I could really relate to this book. In my late 30′s, suffering from depression, kids not needing me as much. I, too, even started my own business. It’s rare I find a book that seems like my own life so much. That said, some of the story is a little out there, but Rouda really ties the varying oddities into the whole story, and brings the whole situation to a believable, if somewhat naive, place.
I liked the book, but it won’t make my “Must keep forever and ever” shelf. It was easy readying, without being dumbed down, which I like. If I’m escaping into fiction, I don’t want a novel to be too terribly cerebral, and this fits the bill. But it was intelligent at the same time.
All in all though, I did get annoyed by some of the characters. Kelly’s over-sentimentality of her children off to camp turned me off a bit. I was glad, however, that the book showed Kelly’s need for therapy and the help she got. I would have liked to have it fleshed out a bit more though. I think we, as readers, sit in on maybe two sessions, and suddenly she’s turned her entire life around. It doesn’t seem real – it’s NOT real. I’ve been there. Another unrealistic aspect was Kelly’s business becoming an overnight success. While it’s true, sometimes look that way, that’s because the business was under the radar during its building phase. In this case, you see the hard work after it’s already a success. Backwards. Again – I’ve been there. But you do get a chance to see the long hours and chaos that seems to surround new businesses. That’s something that’s not usually a topic of fiction, so it was fun to watch that unfold. Kelly’s husband, Patrick, seemed (and seems now – having finished the book) to be a little too perfect. I would have liked to see more of his faults. I think there was an attempt made, but frankly, his reactions were perfectly reasonable and not faulty in the least. He seemed to be more the caricature of a perfect husband, rather than delving into what made him Patrick.
Living in an affluent neighborhood, I can say that Rouda really nailed that one woman. You know the one – perfect, at all the school functions, rules the school, and seemingly genetically pre-disposed to passive aggression? Yeah, that one. I liked that even though some of the situations were far-fetched, you could still imagine them happening. And really, when you look back in life, you realize that things really sometimes happen this way. I was glad of that reminder.
Ultimately, this is a positive review. I was engaged by the book. After I was finished, I was left with the idea that it doesn’t matter your size or shape, age or gender, you can reinvent yourself. You can find your passion. You can love yourself. You can feel as though you matter. Reinvention can happen any time.
The Book Review – Here, Home, Hope by Michele Wilcox, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.