The Unbreakables
The Unbreakables

The Unbreakables

by Lisa Barr

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A delicious, sharp novel about a woman who jets off to France after her perfect marriage collapses, putting the broken pieces of herself back together while rediscovering her own joie de vivrea lust for life, art, and steamy sex. 

“Artful, feminist, and emotionally gripping. The Unbreakables is a remarkable tribute to a woman’s strength in the face of heartbreak and adversity.” — Helen Hoang, author of The Kiss Quotient

The worst birthday ever might just be the gift of a lifetime…

It’s Sophie Bloom’s forty-second birthday, and she’s ready for a night of celebration with Gabe, her longtime, devoted husband, and her two besties and their spouses. Dinner is served with a side of delicious gossip, including which North Grove residents were caught with their pants down on Ashley Madison after the secret on-line dating site for married and committed couples was hacked. Thirty-two million cheaters worldwide have been exposed…including Sophie’s “perfect” husband. To add insult to injury, she learns Gabe is the top cheater in their town. 

Humiliated and directionless, Sophie jumps into the unknown and flees to France to meet up with her teenage daughter who is studying abroad and nursing her own heartbreak. After a brief visit to Paris, Sophie heads out to the artist enclave of Saint-Paul-de-Vence. There, for the first time in a long time, Sophie acknowledges her own desires—not her husband’s, not her daughter’s—and rediscovers her essence with painful honesty and humor, reawakening both her sensuality and ambitions as a sculptor. 

As she sheds her past and travels the obstacle-filled off beaten path, Sophie Bloom is determined to blossom. Allowing her true self to emerge in the postcard beauty of Provence, Sophie must decide what is broken forever...and what it means to be truly unbreakable.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062895394
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/04/2019
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 21,057
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Lisa Barr has been an editor at The Jerusalem Post,  Today’s Chicago Woman, and  Moment magazine, and an editor/reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times. Among the highlights of her career, Lisa covered the famous “handshake” between the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the late PLO leader Yasser Arafat, and President Bill Clinton at the White House. Lisa is also the creator and editor of the popular parenting blog, GIRLilla Warfare. She has been featured on Good Morning America, Today, Fox & Friends, and Australia TV for her work as an author, journalist and blogger. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband and three daughters (aka: Drama Central).

