Today, a wonderful BFF, Jani, joins us a a guest reviewer. When you read her lovely review, you’ll get a glimpse as to why I walk with her daily. Here’s Jani:
I have been blessed in my life with incredible and capable women friends. I thought of them as I read Here, Home, Hope, by Kaira Rouda. The heart of this story is about women who support one another and work together to get things done- trying to help one another adapt to the changes in life that come with growing kids. I found myself wondering if I would be as giving as the heroine of this story is as she sorts though her own issues while opening her home to a friend’s needy child.
Kelly Johnson, the main character is home for the summer, while her young teen boys are away at camp for several weeks. She knows the boys are busy “sailing, shooting things, fishing, climbing mountains, swimming, building campfires, and eating really unhealthy food.” Meanwhile she’s “stewing, thinking, pondering, grinding her teeth, supporting other people’s passions, as well as eating really unhealthy food.” She has a great husband, beautiful home, healthy boys and much to be grateful for, but she realizes her days of round the clock mothering are up. She finds herself “stuck between what she’s done and what she wants to do.” Like many stay at home moms, she’s given up dreams and aspirations to be home with her boys – a choice she doesn’t regret, but she feels the need to make some changes. Out come her “post-it” notes as she puts reminders to herself throughout her world of “Things to Change (T2C).”
So many things in this novel struck close to home for me. I loved how Kelly grew to appreciate the man in her life as she watched marriages fall apart around her and realized the good character and kind nature of her own husband. I could relate to her attempts at finding happiness through shopping, dieting, or trying out the latest anti aging cream. She also struggles to accept people and their imperfections when they make decisions she wouldn’t and comes to realize people are never just black or white, good or bad, but a complex blend of grays. What she learns is that she can’t control much but she has a lot to give. Her attempts to “seize her year’ will make you want to put down the book and try something new. And maybe you’ll reconnect with an old friend.
Book Spark PR provided a review copy of this book for this post. All opinions are my own.
What are you reading and where are you going?