‘The One That Got Away’ Delivers Wish Fulfillment On A Grand Scale [REVIEW]

Beautiful woman

A working mom gets a chance to explore the road not traken in Leigh Himes’ The One That Got Away. (Photo by Tom Merton, Flickr)

When life gets tough, many of us oftentimes reflect on our past decisions and think, “Would things have worked out if I had taken what was behind curtain number two?” Life’s usually not like Let’s Make A Deal though, or even the Choose Your Own Adventure books we used to devour as kids, a lesson the working mom in Leigh Himes’ The One That Got Away knows all too well. But when a freak accident suddenly changes the rules, she gets the chance to explore the road not taken in this charming debut novel. 


Hachette Books

Abbey Lahey’s life hasn’t worked out the way she had hoped. Money’s tight. Her husband is out of work. Her boss is a self-absorbed climber who could easily have been Miranda Priestly’s protégé (she was the devil in The Devil Wears Prada for the uninformed). She adores her children, but they simply wear her out, no matter how much help she gets from her doting father-in-law. Then there are the mean girls she runs into at the mall who remind her that their lives are better than hers. Oh, if only she could unplug and escape for a while, she might have a chance to catch her breath before she has a panic attack. And just when she thinks life couldn’t get any more complicated, a simple twist of fate sends her into a tailspin.

When Abbey wakes up in the hospital after an accident on a Nordstrom escalator, the man in her room isn’t her blue-collar husband, but a dashing congressional candidate. She doesn’t have to shop sales racks, she’s wearing designer ball gowns. Her home isn’t a small hovel but a lavish penthouse. Suddenly, everything she’s known all these years seems like a dream and she’s living the glittering life of a Philadelphia socialite, married to one of the most desired men in town. Now how’s that for second chances? But is this beautiful life everything it is cracked up to be? Or should Abbey have been content with the status quo?

With The One That Got Away, Leigh Himes takes a long hard look at what it means to live with regret, why toying with the “what if’s” is dangerous business, and at the high price tag that comes with getting the life you dreamed of rather than the one you deserved. Yet this isn’t a pontificating self-help book. Instead, this is a funny, heartfelt, and brazen proverb that reminds all of us to relish what we have rather than dwelling on what we don’t.

Abbey is an authentic character who both men and women will be able to relate to. She is tired, hardworking, and flawed. She doesn’t know if she’s a good mom. She’d like to think she’s a good wife. And she worries about her aging family members. She has problems, just like most of us do, and the way she looks at her life is both touching and uproariously funny. Although I’m not sure if Hollywood has picked up the movie rights for this book or not, it seems pretty clear that this would make a great chick flick for date night. Until it appears on the silver screen, however, do yourself a favor and settle down in a comfy chair and lose yourself for a few hours in Abbey’s world. It’s wish fulfillment on a grand scale, a fantastical dream come true that frustrated housewives across the globe will connect with. This is reality with a twist. You’re gonna love it!


Leigh Himes

Leigh Himes

Leigh Himes has spent more than 15 years working in the public relations field. Born and raised in Greensboro, North Carolina, she attended the University of Delaware where she majored in history and journalism.

She began writing The One That Got Away in October 2012 after seeing a photo of a man she used to date in a magazine. After laughing about how great her life would have been if she had married that guy, she couldn’t get the idea out of her head and she wondered, ‘Why do we make the decisions we make? And why do we always imagine the road not taken as far better—never far worse?’ Thus the story for her debut novel was born.

Leigh now lives just outside of Philadelphia with her husband and their two daughters, grateful for where life has taken her and all the decisions that kept her on this path. Visit her online at LeighHimes.com, like her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter and Instagram, or e-mail her at leigh@leighhimes.com.

By Leigh Himes
384 pgs. Hachette Books. $15

TLC Book Tours Tour HostYou may purchase The One That Got Away at one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Books-A-Million, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound.

The One That Got Away is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

The One That Got Away Giveaway

Congratulations to Ann Gold who just won a copy of The One That Got Away. Although this giveaway has ended, stay tuned for more great chances to win.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

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