Author: Kathleen McCleary
Published: July 1, 2008
Genre: chick lit
E-book: 272 pages
Source: purchased from iTunes
My Rating: 3 stars
Synopsis (from GoodReads): The story of a woman who loves her house so much that she'll do just about anything to keep it.Ellen Flanagan has two precious girls to raise, a cozy neighborhood coffee shop to run, terrific friends, and a sexy husband. She adores her house, a yellow Cape Cod filled with quirky antiques, beloved nooks and dents, and a million memories. But now, at forty-four, she's about to lose it all.
After eighteen roller-coaster years of marriage, Ellen's husband, Sam--who's charismatic, spontaneous, and utterly irresponsible--has disappointed her in more ways than she can live with, and they're getting divorced. Her daughters are miserable about losing their daddy. Worst of all, the house that Ellen loves with all her heart must now be sold.
Ellen's life is further complicated by a lovely and unexpected relationship with the husband of the shrewish, social-climbing woman who has purchased the house. Add to that the confusion over how she really feels about her almost-ex-husband, and you have the makings of a delicious novel about what matters most in the end . . .
Set in the gorgeous surroundings of Portland, Oregon, Kathleen McCleary's funny, poignant, curl-up-and-read debut strikes a deep emotional chord and explores the very notion of what makes a house a home.
My Thoughts: I purchased this book because it was on the $3.99 and under list on iTunes (hey, I'm cheap and needed something to read on the fly). I read the description for this book and was intrigued. A house is almost like the unspoken family member. It's a part of your life and you would be devastated if anything ever happened to it. Kathleen McCleary explores that idea in her book, focusing on a famiy who must sell their home because they are in debt and a woman who will do anything to keep it. The concept is unique and not something that I've ever seen written about before.
The characters in this novel are a bit stereotypical. There is Ellen, the woman who must sell her house after her husband has forced them into debt. She loves her house and is deeply saddened that she must sell it, especially after meeting the new owners. Ellen is so protective it's a bit sickening. And the new owner, Jordan, is also a bit sickening. She is just a sterotypical type-A personality. The two women annoyed me if they were in the same scene together because it seemed like a cat fight was eminent at any point. Their husbands were a bit better, offering a distraction from the two women. I also found the dialogue to be a bit stiff. It didn't always feel organic, as if two friends were talking. It would be Ellen speaking and saying her piece, then another character speaking for an entire paragraph and sharing their thoughts. It was just a bit stiff at times.
I did enjoy the originality of the plot and thought that it was a decent book for the price. I don't know if I would read more of McCleary's work in the future, but it was a great, quick read.