Changing Lanes: A Novel

Changing Lanes: A Novel

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by Kathleen Long

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Abby Halladay has the perfect life. Or, rather, she will…as long as everything goes exactly according to plan. Abby never leaves anything to chance — not her job as a syndicated columnist, not her engagement to her fiancé, Fred, and certainly not her impending wedding in Paris (New Jersey, that is).

Unfortunately for Abby, even the best-laid


Abby Halladay has the perfect life. Or, rather, she will…as long as everything goes exactly according to plan. Abby never leaves anything to chance — not her job as a syndicated columnist, not her engagement to her fiancé, Fred, and certainly not her impending wedding in Paris (New Jersey, that is).

Unfortunately for Abby, even the best-laid plans often go awry — like when Fred runs away to Paris (France, that is), her column is canned, and her dream home is diagnosed with termites. Forced to move back in with her parents and drive her dad’s cab, Abby’s perfect life has now officially become the perfect disaster.

Then a funny thing happens. Slowly but surely, Abby begins letting go of her dreams of perfection. As she does, the messy, imperfect life she thought she never wanted starts to feel exactly like the one she needs.

Poignant and heartfelt, Changing Lanes celebrates the unexpected joys of everyday life — and the enduring promise of second chances.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Long (Christmas Confessions, 2008, etc.) adds another feel-good romance/self-revelation novel to her resume. Talk about having a bad day. Syndicated columnist Abby Halladay and her fiance, Fred, are only months from the Big Day when the ax falls. First, Abby loses her job, then she learns the house they've bought in her hometown of Paris, N.J., needs costly repairs before anyone can move in--and she's already moved out of her old place. Thank goodness for solid, predictable Fred. He's meeting her for dinner and will make everything right. But then again, maybe not. It turns out that Fred's flown the coop for Paris--Paris, France--since he's bored, and now he refuses to return Abby's calls or texts. Forced to move in with her parents, younger siblings and grandmother, Abby spends the following month driving around town in her dad's cab while frantically trying to reach Fred, enduring her mother's attempts at matchmaking and trying to get her life back on track. Along the way, she reconnects with her old neighbor and friend Mick O'Malley, who's in town to care for his sick mother. Abby and Mick once shared everything, including a kiss, before he slipped out of town 13 years ago after both landed in jail following a stupid mistake. Abby relies on her best friends, Destiny and Jessica, to advise and console her, but she also begins to realize that she's not the only one with problems. She discovers heartwarming, heart-rending, heartfelt and heartbreaking truths about family, friends, townspeople, couponers, dog therapists and just about everyone else she encounters, as she learns to let go of the past and finally gathers the courage to stand in front of the crowd at the local pub and sing karaoke. But this touching event doesn't happen until she captures moments in all the aforementioned lives with an old Minolta and reflects on the importance of moving on with life, accepting others, learning to live one's dreams and so on. Long's narrative is full of trite observations, but her appealing story and quirky characters provide a pleasant few hours' worth of diversion.

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Amazon Publishing
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5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

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Meet the Author

Kathleen Long is the RITA®-nominated author of more than a dozen novels of contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and women’s fiction. In addition to a RIO Award and two Gayle Wilson Awards of Excellence, her writing accolades include National Readers Choice, Holt Medallion, Booksellers Best, and Book Buyers Best award nominations, as well as appearances on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. When she isn’t writing, she dabbles in jewelry design and child- and puppy-wrangling. A Delaware native, she divides her time between Philadelphia and the Jersey Shore.

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Changing Lanes: A Novel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
quaintinns More than 1 year ago
This was my first book by Kathleen Long and look forward to reading more of her work. When I first began listening to the audio version it was a little distracting with the noises so switched to the e-book which was smoother. (Wished she had a little more exciting setting than Paris, NJ, as if the setting had been in say a southern historic or coastal town it may have been a bit more inviting). The book is about 30 yr. old Abbey who has lost her job as an advice columnist, and the day before she is to move into her charming Victorian home she finds out is has extensive termite damage, and guy she was set to marry decides he is going to Paris, France. In the meantime, her parents and relatives are there to support her), and she runs into Mick O’Malley, her childhood best friend and neighbor (who lost his wife a few years ago to drunk driving) and his father who gave them all a bad name. There are other events which led to the night of their senior year when Mick left town. Abbey’s dad suggests she drive her dad’s cab Bessie to figure out how to pay a mortgage and rethink her life. She connects with some girlfriends in town and realizes how things begin changing when she does not put so much pressure on herself to be a perfectionist. She begins to find happiness without Fred and begins to spend more time with Mick realizing she is not the only one with issues. An insightful and beautiful story about love, unexpected joys, second chances, personal growth and handling the card you are dealt. Changing Lanes was not so much a chick-lit and a romance – more about growing and getting to know yourself.
shannschoice More than 1 year ago
This was one of those books that managed to touch your heart while making you smile and sometimes laugh out loud   Abby Halladay had a plan.  She was to marry Fred, they would move into their cute Victorian house in her hometown and she would write her nice column for the local paper.  But on the day she and Fred were to move into their house and start their lives, everything fell apart.  While Fred fled to Paris, France, Abby was left in Paris, New Jersey (her hometown) to try and make sense of what happened to her best laid plans.  She soon realizes that having her plans waylaid was the best thing to happen to her. I loved Abby and the entire Halladay family.  They were quirky, funny and at their core, loving.  They looked out for one another in their own special way.  When Abby came home, they were able to help her find her way.  They didn't nag her (other than her mother with her dinner time fix ups) or try and push her instead.  Instead, they let her fumble and were always there to help her back on her feet. Intertwined with Abby's family was her high school best friend and next door neighbor, Mick O'Malley.  Mick was on his own journey trying to discover what he was supposed to do with his life.  He'd left everything behind in Seattle to take care of his mother as her health declined.  He may have thought he was just the son of the town drunk, but he also discovered that he really wasn't the 'bad boy' everyone (including himself) thought he was.  This was a great story about finding yourself and giving yourself the ok to change lanes when you find the course you started down isn't the right one.  The story and the characters were quite charming and will make you want to drop everything to find Paris, New Jersey.
FishingJHall More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed Changing Lanes very much. I started reading it today and couldn't stop. Abby is getting married in 2 months. All at once things start going wrong. She loses her job, Her fiancé leaves the country and won't answer her calls. The house they bought has severe termite damage so she has to move back home with her parents and sisters. And the story builds from there. My only complaint is that I wasn't ready for the story to end. .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is another great read from Kathleen Long. Abby Halladay is one of those people that leaves nothing to chance, well almost nothing, but suddenly finds her life in disarray despite her best efforts. She moves back to Paris, NJ and ends up living with her parents after her dream house becomes a nightmare. Her fiance Fred, skips off to find himself in the mime capital of the world....... Paris, France where he avoids non-verbal commitment by not returning Abby's calls. Her family has quite a lineup of characters and to Long's credit, they are developed at the appropriate pace to help annoy and inspire Abby as she watches her plans and her life unravel. Abby's ex-next door neighbor has moved home as well, but for a different reason. Abby slowly learns to live life on life's terms where sometimes things work out and sometimes they don't. I truly enjoyed this book and I look forward to reading more work from this author.