Monday, April 25, 2011

Review: "Here, Home, Hope" by Kaira Rouda

Kelly Mills Johnson is almost in her 40th year and she is taking stock of her life. She has two wonderful sons who are on their way to becoming independent and they don't need her like they once did. She and her husband, a successful lawyer, have created a comfortable routine that seems to work well for the two of them. Her two best friends, Katherine and Charlotte, have managed to make a name for themselves in the business world even though they are both mothers. Kelly feels that her true passions are being wasted the longer that they remain in disuse, and that it is time for her to make some major changes in her life.

Kelly creates a "Things to Change" list, effective immediately. Whether she is helping to care for her best friend's anorexic teenage daughter, fending off the advances of her drunken neighbor, or watching the marriages of those around her fall apart, Kelly strives to make changes in her personal life that will improve her for the better.

I thoroughly enjoyed Here, Home, Hope. Kelly was an incredibly likable character, and I liked the fact that both her marriage and family life was stable. It was herself that Kelly was intent on changing, and she was only making those changes in order to become a better version of herself. Many of the books that I read are based around the fact that the main character's marriage or home life is falling apart, and while I enjoy reading those kinds of books, the subject matter of Here, Home, Hope made for a refreshing change.

The secondary characters were enjoyable to read about as well. While Kelly's own life lacked drama, the lives of those around her certainly did not. Kaira Rouda covers a variety of topics within this story, including infidelity and divorce, anorexia, and righting the wrongs of your past, making for a fast-paced and interesting plot that is serious at times, but not overly so.

If I have one complaint about the book it would be that some of the things in Kelly's life came together a little too easily. Without giving away too much of the plot, at one point in the book Kelly decides to start her own business and it seemed to me that she became successful unrealistically fast. I found myself doubting that success would come that quickly to many people, although I'm sure that there are some situations that are the exception to the rule.

Overall Here, Home, Hope was a humorous, uplifting, and highly readable book from debut author Kaira Rouda, and I will be making it a point to read her future releases.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Challenges: 2011 100+ Reading Challenge

Thanks to BookSparks PR for inviting my participation on this tour.