Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Here, Home, Hope by Kaira Rouda

Genre: General Fiction/Chick Lit
Copyright: 2011
Pages: 310
Book Source: ARC courtesy of Booksparks PR

Synopsis: Kelly Mills Johnson becomes restless in her thirty-ninth year. An appetite for more forces her to take stock of her middling middle-American existence and her neighbors' seemingly perfect lives. Her marriage to a successful attorney has settled into a comfortable routine, and being the mother of two adorable sons has been rewarding. But Kelly's own passions lie wasted. She eyes with envy the lives of her two best friends, Kathryn and Charlotte, both beautiful, successful businesswomen who seem to have it all. Kelly takes charge of her life, devising a midlife makeover plan.

From page one, Kelly's witty reflections, self-deprecating humor, and clever tactics in executing that plan--she places Post-it notes all over her house and car--will have readers laughing out loud. The next instant, however, they might rant right along with Kelly as her commitment to a sullen, anorexic teenager left on her doorstep tries her patience or as she deflects the boozy advances of a divorced neighbor. Readers will need to keep the tissue box handy, too, as Kelly repairs the damage she inflicted on a high school friend; realizes how deeply her husband, Patrick, understands and loves her; and ultimately grows into a woman empowered by her own blend of home and career.

Here, Home, Hope will surely appeal to readers of chick lit and other women's fiction titles who are ready to transition into something new in their own life.

A quick,entertaining read that delves into one woman's search for happiness; her coming-of-age requires honesty, 'work', adjustments and a Things to Change (T2C) list. The emphasis is on the empowerment of women, the importance of nurturing friendships and the need for women to support each others' desires and dreams, whatever they may be.

After a health scare, lingering feelings of dissatisfaction and depression motivate Kelly to re-evaluate her life; something I'm sure we can all relate to. I liked Kelly's character and could identify with many items on her T2C list although I must confess to thinking "lucky for some" that Kelly (unlike many) had the financial means all along to make her business dream come true.
  • Remember my blessings
  • Don't forget the care and feeding of friends
  • Trust your instincts
  • Yell without crying
I liked the growth in the connection between Kelly and her best friend's anorexic daughter Melanie, the support Kelly had from her husband Patrick and I really enjoyed the details as Kelly sets up her own business, Kelly Johnson Home Staging. As Kelly's confidence, self-worth and assertiveness grows so does her business and love of life.

Favourite quotes:
This one on entering the dating world after an extended absence

"It's gotta be just like riding a bike," I said, blowing out the candle. Except, I guess, the seat has changed, and the handle bars, and ... Oh, it will be fun.

... something about my life had to change ... I was the only one who could do it. Not having that realization was what held me back for so long. I was ready to rewrite Things to Change rule Number One. My life is up to me to define. I needed to make my own dreams come true."

Whilst I felt that the reader was told rather than shown, I'm sure Ms Rouda's writing style will evolve with subsequent novels. An enjoyable read that certainly echoed the old addage; the grass is not always greener on the other side, the grass is greenest where it is watered :)

Want to know more about Kaira Rouda and her work? - check out her website.


  1. A good book, and I am sure it would give me a lot to think about

  2. B ~ it certainly does that, a story most of us can find something to identify with and learn from :)

  3. Why do the women in these types of books always have financial security???? Still sounds like one I would read!

  4. Sounds like a good read. I like that, 'things to change' rather than things to do list!


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