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    My rating: 4 of 5 stars
    I received this book in exchange for 
    an honest review from NetGalley.

    Dee has a full time job as a cleaning lady and she comes home exhausted everyday to cook and clean while her three grown children do nothing.  They do not pay rent, they do not do their laundry, they just expect their mother to do it all.  

    Dee's husband Liam loses his job and Dee becomes frustrated at her children's lack of involvement and slowly begins to make changes in their family's life.  Probably the most shocking thing to her children is that she will only be cooking for their father and herself.

    It is quite amazing how much of a story Maeve Binchy packed into this little novella!  I thoroughly enjoyed it and can totally understand the tough love Dee had to show her children, especially because they are adults!  I'm sure there are many adult children out in the world today like this and it is very sad.  If there is one thing people should take away from this story it is to appreciate what your parents do (did) for you and contribute in any way you can.  Unfortunately many children in society today feel they are above menial chores and contributing to the family unit.  Some of this comes from how the parents are bringing up their children y not making them do chores and some of it is just the attitude of 'so and so doesn't have to do that, so why should I?"  

    As a parent of two girls almost 13 and 9 years old, I am trying to prepare them for the real world. If you want  your children to be able to function on their own, teach them menial household chores.  Get them involved and expect them to contribute in your household.  They may not enjoy it, but I'm sure one day they will thank you for it!

    Thank You Maeve Binchy for this great novella and thanks NetGalley for this advance copy! 








    Book Review: Full House by Maeve Binchy

    My rating: 4 of 5 stars
    I received this book in exchange for 
    an honest review from NetGalley.

    Dee has a full time job as a cleaning lady and she comes home exhausted everyday to cook and clean while her three grown children do nothing.  They do not pay rent, they do not do their laundry, they just expect their mother to do it all.  

    Dee's husband Liam loses his job and Dee becomes frustrated at her children's lack of involvement and slowly begins to make changes in their family's life.  Probably the most shocking thing to her children is that she will only be cooking for their father and herself.

    It is quite amazing how much of a story Maeve Binchy packed into this little novella!  I thoroughly enjoyed it and can totally understand the tough love Dee had to show her children, especially because they are adults!  I'm sure there are many adult children out in the world today like this and it is very sad.  If there is one thing people should take away from this story it is to appreciate what your parents do (did) for you and contribute in any way you can.  Unfortunately many children in society today feel they are above menial chores and contributing to the family unit.  Some of this comes from how the parents are bringing up their children y not making them do chores and some of it is just the attitude of 'so and so doesn't have to do that, so why should I?"  

    As a parent of two girls almost 13 and 9 years old, I am trying to prepare them for the real world. If you want  your children to be able to function on their own, teach them menial household chores.  Get them involved and expect them to contribute in your household.  They may not enjoy it, but I'm sure one day they will thank you for it!

    Thank You Maeve Binchy for this great novella and thanks NetGalley for this advance copy! 








    Posted at 11:58 PM  |  by Elle
    My rating: 3 of 5 stars
    I received this book in exchange for 
    an honest review from NetGalley.

    The Summer's End is the third book in Mary Alice Monroe's LowCountry Summer trilogy.  You can see my reviews of the first two books in this series here: 

    Book 1: The Summer Girls
    Book 2: The Summer Wind

    The final book in this series focuses on Harper, the sister that has had it the easiest monetarily, but not emotionally.  Harper's mother is detached, impersonal, controlling and has never been supportive of Harper's desire to be a writer.  


    The storyline of this book prepares the sisters and their Mamaw for the sale of their family beach home, Sea Breeze.  Harper hires a local company to update the kitchen, but little does she know that the son of the company she is using is home to visit and just happens to be Taylor McClellan, the man her sister Carson and nephew Nate met at the Dolphin Rescue Center in Florida.  Harper works on getting the garden in shape on the property as well as secretly writing a book during her last summer at Sea Breeze.


    Harper's sister Dora has decided to send her son Nate, who has Asperger's, to a specialized school.  Dora decides to get a job and continues to enjoy the company of her boyfriend Devlin.


    Carson is pregnant and not sure of what to do.  She is pushing the baby's father Blake away and is scared of where she will live and what she will do next.


    As in the first two books, this one also focuses nicely on each sister's struggles and triumphs.  There are a few surprises towards the end of the book and I can't help but want a pre-quel to this trilogy explaining Marietta Muir (Mamaw) and Granny James' life when they were younger women because I feel they both have secrets that need to be told!


