Title: Already Home
Author: Susan Mallery
Publish Date: April 2011
Publisher: Mira Books
The main character, Jenna, is going through a rough time in her life with the loss of her husband, loss of her career and feeling like the loss of herself. On a whim, she uses her divorce settlement to buy a building and turn it into a cooking store. She hires some help with retail experience, Violet and after much struggles actual starts to find a direct for the store to go in. Right as things start to settle her birth parents show up and all the drama breaks loose.
I enjoyed this book. It was entertaining. The opening of the cooking store got my attention from the get-go. I love this kind of thing - the creativeness, the inventing of new ideas and how to make things work. I loved the comradeship among Jenna and Violet. Every time I read something about Beth, Jenna's mother, I wanted to sob and call my mother. Beth was probably my favorite character with Dragon, Jenna's birth brother, a close second. The differences in personalities was nice too.
Overall though, found the book a bit depressing as far as women and the way Jenna felt about herself. I agree that after a divorce and giving your entire self over to your ex husband, it can be quite the trial to find out how to fix things and live again, but I felt like Jenna got a little whiny. I read recently that women writers tend to make men in their novels less manly (no farting, belching and butt scratching type of stuff) in order to make the store more enjoyable and I get the feeling this novel was a bit too emotionally, stereotypical woman. On one hand, I really felt for Jenna and the pull between her adopted mother and her birth mother, but on the other, I kept wondering why doesn't she speak up and ask for space. Why doesn't she push for more concrete answers? It frustrated me even though I had a pretty good idea why and what would happen.
I also wasn't too thrilled with the way the story held little to no surprises. I can enjoy a book that lays it out in front of me, but I knew way before any of it occurred, what was actually going to happen. Bummer. It was a bit of a strain to read sometimes.
Don't get me wrong. This book would be a great vacation type of book - very light-hearted, but all in all I was a little disappointed.