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Monday, August 1, 2011

Best Staged Plans

Best Staged Plans
Claire Cook
Voice-Hyperion, 2011

Sandy Sullivan is a professional home stager in the Boston suburbs. She and her husband Greg have started planning life after retirement, which includes selling the house and moving somewhere exotic, but things aren’t moving along according to Sandy’s schedule. Greg has taken an early retirement and seems more interested in playing golf and tennis than helping get their house sale-ready, and their son hasn’t demonstrated any initiative in finding himself an apartment. Frustrated with the lack of help and support, Sandy Sullivan issues her husband an ultimatum and takes a job staging a boutique hotel in Atlanta where she becomes immersed in other people's lives while trying to fix up her own.

This charming, short, and light-hearted story won’t win any literary awards but it sure provided some entertaining reading one recent weekend. I loved Sandy’s sense of humor, her compulsive need to fix everything, and her obsessive personality. I could really identify with this woman! This book may be light-hearted, but Sandy and her family are dealing with some heavy issues, including economic uncertainty, homelessness, and family relationships, so there are some unpredictable plot developments that will keep any reader on their toes. Still, the humor and witty writing style make this a good, quick summer read.


Other novels by this author:
Ready to Fall (2000)
Must Love Dogs (2002)
Multiple Choice (2004)
Life’s a Beach (2007)
Summer Blowout (2008)
Wildwater Walking Club (2009)
Seven Year Switch (2010)

Other titles you may enjoy:

First Friends by Marcia Willett (2006)
Life-long best friends, both married to naval officers, Kate Webster and Cassandra Wivenhoe find their lives, families, and marriages thrown into turmoil by Cassandra's infidelities.

Casting About by Terri DuLong (2010)
In the four years since Monica Brooks moved to Cedar Key, Florida, she's found a home, a husband, and a business taking over her mother's bustling knitting shop. But when her husband Adam's ex-wife is deemed an unfit mother, will the normally even-keeled Monica be ready to go straight from honeymoon to motherhood?

Within Arm’s Reach by Ann Napolitano (2004)
A lyrical novel narrated from six different points of view chronicles the effects of an unexpected pregnancy on three generations of an Irish-American Catholic family.

1 comment:

  1. Claire Cook is on my list of favorite authors and I read every one of her books when they come out. I already have this one on hold at the local library!