Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Life She Wants - Robin Carr

Title: The Life She Wants
Author: Robin Carr
Format: Audiobook

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.

I read this book on a whim, looking for something that was what I like to call a "fluff" read.  While this book wasn't complete fluff, it had some of that aspect.  What I mean by that is the book had a sort of light plot that didn't get into a lot of deep issues, and characters that felt similar. 

While the story was somewhat intriguing, I also found myself disappointed at the fact that all the main characters were, like so many books, just white and blonde and the same.  And all the characters of color were described as being what white people expect people of color to be.  There was no real development of those characters as real people with real lives who mattered. 

From the description, you may think that the book is too deep to be a "fluff" book, and I guess in some respects it is.  BUT, let me tell you why I would still label it as at least more fluff than not.  Emma is dealing with a crappy marriage to man who stole millions of dollars from people, then, in the heat of the investigation, committed suicide.  Emma has a lot to deal with when it comes to her relationship and her now dead husband.  But she never actually really deals with her issues.  She thinks about them.  She talks about them.  But she never really gets into the nitty gritty of what happened to her, and she never deals with or copes with her problems.  The same could be said for Riley, and the relationship she has/had with Emma.  They spend the entire book dancing around the subject of Riley and Jock sleeping together even when Jock was still with Riley - but they never really solve the issue.  It was just like one day it was a problem, then bam - the next day everything was better.  Part of that was because Riley did realize she was the biggest part of the problem in that she wasn't willing to let anything go.  But mostly it just felt like everything had to get wrapped up neatly because the book was ending.

I really wanted to see Emma and Riley do more with making up and talking about what had happened in the past, but I never got it.  I also wanted the author to delve more into Emma and helping her work through her shit - and I almost got my hopes up when Emma started seeing a counselor, but then that just stopped.  There was no.... resolution with the Emma/my husband is dead thing.  It was frustrating.  

Overall, I think I would rate this book 3 stars.  Read it if you want, but don't expect anything drop dead spectacular. 

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