In Heather Wardell’s A Life That Fits, Andrea’s life is thrown into a tailspin when, at twenty-eight, the man she’s loved for half her life tells her he’s leaving her for another woman, a woman as opposite to Andrea as possible.

In the midst of her devastation, Andrea decides to become the “anti-Andrea” in order to win back Alex, her lost love.

So Andrea starts doing all kinds of things to break out of her rut and get Alex back- new clothes, new friends, new hobbies.

WARNING: Potentially spoilery stuff here.  The things I want to say may give away some hints as to what happens, although I am not intentionally giving away any more than the Amazon summary.

As Andrea is creating this amazing new life for herself and learning who she is without Alex, she starts to realize that there may not be a place for Alex in her life, even if she changes enough to win him back.  This is where I really got into the story.  Andrea inspired me.  Yes, I know she’s a character. But she was doing all these really cool things, and learning to be more open and authentic and do what felt right to her.  I loved that.  I found myself putting down the book to Google- and actually act on-  things I’ve always wanted to do but never have.

I don’t know if Heather intended Andrea to be such an inspiration to readers, but all I kept thinking while I was reading was “Live with no regrets” and “You can sit there and let life pass you by, or you can LIVE it”.  It almost became irrelevant whether or not Andrea and Alex got back together. Except that Wardell didn’t take that path and let the resolution become irrelevant.

Life’s often messy and complicated, even when we’re at our best and most honest self, and that’s no exception in this story.  Heather throws in a couple of plot twists that put Andrea’s relationships to a true test, with no certainty of a happy ending. And while the ending is certainly satisfactory (and, I thought, quite appropriate) it is far from tied up in a neat package with a fancy bow, as so many tales are.  That’s just one more piece of authenticity in the book.

I don’t know if Heather intended this much thought in the story, but I’m intrigued when something that could have been formulaic and could have been “just another book” makes me stop and take a look at my own life and contemplate change.