Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Julie's Review: Recipe for a Happy Life

Summary: Hannah Goodman isn't like everyone else. Her mother, Gray, is an award-winning photojournalist with little time for the banalities of caring for a child, so she's mostly raised by her grandmother—a glamorous widow known for her charm, as well as the fact that shes been married nearly as many times as Elizabeth Taylor. Despite her mother's great wealth, Gray is determined that Hannah resist the siren song of the trust fund set, and make her own way in the world.  And Hannah did just that becoming a lawyer in New York City. Hannah has it all, or so it seems, until one hot June day when the carefully constructed pieces of her life break apart. That's when she seeks solace at her grandmother's Hamptons estate. And that's when she learns that there's more than one recipe for perfection.Fast-paced, charming, and full of heart, Recipe for a Happy Life sweeps you into a world in which fabulous beach-front cocktail parties are a regular occurrence, and the cure for social awkwardness is a perfectly-placed quip, but the boy in the mansion next door might just turn out to be the one thing that keeps you grounded when reality sets in. A memorable story about one memorable summer.A grand dame rules over three generations of women from her Hamptons estate, and her granddaughter realizes that the recipe for a happy life may be very different from her family's expectations. ~powells.com

Review: Immediately upon starting the book I liked Hannah. I thought she was witty, sincere and emotionally handicapped. What a better heroine for a novel. Then you meet her grandmother, Vivienne, who is elegant, classy and worldly but also the complete opposite of Hannah. They are extremely close since Hannah's mom, Gray, was always off chasing a story as a world renowned photojournalist.

Hannah is escaping her life in NYC for life in the Hamptons since hers imploded. She's looking for some carefree time at the beach while trying to figure out her life. This means that she has to deal with her grandmother setting her up on horrible dates and dressing the part. Before she knows it she's enjoying the life the Hamptons has to offer and is amazed by her Grandmother's social calendar.

I read Recipe for a Happy Life in one sitting. I laughed and I cried. I was amazed by each of these women who was strong in their own way. Each of them have had their own trials and triumphs. Each of them has to learn how to appreciate the others. Sometimes it takes a tragedy in life to bring this out in people.

Are there things that are predictable in the novel? Yes but there are definitely a few twists as well. Also, who can't help but falling a little in love with Hunter Kensington IV. He's an absolute trip. I loved the setting of the Hamptons and one day would like to visit to see these grand estates.

Ms. Janowitz has written a gem of a novel here. If you are looking for a quick, touching and funny read; look no further than Recipe for a Happy Life.

Final Take: 4.25/5

 Thank you to Ms. Janowitz for a copy of the novel.



Unknown September 10, 2013 at 10:42 AM  

I'm glad you enjoyed, I've got this book to read/review too....oh if I could just read faster!!
Great review today Julie.

Beth Hoffman September 10, 2013 at 5:50 PM  

I'm in the mood for a light and fun read, and this one sounds perfect. Thanks!

Anonymous ,  September 29, 2013 at 11:30 PM  

I must read this one. I appreciate good novels that I can read in one sitting these days!

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