Skipping a Beat: A Novel

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From the author of the acclaimed The Opposite of Me, a poignant, witty novel about marriage, forgiveness, and the choices that give shape—and limits—to our lives.

What would you do if your husband suddenly wanted to rewrite all of the rules of your relationship? This is the question at the heart of Skipping a Beat, Pekkanen’s thought-provoking second book.

From the outside, Julia and Michael seem to have it all. Both products of difficult childhoods in rural West Virginia—where they were simply Julie and Mike—they become high school sweethearts and fall in love. Shortly after graduation, they flee their small town to start afresh. Now thirty-somethings, they are living a rarified life in their multi-million-dollar, Washington D.C. home. Julia is a highly sought-after party planner, while Michael has just sold his wildly successful flavored water company for $70 million.

But one day, Michael collapses in his office. Four minutes and eight seconds after his cardiac arrest, a portable defibrillator jump-starts his heart. But in those lost minutes he becomes a different man. Money is meaningless to him—and he wants to give it all away. Julia, who sees bits of her life reflected in scenes from the world’s great operas, is now facing with a choice she never anticipated. Should she should walk away from the man she once adored—but who truthfully became a stranger to her long before this pronouncement—or give in to her husband's pleas for a second chance and a promise of a poorer but happier life?

As wry and engaging as her debut, but with quiet depth and newfound maturity, Skipping a Beat is an unforgettable portrait of a marriage whose glamorous surface belies the complications and betrayals beneath.
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About the author

Sarah Pekkanen is the bestselling author of The Ever After, The Opposite of Me, Skipping a Beat, These Girls, The Best of Us, Catching Air, Things You Won’t Say, and The Perfect Neighbors. Her work has been published in People, The Washington Post, and USA TODAY, among other publications. She lives with her family in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

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Additional Information

Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Feb 22, 2011
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Fiction / Contemporary Women
Fiction / Family Life
Fiction / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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“A clever thriller with masterful twists.” – Karin Slaughter, New York Times bestselling author of The Kept Woman

"A fiendishly clever romantic thriller in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. This one will keep you guessing." –Anita Shreve, New York Times bestselling author of The Stars are Fire

"The Wife Between Us delivers a whip smart, twisty plot in a taut, pacy narrative. It's terrific and troubling. This is one scary love triangle where you won't know who to trust. I loved it." –Gilly Macmillan, New York Times bestselling author of What She Knew

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A novel of suspense from authors Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen that explores the complexities of marriage and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are reading about a jealous wife and her obsession with her replacement.
You will assume you are reading about a woman about to enter a new marriage with the man she loves.
You will assume the first wife was a disaster and that the husband was well rid of her.
You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships.
Assume nothing.

Discover the next blockbuster novel of suspense, and get ready for the read of your life.

Featuring favorite authors and thrilling debuts, Something to Read About: A Book Club Sampler, is the guide for finding your next book club read. Whether you’re in the mood for something historical, contemporary, young adult, or true life these are books you and your reading group won’t want to miss: The Memory Palace: A Memoir by Mira Bartok, Incendiary by Chris Cleave, The Chemical Garden Trilogy Book One: Wither by Lauren DeStefano, The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory, Possession by Elana Johnson, The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love by Kristin Kimball, The Butterfly’s Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe, Skipping a Beat by Sarah Pekkanen, and Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley.

Enjoy an excerpt from each book accompanied by a collection of bonus materials intended to enrich your reading experience and book club discussion. You’ll get discussion questions, suggestions for enhancing your book club, and full-length author interviews. We’ve even included a special note from the author and their answer to our culinary quandary: “What would you serve at a book club discussing your own book?” Their menu suggestions range from a family recipe for the “Best Ever Refritos” to a “Royal-Tea Cocktail” and are sure to add something special to your next book group meeting.

The Something to Read About sampler was created to help you discover your next won’t-be-able-to-put-it-down, can’t-wait-to-talk-about-it, all-time-favorite read. And like most of the finer things in life, these stories are meant to be shared. Enjoy!
Una novela de suspenso que explora las complejidades del matrimonio y las peligrosas verdades que ignoramos en nombre del amor.

Cuando leas este libro, tendrás muchas suposiciones. Supondrás que estás leyendo la historia de una esposa celosa y su obsesión con la mujer tomó su lugar. Supondrás que estás leyendo la historia de una mujer a punto de iniciar un nuevo matrimonio con el hombre que ama. Supondrás que la primera esposa era un desastre y que el esposo hizo bien librándose de ella. Supondrás que sabes los motivos, la historia, la anatomía de las relaciones.

No supongas nada.

Prepárate para la lectura de tu vida.

Greer Hendriks y Sarah Pekkanen exploran las complejidades del matrimonio, las relaciones entre mujeres, y las peligrosas verdades que ignoramos en nombre del amor.

Vanessa, de tiene treinta y siete años se ha divorciado recientemente de su marido adinerado y se encuentra postrada en cama en el apartamento de su tía en Nueva York, sintiéndose como si estuviera anclada a ese lugar. No tiene hijos, no tiene dinero ni tampoco amigos verdaderos. Richard, su exesposo carismático y apasionado era su vida entera. Cuando se da cuenta que ahora él está comprometido con la mujer con quien tuvo una aventura su mundo se hace trizas. Se imagina a Richard susurrando las mismas cosas que solía decirle a ella: voy a hacerte tan feliz. Tú eres mi mundo. Solo puede pensar que su reemplazo ahora tiene la familia que ella quiere tan desesperadamente.

A medida que crece su obsesión, Vanessa comienza a rastrear a la mujer joven y hermosa que intervino en su matrimonio. Acechándola. Esperando el momento oportuno para hacer lo que sea necesario para impedir la boda. Faltan solo unas semanas para la boda, y todo está listo. Nellie parece ser como el resto de mujeres jóvenes que se mudan a Manhattan para comenzar su vida adulta. Comparte ropa con su compañera de habitación y lucha para reducir los gastos en su tarjeta de crédito y su cintura. Pero no es tan despreocupada como intenta aparentar.

En su mente, ella lo llama «el incidente», un secreto muy bien guardado que la obligó a huir de Florida y que le impide caminar a su apartamento sola por la noche. Es la razón por la cual tiene un bate de béisbol junto a su cama, y tres cerraduras dobles en la puerta de su casa. Cuando conoce a Richard, este le dice que es soltero y le promete mantenerla a salvo. Pero entonces comienzan las misteriosas llamadas telefónicas. Alguien voltea la fotografía suya que está sobre la mesita de noche de Richard. Y el pañuelo de su papá, el que ella planeaba usar para atar su bouquet, desaparece. Cuando Nellie se da cuenta que talvez la ex de Richard no quiere dejarlo ir, la persigue el temor de que alguien la está vigilando. Alguien que quiere hacerle daño. Pero ¿quién?

Una historia que gira alrededor de los complejos problemas psicológicos que yace en el corazón de un peligroso enredo romántico. Un thriller psicológico con giros trepidantes que cautivará a los lectores desde la primera escena hasta el sorprendente final.

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