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Joy For Beginners
     

Joy For Beginners

4.2 39
by Erica Bauermeister
 

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A Library Journal Best Book of the Year

What would you do with a second chance at life?

Having survived a life-threatening illness, Kate celebrates by gathering with six close friends. At an intimate outdoor dinner on a warm September evening, the women challenge Kate to start her new lease on life by going white-water rafting down the Grand Canyon

Overview

A Library Journal Best Book of the Year

What would you do with a second chance at life?

Having survived a life-threatening illness, Kate celebrates by gathering with six close friends. At an intimate outdoor dinner on a warm September evening, the women challenge Kate to start her new lease on life by going white-water rafting down the Grand Canyon with her daughter. But Kate is reluctant to take the risk.

That is, until her friend Marion proposes a pact: if Kate will face the rapids, each woman will do one thing in the next year that scares her. Kate agrees, with one provision – she didn't get to choose her challenge, so she gets to choose theirs. Whether it's learning to let go of the past or getting a tattoo, each woman's story interweaves with the others, forming a seamless portrait of the power of female friendships. From the author of The School of Essential Ingredients comes a beautifully crafted novel about daring to experience true joy, starting one small step at a time.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A joy to read. Bauermeister gives us characters who revel in the best of what life has to offer—loving relationships, fine food, good books, and travel—and she writes with keen observance and wry wit…Readers will be inspired to leap into their own lives with renewed gusto.”- Stephanie Kallos, author of Sing Them Home

Joy for Beginners takes us on the emotional journeys of seven women seeking to transform their lives, and proves that sometimes what we really need to inspire us to change is a good, firm shove. Erica Bauermeister’s prose is evocative and compelling.” –Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain

Bauermeister has created a cast of textured and nuanced characters who individually and as a group speak to what makes women interesting and enigmatic. Her prose is velvety smooth, revealing life at once mournful and auspicious. Joyful, indeed.”

–Library Journal (starred review) 

 “How transporting to live, even briefly, inside these women’s lives.”

—Laura Hansen, Bookin’ it

“Sensual…evocative…A book designed to fill you up and make you hungry for life.”

Publishers Weekly

Joy for Beginners is ultimately a celebration of life; a literary confirmation of the power of friendship.”

—Carol Cassella, author of Oxygen

Publishers Weekly
In Bauermeister's sensual second novel, a party for a woman who has beaten breast cancer results in six friends reconnecting, not just to each other but also to parts of themselves they had long neglected. Admittedly an "incongruous group," with each woman at a different point in her life, Kate's friends agree that each "will do one thing in the next year that is scary or difficult." Kate selects tasks for each of her friends; undertaking the tasks will bring heartbreak, joy, and adventure to everyone. Bauermeister's (The School of Essential Ingredients) evocative prose creates a magical world where gray goo becomes "forgiving dough" in an oven and a woman protects herself from loneliness by hiding in an unruly garden. Kate's well-meaning tasks, be they as grand as a trip to Venice or as banal as baking bread, push the friends toward much-needed awakenings. A book designed to both fill you up and make you hungry for life. (June)
Library Journal
Kate has every reason to be joyous: she's just licked cancer. Celebrating with her six best friends, she declares that she's gotten up her nerve to go whitewater rafting and wants each of them to take a chance on something they've never dared to do. Only she's going to pick their adventure (really?). Bauermeister's debut, The School of Essential Ingredients, was a national best seller, and this sounds as if it would have great appeal for the same set of readers.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425247426
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/05/2012
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
142,239
Product dimensions:
5.49(w) x 8.24(h) x 0.75(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
“A joy to read. Bauermeister gives us characters who revel in the best of what life has to offer—loving relationships, fine food, good books, and travel—and she writes with keen observance and wry wit…Readers will be inspired to leap into their own lives with renewed gusto.”- Stephanie Kallos, author of Sing Them Home “Joy for Beginners takes us on the emotional journeys of seven women seeking to transform their lives, and proves that sometimes what we really need to inspire us to change is a good, firm shove. Erica Bauermeister’s prose is evocative and compelling.” –Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain
Bauermeister has created a cast of textured and nuanced characters who individually and as a group speak to what makes women interesting and enigmatic. Her prose is velvety smooth, revealing life at once mournful and auspicious. Joyful, indeed.”–Library Journal    “How transporting to live, even briefly, inside these women’s lives.”—Laura Hansen, Bookin’ it “Sensual…evocative…A book designed to fill you up and make you hungry for life.”—Publishers Weekly “Joy for Beginners is ultimately a celebration of life; a literary confirmation of the power of friendship.”—Carol Cassella, author of Oxygen

Meet the Author

Erica Bauermeister is the author of the national bestseller The School of Essential Ingredients. She lives in Seattle with her family.

Customer Reviews

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Joy For Beginners 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
purplebarb More than 1 year ago
This is an inspiring story of how a challenge made by a cancer survivor's (Kate) daughter leads six women to free themselves and discover their individual sense of self. Ms. Bauermeister's message is both hopeful and thought provoking. This book was just as enchanting as The School of Essential Ingredients. A must read that will linger long after the last page!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
if you enjoy really good writing with great insight you'll love this book
PB684 More than 1 year ago
This story opens at the "victory" dinner for Kate, a breast cancer survivor, who is surrounded by her six best friends in the world who have all come together to celebrate their friend's renewal. Kate tells them that her daughter wants to take her on a white water rafting trip through the Grand Canyon as a celebration of her new life but she is terrified. She agrees to go, on the condition that, during the coming year, each of the women do something "that is new, or difficult, or scary". The one catch is that Kate gets to chose the challenge for each woman. Erica Bauermeister reprises her writing style from "School of Essential Ingredients" where she dedicates one chapter to each character's development, allowing the reader to become intimately acquainted with them. Ms. Bauermeister has a deep understanding of grief, fear and, ultimately, joy and I found that I could relate with something in each character's story. This is a wonderful tale of friendship and I loved how Kate knew all of her friends well enough to know which challenge would mean the most to each of them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great read, shw says whilw wiping away tears. Kate,whose victory over breast cancer dinner challenges each of her friends to try and do something completely out of character, just for themselves, as they have seen what real strength and love can do for others. And each of them becomes a different person as the tasks are unpacked and joy is found. A fairly fast "chick lit" read whose characters will linger for a long time. I read a library copy and will find one for my own library as soon as mt next monetary infusion comes along.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very enjoyable read. I loved getting to know the characters as individuals and as a unit. Well written.
ask4jenea More than 1 year ago
What a joy to read.
HeyStacia More than 1 year ago
Great book!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is not your highly literally selection but an entertaining and endearing beach read. The characters are well developed as we transition from one chapter to the next. You will learn about these women's connections and friendship as they complete their challenges.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just finished reading this. And, I must say, this is a MUST MUST MUST read for all women. An empowering story of a woman who recently got a clean bill of health from battling cancer and her 6 friends who have rallied behind her as she endured days of chemo and pain. All women decide to do one thing that neither of them have done before and have been to afraid to do. It's a journey to a path of finding your passion. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and look very much forward to sharing with my favorite group of ladies.
AlanaCA More than 1 year ago
Another wonderful story by Erica Bauermeister! READ THIS BOOK - you won't be sorry! The characters come to life and stay with you! I cannot wait for Erica's next book!
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MCHEATH More than 1 year ago
Getting beyond pain by trying something new. What a beautiful book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a truly excellent book. It expresses so beautifully things I have experienced recently, but couldn't express in the right words. Ms. Bauermeister does that. I plan to purchase the author's first book and look forward to more.