Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Life She Wants by Robyn Carr

Paperback, 368 pages
Expected publication: September 27th 2016 by Mira

#1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr creates an emotional and uplifting ensemble of characters in this rags-to-riches-to-rags novel about women, friendship and the complex path to happiness 

In the aftermath of her financier husband's suicide, Emma Shay Compton's dream life is shattered. Richard Compton stole his clients' life savings to fund a lavish life in New York City and, although she was never involved in the business, Emma bears the burden of her husband's crimes. She is left with nothing.

Only one friend stands by her, a friend she's known since high school, who encourages her to come home to Sonoma County. But starting over isn't easy, and Sonoma is full of unhappy memories, too. And people she'd rather not face, especially Riley Kerrigan.

Riley and Emma were like sisters—until Riley betrayed Emma, ending their friendship. Emma left town, planning to never look back. Now, trying to stand on her own two feet, Emma can't escape her husband's reputation and is forced to turn to the last person she thought she'd ever ask for help—her former best friend. It's an uneasy reunion as both women face the mistakes they've made over the years. Only if they find a way to forgive each other—and themselves—can each of them find the life she wants.

My Thoughts…

Robyn Carr wrote a story that is full of so much emotion.   There are second chances, renewed friendships, and strong women characters within this story.    Emma Shay and Riley were best friends who had a falling out of a guy and never managed to reconnect until Emma comes back home after her husband kills himself.     The mess Emma is left with comes as a shock and changes her entire life.   I loved Emma.   The strength, the power, and the ability to stand on her own two feet made her so very strong.      While most women would fall apart and play the poor me card whenever they could Emma decides to come out on top and make a life for herself.   She does that and so much more.  

Riley is equally as strong.    Growing up poor, without a father, and then becoming a single mother is not an easy life.   Yet, Riley proves she has what she takes to make something of herself.   She takes a house cleaning business and builds it into a successful business.     I really enjoyed how she respected her employees.   She catered to the working and single parents; she understood the life’s that they led and what they needed to be employed successfully.    But what really stuck with me is when she started to realize what she was missing in her life.   She began to understand what was important and what needed to be changed to be able to become successful and happy.    I think this is a lesson for many parents’ not just single parents. 

There were other relationships within this story but Emma and Riley’s is the one that I enjoyed the most.   Adam and Emma were great together, Riley and Jock’s was interesting, but the best friend relationship is what really talked to me the most.    

I recommend picking up your own copy of The Life She Wants.

Book Links

 Meet Robyn Carr…
 “I’m frequently asked what it is about my stories that make them so popular. I think it’s the sense of community and that combination of romance and women’s fiction,” says author Robyn Carr. “I’m naturally drawn to strong, capable female characters, and when I begin a story, I ask myself, ‘What is she up against?’ It’s very empowering to read about women like ourselves as they resolve the issues that threaten their happiness and peace of mind. It’s also empowering to watch smart women choosing and falling in love with men of honor and integrity.”

 The author of more than 40 novels, Robyn reaches a wide audience with her writing. In addition to her touching novels, she’s written historical and contemporary romance, as well as a gripping thriller. “This is the best job I’m ever going to get wearing pajamas,” she says of her writing career.

Originally from Minnesota, Robyn and her family have seen much of the country, thanks to her husband, Jim, and his career in aviation. After the two high school sweethearts married, Jim joined the air force. They’ve lived in Texas—all four corners—Alabama, Florida, California, Utah, Arizona and Nevada. The couple moved to Henderson, Nevada, so Jim could explore a new business opportunity. “At first, being a Midwest girl at heart, I said, ‘Oh, no, not another desert!’ It didn’t take me long to fall in love with the beauty of Nevada—and the unrivaled spectacle of Las Vegas!”

Robyn well remembers how she began her career as an author more than 25 years ago. “I was trained as a nurse but found it impossible to get work because my husband was constantly being transferred. At the time, I was reading a lot of genre fiction for the sheer entertainment value, and I thought to myself, ‘I can write this!’”

 And how was her first foray into the world of literature received? “It was universally panned. I thought I had written Gone with the Wind, but in actuality it was complete trash.” In fact, it was on her third try that Robyn finally succeeded in becoming a published author. Now that Robyn’s two children are grown—and finally out of the house—she has the luxury of a little free time. “Until my kids grew up, I didn’t realize that a person could have hobbies other than laundry,” she jokes. But it turns out not to be hobbies that keep Robyn busy when she isn’t writing— she has found her niche in community service.

She has mentored a seniors’ memoir-writing group, attends book club chats in and out of state whenever possible and is working with her local library on the Carr Chat Series, a program centered on fund-raising and visiting-author events that bring writers, their books and the community together. “It is the people in my life that fill the well,” she says. “Especially the people who share my love for books and writing.” 

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