The Good Life
Kensington Publishing Corp.
Pub Date Feb 26th, 2013
Between workouts, charity events, and shopping, Ann Barons keeps her days as full as her walk-in closets. She shares an immaculate house with her CEO husband, Mike, and their two teenagers, Nate and Lauren. It’s a luxurious life, far from her homespun childhood on a farm in eastern Pennsylvania…which is why Ann is wary when her elderly parents ask to move in temporarily.
Ann prepares in the way she knows best—hiring decorators and employing a full-time nurse for her dementia-stricken father. But nothing can prepare her for the transformations ahead. Soon, her mother Eileen is popping in to prepare soups and roasts in Ann’s underused kitchen, while the usually surly Nate forms an alliance with his ailing grandfather. Lauren blossoms under Eileen’s guidance, and even workaholic Mike finds time to attend high-school football games. But it’s Ann who must make the biggest leap, and confront the choices and values that have kept her floating on life’s surface for so long.
Timely, poignant, and wise, The Good Life is a deeply satisfying and beautifully written story about the complex relationships between parents and children—and the gap that often lies between what we seek, and what will truly make us whole.
The Good Life is a poignant, heart wrenching novel that tears at your heart strings and makes you wonder how anyone can come out of that. Unlike what I usually read, this is not a romance novel.
You will not like these characters for most of this book. Rather, you will cry and scream at them until they learn to change. The grandparents broke my heart and I loved watching them fill in the wholes of this family that used money to get what they want and found they had nothing at all.
The son, Nate, was a typical rich boy who turned out to be more caring than I thought. I think the way he interacted with his grandfather once he got past the first impression was my favorite part. Lauren, the daughter, grew up before our eyes and learned which path she needed to be on to find herself—new, adorably amazing boyfriend at all. The father, Mike…well, he wasn’t there. I felt like just when I was ready to love him he did something that broke me down a bit. I think he’s finally on the right track, but as you’ll see, it took a lot.
Now Ann. Ann was something that I didn’t like. But I don’t think you were supposed to. She didn’t even like herself. The town didn’t like her. No one did. Not even her family. It took the entire book for her to break past what she thought she was and maybe see a glimpse of who she could be.
This was not a romance. I didn’t get my happy ending. Instead I watched people break down and maybe find the path to be better people.
I think I would have liked to see that happy ending, at least a glimpse of it.
I cried, screamed, and shook while reading this book, but it touched me and I’m glad I read it. Even if it was totally different than the others.
If you’re looking for a book that will tug at your defenses and make you think, then The Good Life is for you.
I received an ARC of this novel via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
–Review by Nicole