|(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)|
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.
I think I'm addicted to Christina Baker Kline books. The Way Life Should Be is the fourth book of hers that I've read recently and I'm going to be reading another one of her novels next month. I can't help it! They are simply too good to pass up. And, I just really enjoy the way she tackles topics like family, friendship, love, self-discovery, and growing up. She writes about people and life with such ease and understanding, that you can't help but relate to the characters and their problems on some level.
In The Way Life Should Be, Angela is a young woman who is unhappy at work and unhappy in love. Her best friend is living in happily ever after daydreams, so why can't she? So, she decides to sign up on a dating website and immediately makes a match - with the first and only guy she talks to from the site! Crazy, eh? Well, apparently not, because after she gets fired from work (she screwed up BIG TIME) she decides to move to Maine to be with her new beau. I will admit that I found this to be rather hasty and naive, but I guess when you need change, you really need change. Funnily enough, Angela's daydreams of her online match reminded me of my friend Ann. In college, she would loan a guy her pencil and then easily imagine their next ten years together (china pattern to boot). I always thought she was being silly, but realize that she was also being open to the possibilities of love. Which is what Angela's big move to Maine shows - being open to the unknown.
The story takes us through Angela's journey of starting over - new place, new job, new friends, new romance, etc. Kline shows us the ups and downs that come with navigating the path to self-discovery through a cast of quirky characters, delicious sounding foods that made my mouth water, and little dramas scattered along the way. I will admit that I did think this book was a tad more breezy than Kline's usual dramatic fare, but in the end it was just what I needed. The Way Life Should Be was light, romantic, and fun - it was the perfect book to settle down with on a Saturday morning (along with a cuppa and chocolate croissant).
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