Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Here, Home, Hope Book Review

Thanks to One2One Network, I was able to actually sit down and read a book this last week, for the first time in a very long time.  I love reading, it used to sustain me when I was a kid looking for an escape from my weird, dysfunctional life.  I forgot how much I loved the process of getting to know the characters and really trying to put myself into the story. 

Here, Home, Hope is a "chick lit" novel written by Kaira Rouda.  The whole story revolves around main character Kelly Mills Johnson, a stay-at-home mom  living in an up-scale suburban neighborhood called Grandville.  39-year old Kelly has a successful lawyer husband, well-behaved kids and beautiful friends with whom she shares her life, but she finds herself feeling restless and depressed after a breast cancer scare.  When her boys go off to summer camp she finds herself feeling even more lonely and directionless, so  she decides change is in order and embarks on a "Things to Change (T2C)" campaign to improve her life.  The fact that Post-It Notes became part of that campaign immediately caught my attention and made me laugh, because I am seriously THE Post-It Queen. 

As Kelly puts her T2C Plan into motion, she quickly learns that things are seldom as cut and dry as they may seem.  The two perfectly put together, succesful friends she admires so much are not as perfect and put together as she had assumed and have issues of their own that end up becoming issues for Kelly too!   The rest of the book winds its way through Kelly's attempts to make sense of her life and make the changes she needs to make, while dealing with the changes going on in the lives of those around her. 

I read Here, Home, Hope in two days and although I enjoyed the book and definitely  identified with the character's need for growth and fulfillment  as she transitioned from mother of small children to mother of more self-sufficient teens, there were parts of Kelly's life that I could not necessarily come to terms with.  Maybe it was the $300 hair cut and the shopping trip to the high end boutique.  Or the perfect husband who always says and does the right thing at just the right moment.  Or the perfect suburban neighborhood that Kelly describes as her home.  I don't know anyone who lives like that, so that's not real me.  But then again, I 'spose it is real for some people...I just never ran with the "Country Club" crowd, so my version of reality comes from a whole different place.

The book really is a nice, easy read and there was much to enjoy about Kelly's journey to peace and happiness.  I think it does address some very real issues for women.  Trying to be everything to everybody is something with which most of the women I know struggle.  Here, Home, Hope addresses the feelings and frustrations we all feel when we try to bring more joy and fulfillment to our lives.  It also addresses the reality that not everybody deals with their problems the same way, hence marriages end, families fall apart, people inflict pain on themselves and life gets messy.  And as humans, we tend to be judgemental about people's problem solving skills and choices.  I liked the sense of empowerment that author Kaira Rouda tried to bring out in her female characters throughout the storyline.  I loved that the underlying message is one of support and nuturing, rather than criticizing.   And honesly...I loved the T2C Post-Its and Kelly's T2C List.  I have a few T2C's on my walls now.

Here, Home, Hope was a decent, light, quick read that did give me some ideas, some motivation and some hope that I can make the transisitions I need to make in my own life as I struggle to find "my place" in the Universe.  And it reminded me that while I am on my journey, I need to feed and care for my sister friends (T2C #5) without judgement.

Sending lots of love out to all of you who continue to support me as I work through my issues and find my path to fulfillment!

***Disclosure:  I was not compensated for this review and the opinions expressed are my own.  I did recieve a digital copy of Here, Home, Hope from One 2 One Network in order to facilitate this review. ***    


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