Kelly Johnson has it all - million dollar home, loving husband, two happy, healthy sons, loving friends and family, but as she's looking at her fortieth birthday, something is missing from her life. She hasn't worked since the boys were born - her husband is a successful law partner- and she gave up her PR job. There are a lot of things she'd like to change. To remind herself she puts up post-its with reminders throughout her home. (The list is pretty good and is printed in it's entirety at the end of the book)
Rouda tackles a subject many women can identify with. What happens when the kids don't need you as much? When is it time to want more for yourself? Using her own entrepreneurial background Rouda empowers Kelly as she starts her own home staging business, reconnects with friends and helps solve the seemingly myriad problems in her friends' lives. Spoilers ahead.
Unfortunately I found it really hard to connect with Kelly and crew. Her 'emergency blonding appointment' runs $295.00, she is worried about the six pounds she gains every summer when her two boys go away to camp in Maine for the summer. (It really shows on her 5'5' frame...)
"Did we all simply have too much time on our hands, we Grandville stay-at-home moms? What about the other six million women who stay at home full time? Did all of us use our time to judge one anther and feel fortunate, superior even, that we were the chosen ones, able to quit our jobs and be there for our kids? I wondered what the 74 million moms who work outside the home would think about these petty salvos."When Kathryn, one of her closest friends, asks Kelly to have her anorexic daughter Melanie stay with Kelly for part of the summer she agrees. Kelly also enlists the help of a former anorexic friend, Beth, who is now a counsellor, to help with Melanie. Beth is the mother of a 6 week old girl. But Melanie, who is under 16, attempts suicide.
Kelly - "The ER doctor had insisted a parent be called, and since they told me Melanie was stable, I decided not to call Kathryn right away. She still hadn't returned my call from the other night, and perhaps we could handle this situation better without her."Seriously? C'mon....
Kelly herself is a little weight obsessed....
"Afterward as we cuddled, Patrick complimented me on losing weight. I told him that having an anorexic around had prompted me to think about eating healthier through watching portion sizes and writing things down."
"I did a little dance in front of my full-length mirror and thought again about permanently adopting Mel and inviting Beth and her family to come live with us. I need to keep the people on the road to healthy eating around me. This could be way better than Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig. I could save money and spend it on clothes."When Kelly meets Beth's husband..
..."Beth's husband, Ryan - who seemed nice, dressed metrosexually, and was not necessarily gay, I decided -"Umm, isn't he the father of the 6 week old baby, and really, does the way someone dresses denote if they're gay?
There's more, but I'll stop. I think the idea Rouda is promoting is great...
"...something in my life had to change. What I also discovered was that I was the only one who could do it. Not having that realization was what held me back for so long. I was ready to rewrite Things to Change rule Number One. My life is up to me to define. I needed to make my own dreams come true."...but I think the delivery left something to be desired. I just found the careening from one crisis to another unbelievable and quite far fetched in some situations. I found the story to be almost a series of plot ideas on a whiteboard joined conveniently together. I never connected with Kelly and quite frankly found her annoying.
Read an excerpt of Here, Home, Hope. Find Rouda on Facebook and on Twitter.
For other opinions check out In Search of Balance, The Book Chick, ForeWord Reviews.