Monday, May 23, 2011

Blog Tour and Review: Here, Home, Hope by Kaira Rouda

First line: Here's how I knew something about my life had to change.

From the back cover: Kelly Mills Johnson becomes restless in her thirty-ninth year. An appetite for more forces her to take stock of her ordinary middle-American existence and her neighbors' seemingly perfect lives. Her marriage to a successful attorney has settled into a comfortable routine, and being the mother of two adorable sons has been rewarding but exhausting. Meanwhile, Kelly's own passions lie wasted. She eyes with envy the lives of her two best friends, Kathryn and Charlotte, both beautiful, successful businesswomen who seem to have it all. Suddenly energized, Kelly takes charge of her middling life, devising a midlife makeover plan to get out of neutral.

From page one, Kelly's witty reflections, self-deprecating humor, and clever tactics in executing that plan - she places Post-it notes all over her house and car - will have readers laughing out loud. The next instant, however, they might rant right along with Kelly as her commitment to a sullen, anorexic teenager left on her doorstep tries her patience or as she deflects the boozy advances of a divorced neighbor. Readers will connect emotionally, too, as Kelly repairs the damage she inflicted on a high school friend; realizes how deeply her husband, Patrick, understands and loves her; and ultimately grows into a woman empowered by her own blend of home and career.

Here, Home, Hope will surely appeal to readers of chick lit and other women's fiction titles who are ready to transition into something new in their own life.

My thoughts: I love when I read a book and it makes me evaluate choices I have made in my life. Here, Home, Hope did just that. I felt that many times throughout the book, I could completely relate to Kelly, the main character in the book. While I don't have children of my own, I do have an incredibly supportive and amazing husband that has allowed me to explore many different options these past two years. 

In Here, Home, Hope, Kaira Rouda explores the courage it takes to reevaluate present circumstances and to then find ways to reshape and reinvent life. It tackles a subject many women can identify with - what happens when the kids don't need you as much? When is it time to want more for yourself? Being an entrepreneur herself, the author was able to create Kelly - a life-like character, empowering her as she starts her own home staging business, reconnects with friends and helps solve the seemingly myriad problems in her friends' lives. While much of the book is quite humorous, it also tackles some serious emotional issues such as addiction and eating disorders. I laughed often at how Kelly tackled her mid-life crises and reinvention, cried when issues got real and emotional, and rooted for the characters all along - including the teenage anorexic that Kelly takes under her wing. One of my favorite parts of the book were the T2C notes (things to change) that Kelly writes them down and posts them throughout her house. I found them to be pretty inspiring and even thought of a few changes that I could make myself.

I found this to be a fast, quick-paced book and one that will definitely be finding a permanent spot on my bookshelf so I can refer back to that T2C list. The cover is also very appealing - hydrangeas, especially blue ones, are one of my favorite flowers! I look forward to reading more from Kaira Rouda.

About the author: Kaira Rouda is a former newspaper columnist, reporter, contributing magazine editor, and freelance writer for numerous regional and national publications. The previous author of Real You Incorporated (Wiley, 2008), Kaira created Real Living Real Estate, the first national women-focused brand in real estate and now the fastest growing international brand.

She is the recipient of Best Entrepreneur of 2008 from Stevie Awards for Women in Business, and Entrepreneur magazine placed Real Living on its “Top 50 Fastest-Growing, Women-Led Companies” list. During her twenty-year career in marketing, Kaira has received multiple ADDY, Webby, Telly, Communiator, Prism, WebAward, and W3 awards. She is one of Forbes’ top 30 women to follow on Twitter.  Here, Home, Hope is Kaira’s debut fiction novel.

 I received a complimentary copy of Here, Home, Hope by Kaira Rouda from Jessica at BookSparksPR  as part of the tour.


  1. It was good, wasn't it? I enjoyed your perspective, Kristin!

  2. Kristin, I'm so glad you enjoyed this book! I have it, too, and your positive review of it makes me want to read it sooner rather than later.


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