The Amicable Divorce, by Marla Bradeen

Already dealing with a suspended driver’s license, despised job, and looming thirtieth birthday, Vanessa Collins doesn’t think much more can go wrong…until her husband Brian announces he’s filing for divorce.

Acting on her thrice-divorced sister’s advice, Vanessa steals Brian’s financial documents. She’s determined to either escape her marriage with a six-figure settlement or day trade her way into retirement. But Vanessa ends up with something she never bargained for, and now her entire future may be in jeopardy unless she can figure out what’s going on before it’s too late. (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

Vanessa is one of those characters you can’t help but feel sympathy for. Life is passing her by, while she is content on working for an employer she despises, married to a man who has lost interest, and there are no hobbies or other extracurricular activities she enjoys or engages in. It’s as though she wants to settle for mediocrity, not feeling as though she’s able to achieve anything else in her short thirty years on earth.

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After her husband Brian pulls the trigger on their impending divorce, a domino effect begins. There are plenty of hidden secrets Vanessa never knew Brian was capable of. Soon, she’s being followed, threatened. There are documents within Vanessa’s possession that has put her life in grave danger. What sort of connection does Brian have to the documents? When he’s not at his day job, what else is going on behind the scenes?

The Amicable Divorce was such a fun read, and sprinkled within the pages are bits of mystery that will keep you guessing. I was trying to figure out the motive and the reasoning behind Brian leaving his wife, never knowing there would be an undercurrent of danger. I really enjoyed getting inside Vanessa’s head, because she’s just a funny, wonderful person. Very real and down to earth. She’s far from perfect, which elicits a lot of crazy situations and comic relief. Will Vanessa find a way to save the day, and her marriage, in one fell swoop? And more importantly, will she ever realize she’s capable of so much more than mediocre?

Reviewed for Chick Lit Central

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