their dreams

With beauty, brains, and a high-paying Wall Street position, Charlie was a woman who seemed to have it all—until she turned thirty and took stock of her life, or lack thereof. She left it all behind to pursue yoga, and now, two years later, she's looking to drum up business for her fledgling studio in Brooklyn. Attending her college's alumni night with fliers in tow, she reconnects with three former classmates whose post-graduation lives, like hers, haven't turned out like they'd hoped.

Romance book editor Sabine still longs to write the novel that's bottled up inside her. Once an up-and-coming photographer and Upper East Side social darling, Naomi is now a single mom who hasn't picked up her camera in years. And Bess, who dreamed of being a serious investigative journalist a la Christiane Amanpour, is stuck in a rut, writing snarky captions for a gossip mag. But at a weekly yoga class at Charlie's studio, the four friends, reunited ten years after college, will forge new bonds and take new chances—as they start over, fall in love, change their lives...and come face-to-face with haunting realities.

Night Owl Reviews May, 2010 5.00