How to Climb the Eiffel Tower
Publisher: Light Messages Publishing
Publication Date: 10/01/14
My Rating: 5 Stars
A moving, surprisingly humorous, sometimes snarky novel about life, friendship... and cancer. Lara Blaine believes that she can hide from her past by clinging to a rigid routine of work and exercise. She endures her self-imposed isolation until a cancer diagnosis cracks her hard exterior.
Lara’s journey through cancer treatment should be the worst year of her life. Instead, it is the year that she learns how to live. She befriends Jane, another cancer patient who teaches her how to be powerful even in the face of death.
Accepting help from the people around her allows Lara to confront the past and discover that she is not alone in the world. With the support of her new friends, Lara gains the courage to love and embrace life. Like climbing the Eiffel Tower, the year Lara meets Jane is tough, painful, and totally worth it.
A special thank you to Light Messages Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
HOW TO CLIMB THE EIFFEL TOWER by Elizabeth Hein, is edgy, funny, and empowering as one strong woman tries to hide from her abusive past on her own, until a tragedy happens, and gains the courage to love and embrace life in an entirely new way.
Set in a small town of fictional Magnuson, the Piedmont area of NC, near Durham. Magnuson’s largest employers are the Ellery Medical Center and the financial services companies. Lara works as an analyst at one of the mineral investment firms.
Lara is a funny, smart and a complex young woman. She is independent and lives an isolated life, with no friends, guarding herself and her heart. She is a loner and demands a world of safety, haunted by her horrible abusive childhood. She has no family and buries herself in work, and her obsession with fitness at the gym, keeping a steady routine. She works in a cube at her office, is under-valued, with her boss taking all the credit for her work. (The work stuff is hilarious with her sarcasm and names for her co-workers. And the scene at the gym was a riot! )
Lara Blaine believes, that she can hide, from her past by clinging to a rigid routine of work and exercise. She endures her self-imposed isolation until a cancer diagnosis cracks her hard exterior. Lara’s journey through cancer treatment should be the worst year of her life. Instead, it is the year that she learns how to live. She befriends Jane, (in her sixties), another cancer patient who teaches her how to be powerful even in the face of death. (Loved their relationship).
Accepting help from the people around her, allows Lara to confront the past and discover that she is not alone in the world. With the support of her new friends, Lara gains the courage to love and embrace life. Like climbing the Eiffel Tower, the year Lara meets Jane is tough, painful, and totally worth it all.
The relationship between Jane and Lara is priceless. Her newfound friendship with Vanessa (HR), and Sebastian, she meets at the race, and the dog— totally amazing! Lara’s goal in life is to have personal power. She wants to feel loved and learn how to love; however, she never knew how previously.
Climbing the Eiffel Tower begins with a setting on the gym equipment; however, later Jane shows Lara how she needs to climb the real Eiffel Tower in Paris and learn to live life and all it has to offer, by leaving the past behind and not allow it to control her.
What a great book! A moving novel of healing, redemption, raw emotion, overcoming adversity, with realistic lovable and flawed characters. I loved the strong women in this book—so impressed, as quite the page-turner and hard to put down. Elizabeth Hein has just made it to my favorite author list. She writes razor sharp, and do not think I have ever laughed so hard!
Fans of Jennifer Weiner, Sarah Pekkanen, and Amy Hatvany will devour HOW TO CLIMB THE EIFFEL TOWER. This book is for every woman, young or old. Whether you have an illness, cancer, a survivor, or are perfectly healthy, this book is for you – one of friendship, cancer, loss and love.
After reading HOW TO CLIMB THE EIFFEL TOWER, was so blown away, later spent some time reading about the author. I strongly urge you to get to know this special woman. After reading more, this makes me treasure the book even more. She sounds like someone you would want to be BFF with, to tell it like it is; keeping you in stitches laughing.
Hats off to Elizabeth, for being a cancer survivor, mother, and talented writer and for giving this special gift to her readers with this incredible, and inspiring novel.
On a Personal Note: My mom received the diagnosis of colon cancer and secondary liver cancer the first of this year. She has been in and out of the hospital with other complications and is currently undergoing chemo. She is doing really well, and goes to the gym six days a week. She is an inspiration; however, this book helped me realize you do not always have to talk about the illness as sometimes you just want to have fun, escape for the afternoon, and do small things which make you happy. She so enjoys going to the Y and visiting with all her friends.
As Jane says, “Make sure you leave plenty of time to eat croissants, and drink lots of wine too, live the whole experience, not just the hard parts.”
Well Done, Very Deserving of a 5 Star+, and looking forward to reading more from this new-found talented author! PS Loved the cover and the titles of all the chapters – another special touch.
About the Author
Elizabeth Hein is a mother, author, and cancer survivor. She grew up in Massachusetts and now lives in Durham, North Carolina. She writes women's fiction with a bit of a sharp edge. She is fascinated by how friendship and human connection can help a person through the most difficult moments in their lives. When not writing, she is trying to raise two young women and a husband.