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Review: Under the Influence

March 8, 2016

Under the Influence

Helen’s marriage falls apart and then she loses custody of her son after she drives while under the influence with him in the car.  She’s devastated but determined to get things together and regain custody of Oliver.  Helen meets wealthy and charming Ava and Swift Havilland and they bring spark and hope back into her life.

Helen quickly gets wrapped up in the Havillands world and abandons other friends for them.  When they offer to help her with her custody battle, she’s sure her troubles are over but something happens that opens her eyes to the reality of her friends’ world.

Under the Influence by Joyce Maynard is one gem of a book.  I was drawn in from the first page and was sad when it was over.  Helen is such a fabulous character and I could relate to her even though my life is totally different from hers.  She’s not in a good place right now so is easily captivated when she meets the Havillands.  They seem to have things figured out and make Helen an offer she can’t resist.

I’m a big fan of Joyce Maynard’s writing so I picked up Under the Influence with high expectations and I’m here to tell you I was not disappointed – I loved this book!  Maynard makes her characters come to life and pulls readers into their story.  The storyline is great and so is the dialogue.  I found myself rooting for Helen even when I didn’t agree with her decisions.  This is my third Maynard book and it just might be my favorite one so far and I’m sure it’ll make my favorites of the year.  It would be a great book club selection because there’s so much to think about and discuss.  Be sure to pick this book up!

Review copy provided by Harper Collins.   I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
27 Comments leave one →
  1. Diane permalink
    March 8, 2016 6:23 am

    Loved this one as well!

  2. March 8, 2016 6:27 am

    Believe it or not I have never read Joyce Maynard!

  3. March 8, 2016 6:54 am

    I am a Joyce Maynard fan too, and can’t wait to read this after your rave review.

  4. March 8, 2016 7:41 am

    Not read her as yet.

  5. March 8, 2016 8:19 am

    I’ve been meaning to read Joyce Maynard for a long time. This sounds like a good place to start!

  6. bookingmama permalink
    March 8, 2016 9:31 am

    Totally agree. This book was very good and I had a hard time putting it down. I’d love to discuss it with a group of friends!

  7. March 8, 2016 9:31 am

    I have never read Joyce Maynard. Is there one book I should start with? Or is this as good a starting place as any?

  8. March 8, 2016 9:49 am

    I’m glad you loved it…I am hoping to start reading it soon, as I, too, am a fan of Maynard…and pre-ordered this one last November. I featured it today in my Tuesday Intros.

    Thanks for sharing….and I am sure I’ll be leaping over older books to start this one.

  9. March 8, 2016 9:59 am

    You have me wanting to read this book now!

  10. March 8, 2016 11:45 am

    I loved this book too! My first book of 2016 and such a good one.

  11. March 8, 2016 12:04 pm

    I don’t think I’ve read one of her books, but your review makes me want to pick up a copy of this.

  12. Literary Feline permalink
    March 8, 2016 12:11 pm

    I am eager to read this one, and am glad you enjoyed it. I really like Maynard’s writing style.

  13. March 8, 2016 1:17 pm

    I’ve never read anything by Maynard. It sounds like i should put this one on my list.

  14. March 8, 2016 1:54 pm

    Kathy, this might be the first Joyce Maynard book I read! Thanks for your recommendation.

  15. Patty permalink
    March 8, 2016 2:05 pm

    I have had this for a while but have not read it yet…now I need to!

  16. March 8, 2016 2:48 pm

    So glad this book was a hit for you. Hype usually turns me off a book

  17. March 8, 2016 3:55 pm

    I think I have to read this one 🙂

  18. March 8, 2016 4:57 pm

    Labor Day is already on my wishlist and I need to read it soon. This one sounds just as amazing.

  19. March 8, 2016 5:46 pm

    sounds like a good read!

  20. March 8, 2016 7:37 pm

    I’ve never read this author. thank you for your thoughts, I shall have to keep my eye out for it.

  21. March 9, 2016 9:47 am

    Oh my gosh, I don’t think I’ve read any of this author’s books, but after reading your review I think I should. I love authors who can immerse a reader so deeply in a book.

  22. March 9, 2016 10:46 am

    “Favorite book of the year list” and “good book club selection” tell me to Read This One. I will. I’ve never read this author, but I’m adding this to my to-read list.

  23. March 9, 2016 1:24 pm

    It was a riveting read. I love her writing too. She is just so descriptive without being over the top.

  24. March 12, 2016 9:49 pm

    I still haven’t read Maynard but those book doesn’t seem as depressing to me as some of her others have. I’ll have to check this one out.

  25. March 16, 2016 8:46 pm

    You had me at Joyce Maynard. 😉 Can’t wait to get my hands on this one!

  26. March 17, 2016 8:30 am

    This is a new author for me, but the book sounds great, and judging from the comments, she has a lot of fans! Thanks so much for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on this week!

  27. Ryan permalink
    March 18, 2016 11:59 pm

    I like that the title seems to be relevant to more than one influencer in her life.

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