Kelly Johnson has been a devoted wife and mother living in beautiful Grandville, but as her fortieth birthday approaches she is feeling restless. She is married to a successful attorney and has two fantastic boys, but she wonders to herself…what’s next. She looks at her best friends Charlotte and Kathryn who run their own businesses and can’t help feeling she is less than perfect. After finding herself in a dentist chair from grinding her teeth, Kelly decides something has got to change. From that point on Kelly begins with her T2C (Things to Change) post it note list. Her list grows throughout the story and is all about being the best person she can be.
Not really sure how she was going to spend the summer, besides gaining her usual 6 pounds, Kelly soon finds herself very busy. Charlotte offers her a prospect of a business venture of home staging, which Kelly is hugely successful at. Kathryn tells her how her daughter Melanie is an anorexic and asks her to take her daughter in while she goes out of town. Kelly quickly finds herself starting a business, taking care of an anorexic teenager girl, and dealing with neighborhood and best friend bombshells going off all around her. Relying on her T2C post it notes (hanging all over the house and in her car) she is able to offer her love and support to those around her.
As an almost 40 year old, ALMOST not yet-- I could relate on a number of levels to Kelly Johnson. I loved reading about a women’s journey through the transition into the next stage of her life. I found Kelly to be able bodied, strong, confident, having integrity and a good friend. I loved reading about a strong woman who had the love and support of her husband behind her. What a wonderful change from so many books I’ve read. There was a lot of dialogue about friendship within the novel. Each of these three women went through so much alone. They closed off from their friends so afraid of being judged as less than perfect. I could not help, but feel this is such a relevant topic for today. As women, I think so many of us want to come across as strong and having it all together when we would all be better off being real with one another and leaning on each other for support. Rouda got it right.
I found this to be a fairly quick read, funny and inspiring. Kaira Rouda’s debut novel was an absolute refreshing read. I HIGHLY recommended this book. I am looking forward to Rouda’s next novel.
You can learn more about Kaira Rouda on her webpage at http://www.kairarouda.com/
The Five W's of Kaira Rouda
I met with Kaira over the weekend at a local Barnes & Noble in Memphis, TN. She is sweet, warm and funny! I enjoyed meeting her and getting a chance to chat with her. She was kind enough to answer questions on video (my husband's idea as we were leaving), so she had no idea and was willing to do it! I was so excited!
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Thank-you so much for the interview, Kaira!