Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Review: Balancing Acts

Balancing Acts by Zoe Fishman tells the story of four women who meet up again at a 10 year college reunion and form a friendship like they never expected. Ten years after they've graduated, Charlie- a yoga instructor, Bess- a tabloid writer, Naomi- a single mom and web designer and Sabine- a romance novel editor, meet up at a New York get together for the college class. Though the women were not necessarily BFF in college, Charlie convinces the other three to try yoga with her. With that, these women's lives begin to change in new ways, both separately and as part of their newly formed group. They begin to open themselves up to new experiences, let down walls to allow people in and start to see the world in a new light.

From the first couple of pages in, I was totally hooked. Fishman's writing is accessible and relatable. As each character was introduced I found myself drawn to them, wanting to learn more about their different lives and careers. Fishman does a great job and creating uniquely distinct characters and it's clear that each woman has her own strong personality that shines through both narrative description as as well as through the dialogue.

From a personal aspect, I love that the story as a whole revolves around a yoga class. As both a fitness instructor and a person who practices yoga, I was instantly connected to the idea of the yoga class. Charlie, who left her job on Wall St. to open a yoga studio convinces her fellow classmates to try out her studio by signing up for a six-week yoga class with just the four of them. Initially skeptical in their own ways, Sabine, Naomi and Bess agree and as the weeks progress they find themselves getting more comfortable with the practice, with each other and within themselves. Displaying the changes yoga can inspire both physically and mentally/emotionally is accomplished quite well throughout the novel and I was pleased to see that.

I had trouble putting this book down. I carried it with me every where and was reading whenever I could. Normally I like to savor books and take my time, but I just couldn't wait to continue the story and find out what would happen next or where Fishman would take these characters. I become 100 per cent invested in the characters, which kept me engaged in this novel from cover to cover.

Zoe Fishman

Balancing Acts proves to be an inspirational story for anyone who loves the restorative power of yoga and of true friendships.

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