Monday, April 6, 2015

Book Review: The Balance Project by Susie Orman Schnall

Members of the Vise Library were selected to review The Balance Project.  We received a copy of Susuie Orman Schnall's book for an honest review.

(Love this cover!!!)

About the book:

The Balance Project is a story of loyalty, choices, and balance that will resonate deeply with all women who struggle with this hot-button issue. Loyal assistant Lucy Cooper works for Katherine Whitney, who seems to have it all: a high-powered job at a multibillion-dollar health and wellness lifestyle company, a successful husband, and two adorable daughters. Now, with the release of her book on work-life balance, Katherine has become a media darling and a hero to working women everywhere. In reality, though, Katherine’s life is starting to fall apart, and Lucy is the one holding it all together, causing her own life—and relationship with her boyfriend Nick—to suffer. When Katherine does something unthinkable to Lucy, Lucy must decide whether to change Katherine’s life forever or continue being her main champion. Her choice will affect the trajectory of both of their lives and lead to opportunities neither one could have imagined.
Lucy Cooper is having a hard time balancing everything in her life at the moment.  She has a job as an assistant to Katherine Whitney who is a COO and who has written a well received book about women being able to have-it-all.  Since the book was so successful among women, Katherine's life, therefore Lucy's life, has been crazier than ever.  Because of this success, both of the women are having a hard time finding the balance that Katherine declares is easy and possible.  It isn't easy for Lucy at all.  Her relationship with her longtime boyfriend Nick is suffering BIG time.  She is not able to make her relationship a priority by missing important dates and events that involve Nick.  Lucy has a chance to make it up to Nick, but unfortunately Katherine's life interferes again and so there is no Nick & Lucy anymore.  

To add insult to injury, Katherine has not been very nice to Lucy and even sabotages something that is Lucy's dream.  Lucy is, of course, mad and hurt by Katherine's actions that she retaliates by doing something so out of character of her.    Lucy wishes she could take it all back, but unfortunately the damage is set in motion where it makes both of their lives start tumbling down.  Lucy has to find strength to go after what she wants instead of waiting for her life to happen.  

I have followed Susie's blog for The Balance Project.  She interviews women about "having it all." This book incorporates this idea by having Katherine write a book talking about this same idea.  I think it's a very interesting idea and as women we are always trying to juggle it all.  I don't have kids, so I can't imagine having to throw that in the mix, but I feel it in my own life too.  I recently got married, go to school, work, maintain our house, etc and some days it does feel like to much.  Sometimes I think to myself "How does everyone else do it?"  When we see women that seem to glide along like it's nothing.  However, a lot of women (especially people like Katherine) have a lot of outside help.  This could be nannies, assistants, or housekeepers.  They really AREN'T doing it all. In this book the main character has to change her perception of "having it all" and figure out what is the most important aspects of her life that she wants to excel at.  Like in everyday life, Lucy and Katherine are dropping the ball somewhere.  That isn't necessarily a bad thing and it doesn't mean that they are failing either.  That just means they need to decide what is most important to them and go with it.   This book is very relatable.  

Even though it is a work of fiction, The Balance Project is also what many women struggle with everyday.  There were times that Lucy forgoes her own dreams and happiness to stay as Katherine's assistant.  She feels loyal and sympathizes that there is a lot going on in Katherine's life.  She doesn't want to increase that burden.  This spoke to me big time.  I once had a job that was AWFUL and felt the need to stay even though at times I was so miserable.  I felt loyal to the company and knew my leaving would be hard on the people I enjoyed working with.  Lucy goes through the same thing.  Sometimes the people on the outside can't understand, especially when she passes up on a dream jobs.  I really enjoyed this book.  I loved the characters, the story and the message.  It made me feel better about my own life and realize it's okay if I don't get everything done.  There just are not enough hours in the day and I am okay with that.  I think this book will be fun and very therapeutic for women.  I know it was for me!  As one of my favorite singers Kacey Musgraves says, "Having it all is a state of mind."  :) 

If you are interested about Susie's Balance Project, click here.  She has over 60 interviews with women from all walks of life that give insight on finding that balance!

Buy the book:

About the author:

Originally from Los Angeles, Susie Orman Schnall graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. Schnall has written for national and local publications about parenting and health. She lives in New York with her husband and their three young boys. Visit

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