    If you are looking for a great beach read, I highly recommend this trilogy!












    Book Review: The Summer's End by Mary Alice Monroe

    My rating: 3 of 5 stars
    I received this book in exchange for 
    an honest review from NetGalley.

    The Summer's End is the third book in Mary Alice Monroe's LowCountry Summer trilogy.  You can see my reviews of the first two books in this series here: 

    Book 1: The Summer Girls
    Book 2: The Summer Wind

    The final book in this series focuses on Harper, the sister that has had it the easiest monetarily, but not emotionally.  Harper's mother is detached, impersonal, controlling and has never been supportive of Harper's desire to be a writer.  


    The storyline of this book prepares the sisters and their Mamaw for the sale of their family beach home, Sea Breeze.  Harper hires a local company to update the kitchen, but little does she know that the son of the company she is using is home to visit and just happens to be Taylor McClellan, the man her sister Carson and nephew Nate met at the Dolphin Rescue Center in Florida.  Harper works on getting the garden in shape on the property as well as secretly writing a book during her last summer at Sea Breeze.


    Harper's sister Dora has decided to send her son Nate, who has Asperger's, to a specialized school.  Dora decides to get a job and continues to enjoy the company of her boyfriend Devlin.


    Carson is pregnant and not sure of what to do.  She is pushing the baby's father Blake away and is scared of where she will live and what she will do next.


    As in the first two books, this one also focuses nicely on each sister's struggles and triumphs.  There are a few surprises towards the end of the book and I can't help but want a pre-quel to this trilogy explaining Marietta Muir (Mamaw) and Granny James' life when they were younger women because I feel they both have secrets that need to be told!


    If you are looking for a great beach read, I highly recommend this trilogy!












    Posted at 11:35 PM  |  by Elle
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars
    I received this book in exchange for 
    an honest review from NetGalley.

    Sophie Anderson has been a supportive wife to her husband Zack for sixteen years.  Her husband's life revolves around his work as an architect, while Sophie is focused on raising their two children, fifteen year old Jonah and ten year old Lacey.

    Zack doesn't call to tell Sophie he'll be late for dinner so she decides to check his schedule on his computer.  What she finds is a memo 'Remember L's bday.'  She guesses it's his secretary's birthday.  But then she sees the memo for the next day, 'Discuss Div with S.'
    When her husband returns home she decides to confront him about the second memo and this is how she finds out her husband wants a divorce.  She's shocked and confused and tells her husband that a college friend had phoned the day before checking to see if they'd want to rent her family's summer home in Nantucket in July and August.  Sophie is hoping Zack will come with them to work on their marriage.  Zack refuses and says he won't pay for it.  Sophie decides she will use her inheritance from her Aunt Fancy to take her and the children to the cottage for the summer.

    Trevor Black owns his own software company and is a widow with a four year old son named Leo who is having a difficult time coping with his mother's death and showing obsessive behaviors.  Trevor consults with a phychologist and the doctor suggests a vacation; somewhere Leo had never been with his mother.  Coincidentally, one of Trevor's old college friends calls him with an offer to rent his family's summer home for July and August and he accepts because it is just what the doctor has ordered.

    As you may have guessed, Sophie and Trevor both head to Nantucket and need to work out the situation between them both renting the guest cottage for the summer.
    Sophie's children grow close with Leo, Sophie finds a beau in one of her daughter's new friends in the area and Trevor fights his attraction to Sophie.

    This is a light, flowing read; perfect for summer.





    Book Review: The Guest Cottage by Nancy Thayer

    My rating: 4 of 5 stars
    I received this book in exchange for 
    an honest review from NetGalley.

    Sophie Anderson has been a supportive wife to her husband Zack for sixteen years.  Her husband's life revolves around his work as an architect, while Sophie is focused on raising their two children, fifteen year old Jonah and ten year old Lacey.

    Zack doesn't call to tell Sophie he'll be late for dinner so she decides to check his schedule on his computer.  What she finds is a memo 'Remember L's bday.'  She guesses it's his secretary's birthday.  But then she sees the memo for the next day, 'Discuss Div with S.'
    When her husband returns home she decides to confront him about the second memo and this is how she finds out her husband wants a divorce.  She's shocked and confused and tells her husband that a college friend had phoned the day before checking to see if they'd want to rent her family's summer home in Nantucket in July and August.  Sophie is hoping Zack will come with them to work on their marriage.  Zack refuses and says he won't pay for it.  Sophie decides she will use her inheritance from her Aunt Fancy to take her and the children to the cottage for the summer.

