Friday, October 7, 2016

The Life She Wants by Robyn Carr

The Life She Wants by Robyn Carr
Published by Mira ISBN978-0-7783-1967-2
Trade paperback, $15.99, 348 pages

My husband and I took a trip to Napa a few weeks ago, so I brought Robyn Carr's newest book, The Life She Wants along for airplane reading because it is set in Sonoma County.

Emma Shay Compton's marriage to big-time financier falls apart when he is convicted of bilking his clients (ala Bernie Madoff) out of their life savings. Emma is devastated by his betrayal, of which she had no idea. But many people and the media believe she is hiding money and so she is a pariah as well.

All she is left with is a few kitchen tools, and she moves back home to Sonoma County. Her father died years ago, and his second wife, who treated Emma badly, wants nothing to do with her. Emma tries to pick up the pieces of her life, starting with finding a place to live and a job.

Her old friend Lyle finds her a small guest cottage behind Penny, an elderly woman, who becomes Emma's friend. Penny's other widowed friends welcome Emma into their circle.

The only job she can get is working as housekeeper in a nursing home. But when her coworkers realize who her husband was, she loses that job.

Emma reconnects with Adam, the brother of her former best friend Riley. Riley and Emma had a big falling out in high school and haven't spoken since then. Adam gets Emma a job with Riley, who has her own successful cleaning company.

The Life She Wants is a wonderful story of female friendship that you don't frequently see. Riley and Emma are very wary of each other, unable to forget the past. I love the character of Riley, how she overcame her life's challenges to build her own successful business. Riley and Adam's mom is a great character too, one who did a terrific job raising her kids, and is a good grandmother.

I admit to tearing up more than a few times reading The Life She Wants. Carr's writing hits your heart, and her characters' grit and grace win you over. There are a few hot sex scenes and you hope that love eventually wins out.

While sitting on the plane, the man next to me said "Is that Robyn Carr's newest book? I've read all of her books- I love her!" I have to admit that one took me by surprise.

I recommend Robyn Carr's The Life She Wants to anyone who loves a good story about female friendship, and if you like Jennifer Weiner's books, give Robyn Carr a try.

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