#BookReview: By the Numbers by Jen Lancaster

Reviewer: Samantha

I received a review copy

by the numbersSummary:

Actuary Penny Sinclair has a head for business, and she always makes rational decisions. Knowing that 60% of spouses cheat and 50% of marriages end in divorce, she wasn’t too surprised when her husband had an affair. (That he did so with a woman their daughter’s age? Well, that part did sting a bit.) She just made sure she got everything in the divorce, including their lovely old Victorian house. And as soon as her younger daughter has her hipster-fabulous wedding in the backyard, she’s trading it in for a condo in downtown Chicago…

Well within the average market time in her area, Penny gets an offer on the house. But then life happens. Her children, her parents and her ex come flying back to the nest, all in need of Penny’s emotional—and financial—support. Spread thin, Penny becomes the poster child for the “sandwich generation,” when all she really wanted to do was make managing director, buy a white couch, and maybe go on a Match.com date…


I’m a big fan of Jen Lancaster, both her fiction and non-fiction books,  and always look forward to reading her offerings. By the Numbers brings us Penny, an actuary who is all about living life well…by the numbers. She’s just slightly on the dull side, and I mean that in the best way possible. I really appreciated the flashbacks we get to see a slightly different side of her, before her marriage fell apart and she was a little more carefree. The way her daughters treat her made my insides turn, and I was hoping the entire way that Penny would finally find the backbone she so desperately needed. Plenty of heart-warming moments, scenes that caused an eyebrow raise, and some nice humor thrown in at appropriate moments. Smooth reading the whole way through.

4 stars

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