    Trevor Black owns his own software company and is a widow with a four year old son named Leo who is having a difficult time coping with his mother's death and showing obsessive behaviors.  Trevor consults with a phychologist and the doctor suggests a vacation; somewhere Leo had never been with his mother.  Coincidentally, one of Trevor's old college friends calls him with an offer to rent his family's summer home for July and August and he accepts because it is just what the doctor has ordered.

    As you may have guessed, Sophie and Trevor both head to Nantucket and need to work out the situation between them both renting the guest cottage for the summer.
    Sophie's children grow close with Leo, Sophie finds a beau in one of her daughter's new friends in the area and Trevor fights his attraction to Sophie.

    This is a light, flowing read; perfect for summer.





    Posted at 9:54 AM  |  by Elle



    My rating: 4 of 5 stars
    I received this book in exchange for 
    an honest review from NetGalley.

    Melissa Dance is turning twenty-five years old.
    Her mother Eleanore passed away from cancer when Melissa was only eight years old.  Elenore started a journal in August 1994 and made plans with her attorney to have the journal given to Melissa on her twenty-fifth birthday.  Melissa's father Max does not know this journal exists.

    Eleanore's original idea for the journal was to only include recipes that were handed down from her mother and grandmother and to included photos of her and Melissa cooking throughout the book.  The journal turned into a way for Eleanore to share her thoughts and wisdom to help her grown-up daughter.  She chose age twenty-five because that was the age she gave birth to Melissa.

    The chapters throughout this book rotate from Melissa's point of view in present day (2011,) Eleanore's writing of the book and dealings with cancer back in 1994 and Max's issues in the present.  This book definitely keeps you interested in wanting to find out what Eleanore has to say next in the journal and what possible secrets she has to tell her daughter.

    This book is heartwarming, heart wrenching, nostalgic, full of emotions and extremely realistic.  It could very well be a true story.  You will also find yourself wanting to make some of the recipes included throughout the journal, so be prepared to save them for later!



    This post has been featured with MidLifeLuv!

    Book Review: Recipes For Melissa by Teresa Driscoll




    My rating: 4 of 5 stars
    I received this book in exchange for 
    an honest review from NetGalley.

    Melissa Dance is turning twenty-five years old.
    Her mother Eleanore passed away from cancer when Melissa was only eight years old.  Elenore started a journal in August 1994 and made plans with her attorney to have the journal given to Melissa on her twenty-fifth birthday.  Melissa's father Max does not know this journal exists.

    Eleanore's original idea for the journal was to only include recipes that were handed down from her mother and grandmother and to included photos of her and Melissa cooking throughout the book.  The journal turned into a way for Eleanore to share her thoughts and wisdom to help her grown-up daughter.  She chose age twenty-five because that was the age she gave birth to Melissa.

    The chapters throughout this book rotate from Melissa's point of view in present day (2011,) Eleanore's writing of the book and dealings with cancer back in 1994 and Max's issues in the present.  This book definitely keeps you interested in wanting to find out what Eleanore has to say next in the journal and what possible secrets she has to tell her daughter.

    This book is heartwarming, heart wrenching, nostalgic, full of emotions and extremely realistic.  It could very well be a true story.  You will also find yourself wanting to make some of the recipes included throughout the journal, so be prepared to save them for later!



    This post has been featured with MidLifeLuv!

    Posted at 9:08 PM  |  by Elle






    WordLess WednesDay #18 ~ Summer Vacation Is Here!







    Posted at 12:26 PM  |  by Elle
    I received this book from NetGalley
    in exchange for an honest review.
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars


    ***This review does NOT contain any major spoilers***

    Main Cast Of Characters:

    Theodore MacAfee- Owner of MacAfee Homes, father of Roy MacAfee, grandfather to Jamie MacAfee and ex father-in-law to Caroline MacAfee

    Roy MacAfee- Father to Jamie MacAfee, ex-husband to Caroline MacAfee, husband to Jessica MacAfee, father to two year old Tad and marketing manager for MacAfee Homes

    Caroline MacAfee- Mother to Jamie MacAfee, host of the public television show 'Gut It!' and master carpenter

    Jamie MacAfee- Daughter of Caroline and Roy MacAfee , fiance to Brad Greer, architect for MacAfee Homes and 'Gut It!'

