Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Best Staged Plans

I know, I know, I've been dreadful about writing book reviews.  I've been dreadful about blogging in general.  But this week I'm having a lovely, restful vacation and one of my goals (aside from doing a lot of reading) is to get some book reviews up.

So, here's the book I read yesterday as I sat outside on the deck in the sunshine: Best Staged Plans by Claire Cook.  It was the perfect vacation read, to my mind:  entertaining, not too complex, reflective on some things with touches of humor.  You might know Claire Cook from "Must Love Dogs" which got turned into a movie (where John Cusack had virtually no romantic chemistry with Diane Lane but oh, well...)

At any rate, in "Best Staged Plans," narrator Sandra Sullivan stages homes for a living but is having a difficult time getting her husband to make progress on the plans they made to sell their home so they can start their post-children, newly-free life phase.  Sandra wonders whether she'd be better off single in the second phase of her life, and while she contemplates this question, she heads off for a property staging job in Atlanta.  She gets to know her new son in law, helps her best friend through a romantic mess, and contemplates how to stage her own life. 

I suppose this book will appeal to middle aged women, and I must say that I related to Sandra's mid-life crisis musings.  Where do I go next?  What am I now?  Who ARE these people I'm sharing my life with? Whether it resonates personally or not, Sandra's voice is funny and charming and many musings on family life will entertain.  I especially liked her thoughts about the art of "assembling" (as opposed to cooking ) which she does by fancifying premade meals from Trader Joe's and hiding the packages. 

It was a good vacation novel.  I'd rate it 3.5 stars out of 5.

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