Sarah Beth and Rachel, best friends since 8th grade, are in New York City to celebrate their 40th birthdays. Sitting at the restaurant table waiting to start lunch, Rachel is handed a note by the waiter. The note changes everything. Sarah Beth had simply disappeared. Rachel begins to search the city for her dear friend wanting to desperately to help her, while Sarah Beth was reaching out to her mother who’d passed away.
When Sarah Beth reenters the land of the living, she seems almost shocked that her disappearance had upset and confused those around her. She just wanted to rethink her life, maybe reinvent herself. Instead she has disturbed her children’s lives, shaken her marriage and violated her friendship. Once home, she seems to continue her downward spiral by calling an old boyfriend and hiding things from her husband.
While Sarah went looking for something new, Rachel found it. Rachel, a widow, finds a new man who came riding his horse right into her life. He is instrumental in helping Rachel see Sarah Beth’s side of things. Even though he and Rachel seem great together, there are so many obstacles in their way.
I’m trying really hard not to give too much of the story away, which is always hard when you want to sit with a couple of girlfriends and talk about the great book you just read! I think what I loved most about Whole Latte Life it could have gone in so many different directions. The characters were all imperfect.
I never really connected to Sarah Beth. I would have guessed I would relate to her since I lost my own mother, married with kids (and large age gaps). I suppose had I lost my mom suddenly I would have had a really tough coping with the suddenness of it. I just didn’t understand the whole not opening up to her husband or to her best friend. I suppose both Rachel and Sarah Beth's husband Tom were dealing with other things in their lives.
Now the romance between Michael and Rachel, this was the story I was most interested in. I was surprised by Michael’s past. I really thought there story was just really sweet and seemed so natural.
I was surprised there wasn't more discussion about Rachel being a widow. I felt like she would have brought it up with both Michael and Sarah Beth because she also clearly understood how life can change fast and without warning. I would have also thought she would have had issues to deal with since this was her first relationship since her husband's death.
I know I just pointed out some negatives, but I think it’s because I felt really invested in this story (which I think is a really good thing). I would definitely recommend Whole Latte Life by Joanne Demaio, especially for a book club—lots to talk about!
Reviewed by: Laura Kay