“Here, Home, Hope” by Kaira Rouda

Description: Kelly Mills Johnson becomes restless in her thirty-ninth year. An appetite for more forces her to take stock of her ordinary middle-American existence and her neighbors’ seemingly perfect lives. Her marriage to a successful attorney has settled into a comfortable routine, and being the mother of two adorable sons has been rewarding but exhausting.

In Kaira Rouda’s debut novel, “Here, Home, Hope”, we follow a woman name Kelly Johnson. Her marriage to a successful attorney has settled into a comfortable routine, and being the mother of two adorable sons has been rewarding. But Kelly’s own passions lie wasted. She eyes with envy the lives of her two best friends, Kathryn and Charlotte, both beautiful, successful businesswomen who seem to have it all. Kelly takes charge of her life, devising a midlife makeover plan.

From page one, Kelly’s witty reflections, self-deprecating humor, and clever tactics in executing that plan–she places Post-it notes all over her house and car–and truly had me laughing out loud. The next instant, however, you find yourself wondering why she has made a commitment to a sullen, anorexic teenager left on her doorstep; who tries her patience and deflects the boozy advances of a divorced neighbor. You will need to keep the tissue box handy, too, as Kelly repairs the damage she inflicted on a high school friend; realizes how deeply her husband, Patrick, understands and loves her; and ultimately grows into a woman empowered by her own blend of home and career.

Here, Home, Hope will surely appeal to readers of chick lit and other women’s fiction titles who are ready to transition into something new in their own life.

My Review: Some people observe objects and places and things. Some people observe people, and some people observe life. Kaira Rouda is one author who knows how to observe life, and it is clearly portrayed through the main character, Kelly Johnson, of her debut contemporary novel.

The perfect time to take in a troubled teenage girl whose parents act like she doesn’t exist, even when one of the parents (the mother) is your best friend, is right amid your midlife crisis. I mean, what else could be better?

Kelly Johnson is just beginning to re-evaluate her life as a full-time stay-at-home mom, suddenly realizing she has the potential to be something greater. With the determination to take on a job in real estate, but still be the same loving mother to her two preteen sons, Kelly thinks she has it all figured out. Until Melanie — fifteen, unsatisfied, and anorexic — walks into her life.

Kelly’s never encountered any situation as big or as serious as this. And as she begins to realize the truth about adult selfishness and the power of the helping hand, Kelly learns more than to take care of a distant teenage girl; she learns to take care of herself.

It was really touching how Kelly managed to really affect Melanie. The character progression was astounding; Melanie starts off snooty and unlikeable, but evolves into a sweet, understanding young lady who knows more than she leads on.

I loved this book. It was nice to read a secular book that isn’t raunchy, dirty mouthed and yet lifts up women and encourages them to take charge of their lives with positive steps. I am really looking forward to reading more books from this author in the future!

Who is this book for?
This book is for adults. Teens won’t have any understanding of the crises in Kelly’s life and also her friends – but then again they would understand what Mel (the anorexic teen) is feeling and would sympathize with her feelings and situation. There are discussion questions at the end of the book and it is an ideal book for a book club.

If you would like to learn more about the book, you can view the book trailer here via Youtube. You can also visit with Kaira Rouda at one of her book signings this summer, since she is on tour 🙂 This book is available for purchase at most local book stores, and Amazon too!

You can follow Kaira Rouda on Twitter and Facebook.

Post published by Melissa Roach, our new Product Review & Giveaway Specialist.
Melissa is a Full Time Mom & Blogger
HERE (please check out her blog!)

Disclosure: I was provided with a digital copy of this book in order to write this review. I participated in this campaign as a member of One2One Network and am eligible for a prize drawing. All opinions stated in the post are my own.

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