Reviewed by Poppy Johnson
Balancing Acts begins with four college acquaintances meeting again at a ten year college reunion. Each is looking for love, wanting to find herself and wondering how she will improve the quality of her life. The women are Naomi, Charlie, Bess and Sabine, and they all decide it is time for a change (each for different reasons). Charlie has just the right catalyst for the women when she suggests that they attend her yoga classes and reconnect with themselves and each other. Charlie has opened up a business with a few other partners, and offers yoga classes to the public. Balancing Acts centers on the classes, the women’s different reactions and the new relationships they develop by opening their minds to something new.
The story initially seems to be based on the premise that all of the women are not on the same footing socially and emotionally. In actuality, Bess has designs to write a story about the women to show that they have not followed their dreams and sold out on their plans for the future. Her intention is to show that she has done better than these women have, even though she is pretending to bond with them both in and out of the yoga class.
Throughout Balancing Acts, Bess learns that she is not so unlike the women that she seeks to expose in her article. Each chapter is named for the women featured in the story. They chronicle the lives of the women, and show how they find or reject the idea of love, and describe how they make sense of the fabric of their lives.
Balancing Acts also tracks the progression of the women’s journey towards loving themselves through learning about, performing, and understanding the art of yoga. There are a few predictable turns in the story, but the ending is first rate. I’d recommend this book to women of any age – it is definitely a winner.
This book was provided free of any obligation by Harper Paperbacks. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.