Wednesday, April 3, 2024

The Marriage Sabbatical by Lian Dolan (Wunderkind PR Book Tour)


If you could have a 9-month getaway to do something different with your life, what would you do?  I would love to travel if I had unlimited funds and time. 

Jason and Nicole have been married for twenty-three years.  Their two kids are off in college and both are having travel abroad experiences.  Jason’s best friend Charlie has recently passed away. Jason wants to take a dream sabbatical in his honor that they both had planned – a nine-month motorcycle trip through South America.  Jason wants Nicole to come with him since Charlie passed away, but it is not Nicole’s dream sabbatical.  Instead, she would rather learn how to silver smith in Santa Fe.  The two decide to both take their own dream sabbaticals for nine months and meet up at the end with their kids.  They also decide to follow their neighbors 500-mile rule, to enjoy themselves however and whoever they are with when they are far apart.  How will this affect their marriage?

My thoughts:

·       I like how the chapters alternated between Jason and Nicole, and flashed back to the past so the reader is able to see their relationship develop from the start.

·       Jason and Nicole are around my age and were very relatable and likeable characters.

·       I loved reading about Jason and Nicole’s adventures and how they found themselves again.

·        It was interesting reading about the idea of the marriage sabbatical as it is something that I would never ever do.  It made for an interesting ethical dilemma.

·       I loved the Santa Fe and South America settings.  I really wanted to visit Santa Fe after reading this book.

·       I think this would make a good book for discussion at a book club.

·       At the end of this book, I came to think of it as a second chance romance between Jason and Nicole.  It took time apart to realize and remember why they loved each other.

Overall, The Marriage Sabbatical was a unique and well written novel with likeable characters.  I think this would make a great book club pick.

Book Source:  Review copy from William Morrow as part of the Wunderkind PR Book Tour. Thank-you!  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Praise for Lian’s Books:
“Fast-paced and colorful, with hints of The Goldfinch and Malibu Rising, and more than one pitch-perfect love story—Lost and Found in Paris sparkles like the City of Light itself and will have you flipping the pages quickly as you’re drawn deeply into its mysterious world of art, intrigue, and redemption.”
—Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Lost Names

“Reading Lian Dolan is like sitting next to a delightful and hilarious friend with a fine glass of champagne as she regales you with her enthralling adventures. Witty and ravishing, with an intriguing mystery, a grand love story and a quick-witted heroine, Lost and Found in Paris is magnificent.”
—Patti Callahan, New York Times bestselling author of Surviving Savannah

“Dolan spins a story that is both heavy and light, spanning continents and exploring relationships. With a hint of Dan Brown and a splash of Jamie Brenner, this book will appeal to a variety of readers, especially those who enjoy character-driven fiction.”
—Booklist on Lost and Found in Paris

“Dolan’s clever latest...does a fantastic job depicting Joan’s love for her father and heartache over his death. This has a bit more substance than the standard Parisian romp.”
—Publishers Weekly on Lost and Found in Paris

“A quirky novel that deals with weighty topics and emotions without taking itself too seriously.”
—Kirkus Reviews on Lost and Found in Paris

About the Book:
After twenty-three years of building careers and raising kids together, Jason and Nicole Elswick are ready for a break from their daily lives. Jason has spent years planning his dream sabbatical—ditching work for a nine-month-long motorcycle trip through South America. Problem is, that’s Jason’s dream, not Nicole’s. After years working retail and parenting in Portland, Nicole craves the sun of the Southwest and the artistic community in Santa Fe, where she wants to learn jewelry design.

A chance encounter at a dinner party presents a surprising—and intriguing—way out of their dilemma. Over a little too much wine, Jason and Nicole’s married neighbors sing the praises of the 500 Mile Rule: their policy of enjoying themselves however they wish—and with whomever they wish—when they’re temporarily far apart. It seems like the perfect solution: nine months pursuing their own adventures—with a bit of don’t-ask-don’t-tell—and then a return to their shared lives. It’ll be a sabbatical from their marriage as well as their day jobs.

As Jason bikes his way across a continent and Nicole reclaims the art she’s long neglected, they discover the pleasures and pitfalls of the 500 Mile Rule, confronting temptations of all kinds, uncomfortable truths about themselves, and gaining new perspective on their partnership.

But all sabbaticals come to an end…then what?

About Lian Dolan:
Lian Dolan is a writer and talker. She’s the author of five best-selling novels, including her latest, The Marriage Sabbatical, forthcoming in 2024 by William Morrow. Her other books are Lost and Found in Paris, The Sweeney Sisters, Helen of Pasadena and Elizabeth the First Wife. She’s written regular columns for O, The Oprah Magazine, Pasadena Magazine and Working Mother Magazine. She’s also written for TV, radio and websites.

Lian is the creator and host of Satellite Sisters, the podcast and online community for women created in 2001. Satellite Sisters has won thirteen Gracie Awards for Excellence in Women’s Media. In 2017, Lian was honored as a Podcast Pioneer by ShePodcasts.

A speaker who combines humor and heart, Lian has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Sunday Morning and The Today Show and many local TV stations. She’s been a featured speaker at the LA Times Festival of Books, the Santa Barbara Celebrity Authors Lunch, the Literary Guild of Orange County Festival of Women Authors and dozens of other events at libraries, book stores, schools and women’s organizations across the country.

Lian graduated from Pomona College with a degree in Classics. She lives in Pasadena, California with her husband, two adult sons and a senior German shepherd.

Connect with Lian:
Instagram: @liandolan
Facebook: @liandolanauthor
Threads: @liandolan
Tik Tok: @liandolan
X/Twitter: @liandolan

1 comment:

  1. The Marriage Sabbatical does sound like an interesting book, Laura! Your review is beautifully written and presented. I'd probably enjoy this book, too, since the characters are likeable.