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Book Review “The Life She Wants” by Robyn Carr

New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr’s latest book, The Life She Wants will be released on September 27.  This is the story of a woman who thought she had it all – wealthy, handsome husband, beautiful apartment in New York City and an island retreat.  When the life her stockbroker husband built on a flimsy (and illegal) foundation comes crashing down around her, Emma Shay Compton realizes that everything she thought she had was tarnished.

After her husband commits suicide in their apartment Emma, left with nothing but a few mementos and a lifetime of rapidly dimming memories heads home to the small town in Sonoma County where she grew up.  Unfortunately, her hometown holds a mixed bag of memories for her including the death of her beloved father and bitter betrayal at the hands of her best friend, so it takes Emma some time before she begins to feel at home, back home.

There are parts of Emma’s story that pay homage to the Cinderella story – wicked stepmother, a step sister and a half sister who are favored, and Emma does meet and marry her prince charming.  The rest of the story takes a life of its own and develops into a tale of love, loss, friendship, and passion.  Emma is likable, and you want her to succeed despite her missteps.

The other characters are also well developed, Emma’s childhood friend Riley, in particular, and it is hard not to feel as though you’ve actually met these women or at least women just like them in your own life.  The story is well paced and even though it unfolds in the expected manner, it is a joy to read through to the end.  This is a perfect book for a chilly fall afternoon in front of the fire or even a sunny beach vacation read, and although you can put it down and pick it up without losing the thread of the story, you won’t want to!

I urge everyone who enjoys contemporary fiction to put The Life She Wants on your reading list.  You won’t be sorry.

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