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Book review: The Penny Pincher's Club by Sarah Strohmeyer

Updated on February 18, 2015

The Penny Pincher's Club: A writer's review

"Living in suburban New Jersey, Kat has a pretty serious retail habit. Now it looks like her husband Griff is having an affair…and setting up a secret bank account in preparation for a divorce. Suspecting her spending habits may be driving him away, Kat’s determined to save her marriage by saving some money. But when her rich ex-fiancé turns up with a tempting bargain, she’ll have to decide whether love conquers mall…” –Amazon

Overall: A good book with a fair plot. I like that Kat kept confronting her husband about her suspicions regarding his possible affair and didn’t wait till the end to do so, like most traditional stories. Despite these confrontations, the story moved forth and a good pace and didn't become any less interesting. The author works in backstory appropriately and cleverly, introducing her past flame then showing how he blends into the present. Kat's husband comes across as self-involved and egoistic, but this character flaw is never openly addressed or pointed out to him, which kind of irked me. The entire book is about his aspiration and his career and what he wants to achieve, leaving little to no focus on Kat or her aspirations. I felt that Kat should have made this argument somewhere in the story given that she admits feeling compelled to take interest in his work when he obviously has none in hers. Also, the subplot of Wade, the millionaire, seemed a bit far fetched to me and as a reader, I didn’t find a valid or believable justification for him using his girlfriend, Libby, to foot his bills.

Pros: This book commences at a middle juncture, then flashes back to the past before transporting the reader back to the present again. The author used this technique well and effectively. The first fifteen chapter or so passed fairly quick with the story progressing at a comfortable pace, keeping the audience engaged.

Cons: The first page of this book was a bit confusing and didn’t make sense. I had to read through it a few times to make sure I wasn’t missing a key piece of information. There’s a character referenced at the onset who’s then never formally introduced or mentioned again later in the plot, yet the way the author talks about this character has the reader thinking that she plays an integral role and will pop up again in a future scene. At the end of the book, I found myself trying to tie the ending with the beginning and turns out that that was just one of the loose ties. There’s also a reference to a Project Graduation yard sale that’s never again mentioned or elaborated upon. Again, judging by the way this project is referenced, you'd expect further details at a later point. The tone used at the start of the novel led me to assume that this would be a fun and comedic read, but that wasn’t the case. It was a light read at some points but not the laugh-out-loud light. The fact that Kat’s daughter is sexually active is posed as a concern, yet again, no mention or discussion of this takes place and, as a reader, I was left hanging. The last few chapters of the book passed agonizingly slowly (but to be fair, that might have been because I was sleepy and ready for bed by this point). I skimmed over most of the pages to get to the meat of what finally happens to Kat and her husband. The ending is cute, sweet and simple, but nothing impressive.

Verdict: 3/5 stars. A good airport read. If you’re looking for something that’ll make you chuckle hard, pass.

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