Here, Home, Hope is a charming and easy read, a lovely addition to your list of summer reads
Here, Home, Hope is a charming, funny, culturally relevant story for everywoman. It is the story of what happens when your kids start to need you less and you question where do you go for your second act. Kelly Johnson can’t stop grinding through her bite guards and she is suddenly a weeper. She has what appears to be a perfect life to most of her neighbours and friends and yet, when her boys leave for their annual summer sleepover camp and her friend’s marriages begin unravelling one by one, she can’t help but question why is she so weepy? And what could possibly be making her cry? Is she having a mid-life crisis as she nears 40? And more importantly what should she do about it? Normally, I save all my reviews for my books blog over on thriftymommasbrainfood
but this one is a special review for the One 2 One Network and frankly this sweet little chicklit read is something I think will apeal to pretty much all of my female readers. Here, Home, Hope is the story of Kelly Johnson, a stay at home Mom with a near perfect life, if you don’t count the crying and the constant shopping and the weekly dentist appointments for her tooth grinding issue. Kelly is a former PR executive who took time to be at home rasing her children and now that she begins to feel their absence she questions how she would ever reenter the workforce and what shape a career might take. She is 39 and she is married to a successful attorney. She is a funny character who refers to her car as Doug and she is a person in constant motion, a characteristic I think many women can relate to easily in their own daily lives. This is a debut novel for Kaira Rouda, but I look forward to more. Her character Kelly explores really relevant female themes of motherhood, career, marriage and friendship. In Here, Home, Hope, Kelly finds herself offering a home to their friend’s teenage daughter, a girl apparently battling anorexia, when her friend Kathryn leaves town for a mysterious trip to Montana. Yet another friend has undertaken a career as a real estate agent and asks for Kelly’s help staging a home she plans to sell in Kelly’s neighbourhood. It is, through this connection that Kelly starts a career that arrives unexpectedly and gives her a new purpose for her second act. I enjoyed this book very much and was quite surprised at several twists in the plot. Here, Home, Hope is a fictional story that would fall within the chicklit genre. Rouda has a great ear for dialogue and never once did I stumble over any of her exchanges between characters. She also isn’t afraid to let a hint of humour come through her characters. Here, Home, Hope also contains a high degree of romance and in fact at times read like a soap opera, with partners suddenly being exchanged for new ones. It is a guilty and enjoyable read, perfect for summer time. It is not a predictable plot necessarily and has some roller coaster moments. I anticipated this to be a book about a woman wronged who left her husband and made good triumphing despite him. It is not that. Thankfully. It could easily be adapted for screen. Rouda is a former Ohio resident, now transplanted to southern California. She is a wife and a mother of four children. She is a branding expert and was also named one of Forbes magazines 30 women to follow on twitter. Rouda is an award-winning marketer, entrepreneur and speaker. She has been featured in numerous magazines and created Ohio’s first homeless shelter for families. Rouda is savvy and professional about her writing and the process of marketing. She and publisher Greenleaf smartly built in a social media campaign and capitalized fully on all of her amazing and extensive media assets. Smart one to watch, alright.
Here, Home, Hope by Kaira Rouda is published by Greenleaf Book Group Press, Los Angeles, May 2011, paperback, 310 pages, US $15.
This one gets a $$$$ out of $$$$$ rating. Enjoyable and easy read. Author has a great understanding of female characters and a good ear for dialogue.
Also visit http://www.KairaRouda.com or @KairaRouda
I was provided a copy of this book to review, but the opinion in this blog is all my own.