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The Unbreakables: A Novel 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
gaele 7 months ago
It’s Sophie’s forty-second birthday and she’s expecting more of the usual: dinner with her husband and best friends, and a call from her daughter coming later, as she’s doing an arts course in Paris. But, with one salacious topic and an excel list that points out the details of the men in the area who had used “Ashley Madison” (the site for cheaters). Unfortunately, Gabe, Sophie’s husband is not only on the list, but he is the top “user’ of the service in their little Chicago suburb. Thrown into the recriminations, the why me, anger, sorrow, and a betrayal from her two best friends and Sophie is truly adrift. When her daughter calls, having been cheated on by her boyfriend, with other bombshells yet to be delivered, Sophie books the first flight out to Paris – what better way to gather herself and help her daughter through a difficult time? Paris and France offer Sophie a certain je ne sais quoi, that opportunity to revel (or retreat) into herself, her what now, find the little joys in a place she loves, and the ability to reconnect to a piece of herself she pushed aside long ago: her own need to create with sculpture. Sophie had tucked that part away after diagnosis of carpal tunnel threatened her health, but the need, that all-consuming passion had to go elsewhere. For her: it went into her daughter and her family: clearing the paths, smoothing the waters, making everything seamless. For her husband, it meant that Sophie was always focused elsewhere, with little time after all the accessory bits were sorted for him. And, to be honest, he was pretty much what one would expect in this situation – blaming others, angry, attacking – unwilling to see that his failures would (and do) effect those around him. What emerges is a new path for Sophie, both in the re-ignition of her sculpting and in her own responsibility and take-charge of her own life. From sexual situations to making herself (and others in her life) face their failings, deal with them, move on and move forward. Truly, while I worried that this book would circle Sophie’s tendency to ‘absorb” the blame for the affairs, she was, fortunately, moved to take other steps and didn’t allow herself to wallow for too long. With the unexpected bonus of help in her healing from both a valet at her hotel, his significant other and an artist, instructor, and inappropriate person in her daughter’s life, she is brought back into the art world, rediscovering her own passions, talents and a new start in life. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Anonymous 4 days ago
Wasn't bad.
Doreena Silva 7 months ago
What a great story about an average housewife whose world comes crashing down and the fabulous way she overcomes it and redefines her life. I really enjoyed this book and loved the way the story flowed and ended. A great read!
Bonnie Schoenberg 8 months ago
The Unbreakables is a beautifully written, heart-wrenching, eye-opening, sexy and passionate story of Sophie Bloom’s journey from shock and despair to true happiness and self-love. It is also a cautionary tale about what can happen to a person and a relationship when balance and self-care are cast aside, when communication isn’t prioritized, and when you allow yourself to go through the motions of life without really thinking about who you are and what you want. I don’t want to give anything away but I will say that Lisa Barr writes with such detail that I felt like I was in the South of France. I could actually visualize the art and the scenery, smell the perfume and feel Sophie’s pain. I felt like I was sitting in the garden of the Rodin museum, appreciating The Thinker, and drinking a cappuccino. Lisa Barr writes both from life experience and painstaking research. Like her last book, Fugitive Colors, The Unbreakables delves deep into the world of art and the mind of the artist, specifically the world of sculpture. She also beautifully captures Sophie’s pain and despair as her life falls apart with one quick finger tap on an email. Barr is a master of transformation. From beginning to end, you are taken on Sophie’s journey from entitled, yoga practicing, label-conscious suburban mom who doesn’t realize her life has become very small, to a woman who experiences life, reclaims her passion, takes chances, no longer cares about labels and lives for herself - not at the expense of others but in a way that gives her a voice and a happiness she didn’t know she was missing. Sophie makes a list of “unbreakables” - a list of goals she is determined to achieve and adopt as she grows and changes. And change she does! As someone who relates to Sophie, having gone through a similar, life-altering experience, it amazed me how right Barr got it. She captures the feelings of betrayal (by both spouse and best friends), the realization that being hurt by your “besties” might actually be more painful than the betrayal by a spouse. Girl code really is a thing! There are multiple reasons behind the breakdown of a relationship and Barr captures them all. One of my favorite quotes from the book is in Chapter 19 when Sophie says, “There are so many things we should have talked about over the years, but didn’t. Instead, we clung to our history, to all of our firsts — we held on to a version of us that no longer existed.” How many of us can relate to that? People change. Relationships evolve. Some things are meant to be temporary. The best endorsement I can give you is this…My husband, who rarely reads novels and is definitely not a chick-lit kind of guy, finished the audio book in two days. And he cried while he listened. When I asked him what he thought about the book, he quickly replied, “I loved it”!
Reader4102 9 months ago
A very well-written novel about a woman who is betrayed by those who shouldn’t have betrayed her – her husband of over 20 years, her best friends, and, in some ways, her daughter – on her 42nd birthday. After finding out her husband has cheated, she goes to Paris to help her daughter through a breakup with a cheating boyfriend only to find out more than she knew about her daughter. When her husband announces he, too, will be in Paris, she flees the city for the countryside. This is a fast paced book told in the first person. The story is told so adeptly, you’ll feel Sophie’s pain, the beginning of healing, and finally, redemption. As she stabilizes her life in the Provence countryside, you can feel hope returning, too. The one caveat about this book is Sophie’s 19-year-old daughter, Ava. Unfortunately, Barr has portrayed her as an self-centered, over-indulged, spoiled, whiny teenager. She can quickly get on the readers’ nerves because of her immaturity – more a thirteen-old than a young woman. Luckily, she only makes the occasional appearance and can easily be ignored if you read fast enough to get past her. This is a hard novel to set aside, even to sleep. You’ll find yourself thinking about Sophie even when you’ve set aside the book to go to work. It’s been some time since I wanted to take a book with me as much as I did this one so I could read a few pages at lunch or on the commutes to/from work. Anyone who loves a well-told tale full of angst, pain, healing, new beginnings, and a satisfying ending, will love this book. Thanks to Harper and Edelweiss for an eArc.
teachlz 9 months ago
WOW! Lisa Barr, Author of “The Unbreakables” has written an intense, intriguing, sexy, controversial and emotional novel. The Genres for this Novel are Domestic Fiction, Women’s Fiction, and Contemporary Fiction. The story takes place in North Grove in the United States and France. The timeline for the story takes place in the present and goes to the past when it pertains to the characters or events in the story. The author describes her dramatic characters as artistic, complex, complicated, and dysfunction. This is a story of self-growth, self-worth, and discovery. I appreciate that the author describes the importance of family, friendship, and self. On Sophie Bloom’s 42nd Birthday celebration, she finds out that her husband Gabe is the top cheater in an online dating line scandal. If that isn’t enough, Sophie gets an emergency phone call from her daughter studying in France. Her daughter’s heart is broken and she needs her mother. Sophie finds out other betrayals from friends. Happy Birthday, Sophie!! Sophie leaves for France, broken, disappointed, and anxious. After helping her daughter, Sophie makes a list for herself to be able to live. She promises herself to smile more. Sophie is extremely artistic and at one time loved being a sculptor. A temporary disability, and raising a family stopped her dream. Sophie is now exploring what will make her happy. It’s almost like I am listening to the song, “I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar”!. (Helen Reddy) Sophie reevaluates her life and makes decisions that will change everything forever. I love that the author describes life, love, respect, loyalty self-respect and self-worth. I would highly recommend this novel for those readers who enjoy a thought-provoking story.