Ok, so ... what did you think of that?
House and Home by Kathleen McCleary is not a book I would have picked up on my own* but I completely enjoyed it. Let me tell you why.
The main character, Ellen, has just separated from her husband of 18 years. In order to survive financially, she must sell her beloved house and downsize. She is NOT happy about this. My marriage is just fine, thank you. And my house is certainly not beloved. In fact, if you told me that I had to sell it tomorrow, I might even say Thank You.
Ellen is very organized - personally, financially, in her business, everywhere. Yeah, I'm SO.Not. organized.
House and Home is chick lit (good chick lit, but still chick lit). I don't read chick lit. But maybe I just won't admit that I like it because I'm "too smart" for it? Naw, I'd rather just say that this was a lovely book. Yeah, it's just that the book is really good, that's it. It's not me, it's the book!
Seriously though, I couldn't put this book down. I picked it up as a reprieve from the Salman Rushdie book I was slogging through (Midnight's Children, fyi) and found that I just COULD.NOT. put it down. I finished it in two days.
The characters in this book are so alive to me! I "get" them, I know people like them, they could live next door to me (oh please, could they?! They'd be better than some of the crazies in my neighborhood!). Like Ellen, my mom is a thrift store junkie. For me thrifting is torture.** For my mom and the rest of my extended family, it's therapy. My mom even had a room in an antique shop where she would sell her treasures, similar to Ellen's store.
McCleary is in the middle of a book blog tour this month and she's doing guest posts all over the place so you're bound to hear more about her (click here to check out some of her posts). But I get to share something that NO ONE ELSE can: I get to report on her panel at the Baltimore Book Festival on 9/26! Ok, so it's not an official report but she'll be at the same Book Fest where I'll be speaking (albiet on a different day - I'm set for 9/28) and I plan to attend her panel. Maybe I'll have a chance to meet her and get her to sign my book! I can just about guarantee that there will be pictures now that I have a lovely new camera.
So, to summarize ...
- House and Home is a wonderful book - go read it!
- Come back for pictures of the author and notes on her panel (it will be some time after 9/28)!
- Check out more posts about this lovely book!
- And if you want a glimpse at what life is really like for a newly published author, go read this.
*I read it because the editors of TLC Book Tours asked me to participate in on of their first book tours; since they are both wonderful blogging friends of mine, I agreed.
** For the record, I don't object to thrift stores nor to buying 2nd hand items. What I hate is the time and effort it takes to find things. Some people thrive on it. Me, I DIE from it.