Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Best Staged Plans

Best Staged PlansAuthor: Claire Cook
ISBN: 978-1-4013-4117-6
Publisher: Hyperion
Purchase Link: Best Staged Plans
Source: Author/Publisher for Review

As a professional home stager, Sandy Sullivan is an expert at transforming cluttered rooms into attractive houses ready for sale. If only reinventing her life were as easy as choosing the perfect paint color. She's eager to put her family's suburban Boston home on the market, to downsize, and to simplify her own life. But she must first deal with her foot-dragging husband and her grown son, who has moved back home after college to inhabit the basement "bat cave."

After reading them the riot act, Sandy takes a job staging a boutique hotel in Atlanta recently acquired by her best friend's boyfriend. The good news is that she can spend time with her recently married daughter, Shannon, in Atlanta. The bad news is that Shannon finds herself heading to Boston for job training, leaving Sandy and her southern son-in-law, Chance, as reluctant roommates. If that's not complicated enough, Sandy begins to suspect that her best friend's boyfriend may be seeing another woman on the side.

Filled with characters who are fresh and original, yet recognizable enough to live in your neighborhood--plus plenty of great tips and tricks for fixing up houses, and lives--this is a wise and witty story of letting go and moving on. Best Staged Plans is Claire Cook at her most humorous and heartfelt.

My Thoughts

Best Staged Plans is Claire Cook’s delightful and entertaining new novel! This book is simply one of the most relatable stories I have ever read. The characters are realistic, down to earth, everyday people that I felt I could be friends with. They reminded me of neighbors and family. The novel has a very natural feel to it. It is evident that Claire did her homework with this novel.

The story takes place in the Northeast and the South. Having lived in both areas this novel had me rolling in laughter with its candid humor. It made me miss Boston so much! I also enjoyed the change of setting. It fit the story well.

Best Staged Plans was easy to read. The pace is steady but allows the reader to move as needed. I normally don’t like slow paced novels but found myself slowing down and taking my time with this one. I wanted to savor every bit of it. There were so many humorous jokes and remarks that I could have missed it I rushed it. I didn’t want this story to end but I must say the length of the novel is perfect. In addition to a great story, wonderful writing and loveable, relatable characters the book is just plain fun! I learned that life is a series of stagings. We can only do our best with what we are given and be adaptable to changing situations.

I enjoyed reading every step of Sandy’s story. This is definitely a novel I could re-read! I wish I could have read this on the beach! It is easily apparent to me why everyone says this is a must read for your summer’s “to read” list. It’s perfectly imperfect characters and humorous situations make the novel feel like home. Claire just understands women in all of our glory, splendor and hormonal outburst! I recommend you pick up a copy soon!! I loved it.

About Claire Cook:
Claire Cook wrote her first book in her minivan outside her daughter's swim practice and is now the bestselling author of Seven Year Switch, The Wildwater Walking Club, Summer Blowout, Life's a Beach, Multiple Choice, Must Love Dogs, and Ready to Fall. She lives in Scituate, Massachusetts, often called the Irish Riviera, with her family, and shares tips about writing and reinvention on her Website,  You can also connect with her via Facebook and Twitter.

Check back tomorrow for Q&A with Claire Cook!

4.5 out of 5 Photobucket

I would like to thank Claire & Hyperion for sending me a copy of this book to review with my honest thoughts & opinions.

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