Thursday, January 29, 2015

Julie's Review: The Way Life Should Be

Author: Christina Baker Kline
Series: None
Publication Date: October 10,2009 (reissue)
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 306
Obtained: publisher
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction,Women's Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Bottom Line: Sweet story about following your dreams
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Library
Summary: Angela can feel the clock ticking. She is single in New York City, stuck in a job she doesn't want and a life that seems to have, somehow, just happened. She inherited a flair for Italian cooking from her grandmother, but she never seems to have the time for it; these days, her oven holds only sweaters. Tacked to her office bulletin board is a photo from a magazine of a tidy cottage on the coast of Maine;a charming reminder of a life that could be hers, if she could only muster the courage to go after it. On a hope and a chance, Angela decides to pack it all up and move to Maine, finding the nudge she needs in the dating profile of a handsome sailor who loves dogs and Italian food. But her new home isn't quite matching up with the fantasy. Far from everything familiar, Angela begins to rebuild her life from the ground up. Working at a local coffeehouse, she begins to discover the pleasures and secrets of her new small-town community and, in the process, realizes there's really no such thing as the way life should be.

Review: The Way Life Should Be is a comforting story about taking risks in life and following your dreams. Granted the path isn't always easy and perhaps they shouldn't be easy to obtain. Angela Russo is an event planner and while she loves it, it's not her passion. So, when life takes a bit of a wrong turn, Angela runs away to Maine.

Things don't go the way she expected but she decides to stay in Maine anyway. As she settles into the community, she finds her way back into the kitchen. This is where she ignites her fires for cooking again.  She decides to take her Nonna's recipes and teach classes off of them. This is where she finds her niche and her friends.

Each one in the friends in her cooking classes has something they are trying to get away from or someone they are trying to get over. Over the course of the classes, they each begin to reveal a bit of themselves. There is one character where I was a bit taken back about her reveal but it was nice to see that not everything was going exactly the way I thought.

I liked Angela but I also thought that she didn't want to face the things that went wrong and take ownership of her part in those issues. She's been independent but she's just been floating a long in life. It is living simply in Maine that makes her take stock of her life and her choices.

This is my first Christina Baker Kline novel (I didn't jump on the Orphan Train ride) and while I enjoyed it, it didn't blow me out of the water. I would probably read another one of her books but I might look for something with a bit more substance.



Michelle S January 29, 2015 at 12:28 PM  

Well. I was questioning whether I should read this one or not - I did jump on the Orphan Train ride. However, I'm pretty sure you convinced me that I am okay with having ignored it. My wallet and my bookshelves thank you.

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