My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I enjoyed this sweet book about a mother of three who has been following her husband around as he chases his dreams and somewhere in the shuffle lost sight of who she is. With three boys under three years old, Lanie and her family move from Houston to Massachusetts so husband Peter can get one step closer to becoming a professional musician. The book opens on the day that Lanie decides to change her life.
Along Lanie's path to rediscovery are several characters that I enjoyed. The childless, "mean witch" who lives in the apartment downstairs and turns out not to be such a witch and becomes a great friend. The gorgeous ex-cheerleader who is just as thin as when Lanie knew her in high school who turns out to have her own problems that aren't apparent from her outward appearance. I also liked Peter, the slightly rumpled, shy-guy cute husband who has an endearing innocence and kindness about him.
Honestly the only characters I didn't really like are the children. They were just annoying to me. Even the parts where they were supposed to be sweet were annoying to me. And I did feel that the author hit every cliche available when it comes to anecdotes about kids and messes, pooping, walking in during sex, etc. Maybe this is because I have three children of my own and don't really want to read about them in my escape from reality time.
The message of this book is predictably that everyone is indeed beautiful, that the flaws we all have are markers on the trail of life. I like it when Lanie decides that she is happy being mom-sized, not teenage girl size, not even pre-baby size, because she is not that person anymore. The book inspired me to be more gentle with myself and others and realize that our imperfections are what make us interesting and real.
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