By the Numbers

By Jen Lancaster

Author Website:

IBSN: 9780451471116

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Una

Synopsis: by-the-numbers

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 middle 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 date… Description:


I loved this book and it will definitely go down as one of my favorite summer reads.  The story follows Penny a seemingly dull actuary whose life up until now has always been ruled by numbers. Knowing that 1 in 5 marriages result in divorce  she was upset but not surprised when her own marriage fell apart. However, as she tries to get on with her own situation she watches her daughters relationships fall apart, her ex’s relationship fall apart due to his  injury, and her parents decide to move in with her.

It soon becomes apparent that Penny is the one everyone wants to fall back on, almost to the point where the reader questions her being a “doormat” and not standing up for herself. Penny begins to doubt that she will never enjoy life. Even dating becomes an issue. The only stable person is her son and as she admits to her ex “I guess 1 out of 3 turned out right”.

Perhaps because this story is so relatable, I found myself inside spitting laughter at times. A definite summer read I for one would recommend this book highly. The story is well written and the characters well developed. Once started, I found I just couldn’t put the book down and kudos to Jen Lancaster for writing such a delightful summer read.  A great book to curl up on the beach with.

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review *