coping with copenhagen

Sanya was a hard-working woman. She was a numbers whiz, a master of her company's spreadsheets. She was a loving and devoted mother. And she was the perfect wife. 

And then she broke. 

After years of being who everyone else wanted her to be, after being slowly and quietly beaten down by the responsibilities and isolation of her life, she came to the end of her rope. Sanya started crying in her office one afternoon and couldn't stop. So after she had this nervous breakdown and started spending her days in bed, debilitated by depression and anxiety, it was up to her husband Harry to try to keep their life together. When he has the opportunity to spend a year working in Copenhagen, he signs them up, hoping a trip to the other side of the world will be just what Sanya needs. 

In The Copenhagen Affair, Amulya Malladi takes us all on a trip to Denmark, to see how the upper half live in their capital city. The story of Sanya and Harry and their new friends and colleagues is a layered story of love and marriage, of infidelity and illness, of finding new life and new love in a new city. 

I've heard this book called chick lit. I've heard it called a rom com. I've heard it called a farce. Personally, I don't see it. Maybe it's because this one hits a little close for me. There was a time I fell apart and had to figure out how to put myself back together. I know the depression Sanya feels, and I still struggle with anxiety. I never got to live in Europe for a year to heal, but I found her challenges realistic and honest. 

I really loved this book. I thought it was just the right mix of painful and humorous, just the right balance of Sanya's independence and her relationships with others. To me, it felt serious but never overwhelmingly sad, and there were many light-hearted moments. Plus, you got a hearty helping of life in Copenhagen, through the eyes of those who grew up there as well as from ex-pats. The Copenhagen Affair is a layered novel of hope and healing, of humor and honesty, in a country known for focusing on family. I highly recommend this one! 

 

Galleys for The Copenhagen Affair were provided by Lake Union Publishing through NetGalley, with many thanks.