    Brad Greer- Attorney for MacAfee Homes and Jamie MacAfee's fiance

    Jessica MacAfee- Roy MacAfee's third wife, mother to two year old Tad and stepmother to Jamie MacAfee

    Taddy MacAfee- Roy and Jessica MacAfee's son, Jamie MacAfee's step-brother

    Dean Brannick- general contractor for 'Gut It!' and friend to Caroline MacAfee

    Annie Ahl- Landscape designer for 'Gut It!' and Caroline MacAfee's best friend

    Claire Howe- producer of 'Gut It!'

    Brian Levitt- General Manager of the television station that hosts 'Gut It!'

    Williston, MA, twenty miles west of Boston, is home to a local home improvement television show called Gut It!  MacAfee Homes is the main builder in the area but they are fearing another family builder by the name of Barth may be trying to worm their way into the area.

    On the morning of Jamie MacAfee's Mom's birthday her father Roy wants to meet with her at the local diner.  He tells her that the television station wants to make some changes to the show to improve ratings and they want Jamie to be the new host.  Jamie is an architect and appears on Gut It! with her mother Caroline, the host.  Jamie decides not to tell her mother because it's her birthday and believes this change is due to her mother being middle aged!  Jamie hopes she can convince her father, producer and general manager that this is not the right decision for the show.  Unfortunately, Caroline does find out, but not from Jamie, and it causes a huge rift between mother and daughter.

    There is an unexpected accident and Jamie's life changes forever, but she's not on speaking terms with her mother so she must handle many of these changes and challenges on her own.

    The beginning of this book was a bit slow for me, but once the first major event in the story occurred the book flowed nicely. The main theme in this book is life changes for women of differing ages and how they handle what is thrown their way. Other subjects touched upon are personal growth, ageism, sexism, relationship and family issues.


    Available June 9th, 2015





    Book Review: Blueprints by Barbara Delinsky

    I received this book from NetGalley
    in exchange for an honest review.
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars


    ***This review does NOT contain any major spoilers***

    Main Cast Of Characters:

    Theodore MacAfee- Owner of MacAfee Homes, father of Roy MacAfee, grandfather to Jamie MacAfee and ex father-in-law to Caroline MacAfee

    Roy MacAfee- Father to Jamie MacAfee, ex-husband to Caroline MacAfee, husband to Jessica MacAfee, father to two year old Tad and marketing manager for MacAfee Homes

    Caroline MacAfee- Mother to Jamie MacAfee, host of the public television show 'Gut It!' and master carpenter

    Jamie MacAfee- Daughter of Caroline and Roy MacAfee , fiance to Brad Greer, architect for MacAfee Homes and 'Gut It!'

    Brad Greer- Attorney for MacAfee Homes and Jamie MacAfee's fiance

    Jessica MacAfee- Roy MacAfee's third wife, mother to two year old Tad and stepmother to Jamie MacAfee

    Taddy MacAfee- Roy and Jessica MacAfee's son, Jamie MacAfee's step-brother

    Dean Brannick- general contractor for 'Gut It!' and friend to Caroline MacAfee

    Annie Ahl- Landscape designer for 'Gut It!' and Caroline MacAfee's best friend

    Claire Howe- producer of 'Gut It!'

    Brian Levitt- General Manager of the television station that hosts 'Gut It!'

    Williston, MA, twenty miles west of Boston, is home to a local home improvement television show called Gut It!  MacAfee Homes is the main builder in the area but they are fearing another family builder by the name of Barth may be trying to worm their way into the area.

    On the morning of Jamie MacAfee's Mom's birthday her father Roy wants to meet with her at the local diner.  He tells her that the television station wants to make some changes to the show to improve ratings and they want Jamie to be the new host.  Jamie is an architect and appears on Gut It! with her mother Caroline, the host.  Jamie decides not to tell her mother because it's her birthday and believes this change is due to her mother being middle aged!  Jamie hopes she can convince her father, producer and general manager that this is not the right decision for the show.  Unfortunately, Caroline does find out, but not from Jamie, and it causes a huge rift between mother and daughter.

    There is an unexpected accident and Jamie's life changes forever, but she's not on speaking terms with her mother so she must handle many of these changes and challenges on her own.

    The beginning of this book was a bit slow for me, but once the first major event in the story occurred the book flowed nicely. The main theme in this book is life changes for women of differing ages and how they handle what is thrown their way. Other subjects touched upon are personal growth, ageism, sexism, relationship and family issues.


    Available June 9th, 2015





    Posted at 7:10 PM  |  by Elle

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