The Breakaway

Atria. Aug. 2023. 400p. ISBN 9781668033425. $28.99. F
Weiner never disappoints, and her latest (after The Summer Place) is a stunner. Abby Stern is 33 and doesn’t know what she wants from her life, so right now she’s a gig worker. She’s happiest on her bike, able to get herself anywhere she needs to go under her own power. She’s in a safe relationship with Mark, who was smitten when they first met as teens at fat camp. When Abby is tapped to lead a 700-mile bike tour from Manhattan to Niagara Falls, she leaves Mark in Philadelphia in a tense moment: are they going to move in together? Two years earlier, on a bachelorette trip, Abby had her only one-night stand with Sebastian, a gorgeous man who matched her wits and sensuality. Their chemistry was intense, but she left without a word. Now her trepidations about leading the bike tour increase when she learns she has two new surprise cyclists: Sebastian, and Eileen, Abby’s judgmental mother. The ride is a spectacular journey, full of interpersonal connection, surprising backstories, and poignantly relevant twists regarding bodily autonomy.
VERDICT Weiner’s deeply moving novel will make readers think, weep, and open their hearts and minds to strangers in unexpected ways. Her writing about biking is a bonus for readers in the know.
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