Breathe In, Cash Out by Madeleine Henry (Atria Books)
January 12, 2020
Dear Mr. Hemingway,
Let’s talk about a crazy coincidence? I am writing to you in the middle of a global pandemic and you actually know what I am talking about. Covid-19 for me and Spanish flu for you. Wow…who would have thought. Remember the busyness of everyday life? School, work, deadlines, hanging with friends and family (geez…even War for you). The everyday grind has drastically changed, but I got to relive the feeling of being overcommitted and overworked in Madeleine Henry’s book, Breathe In, Cash Out. As I go through my days (Groundhog Day Style), it was refreshing to get a glimpse into the world of ruthless banking on Wall Street (boy I miss NYC), while also getting my zen on with some much needed yoga. Henry delivered a soul searching story that not only enlightened me with wisdom and laughter, but seriously charmed the pants off of me. Let’s take a look, shall we.
Allegra Cobb… a self taught yogi and one time American Yoga National Competition Champion, is also a straight A Princeton grad who works as an analyst at a cut throat, top tiered bank on good old Wall Street. Now that was a mouthful. Biding time until her year end bonus comes in (should be a juicy one), Allegra is seriously contemplating leaving her financially secure job to follow her dreams of becoming a yoga teacher. While she struggles with disappointing her father and battles her innermost demons, she meets up with the ultimate yoga guru (and her yoga idol), Skylar, for some realignment in her life. Skylar has a very successful yoga career and is a superstar on instagram. Allegra desperately begins following her advice on how to integrate more mindfulness and yoga into her life in order to discover her true and authentic self. The more she works with Skylar though, the more she begins to realize that working over a 100 hours a week in a grueling banking job, which basically strips you of your soul, may not be all that different from Skylar’s world of shiny leggings, seven chakras and photo perfect poses for instagram. And of course, just to add a splash of sparkle to her conscience examining days, a bit of romance is lingering in the background. Time is ticking on her mental well being and Allegra needs to figure out which path she should travel next.
Breathe in, Cash Out was a breath of fresh air. It was the perfect distraction to my stay at home days filled with work, Zooms and teenage boys surrounding my every move. I love books (fiction or nonfiction) where someone is pondering a major life change. Even though Allegra’s story is a work of fiction, it still dazzled me and all my dreams. But self exploration aside, Henry’s book is down right hysterical. As I revisited my own days of working a gazillion hours a week and took a hard look at the current state of my downward facing dog (not that pretty these days), I found myself doubled over with laughter. And of course, one of my favorite parts of Henry’s story was the wee bit of romance that kept my heart fluttering. It did not overpower the story one bit, but was equivalent to a sprinkle of cinnamon on top of a fabulous cappuccino……the perfect touch!.
Allegra is a character you want to root for because guess what…there is a bit of her in all of us. During these strange days of more time with our thoughts than ever, it is impossible not to engage in a tad of introspection. Whether switching jobs or shifting our mindsets, change is not always a bad thing and Henry’s main girl is a gentle reminder of that. But of course every leading lady needs a gaggle of characters around her to add some more shine to her story. Mark (Allegra’s boss who she accidentally sleeps with 😮), and Tripp, Chole and Puja who sit in close proximity to her everyday, were an absolute delightful addition to Henry’s story. And of course the lovely Skylar…the spice to this wicked fun tale. I always say that a touch of spice is always quite nice…am I right???
I hope you enjoy this easy breezy and quite frankly, humorous read. It sure added a twinkle and some much needed stretching to my day!
Until next time my friend!
Your Biggest Fan,
P.S. Madeleine Henry has a new book coming out on February 9, 2021 called The Love Proof! I am reading it now and will be telling you all about it very soon. In the meantime, give it a quick pre-order ❤️❤️❤️.
P.P.S. I alternated between reading Breathe In, Cash Out and listening to it on audio. Both were equally wonderful.
Click on the book pic below to purchase!