Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Review: Best Staged Plans by Claire Cook

First line: Okay, so I accidentally wrapped my reading glasses in one of the packages I mailed.

From the inside cover: As a professional home stager, Sandy Sullivan is an expert at transforming cluttered rooms into attractive houses ready for sale. If only reinventing her life were as easy as choosing the perfect paint color. She's eager to put her family's suburban Boston home on the market, to downsize, and to simplify her own life. But she must first deal with her foot-dragging husband and her grown son, who has moved back home after college to inhabit the basement "bat cave."

After reading them the riot act, Sandy takes a job staging a boutique hotel in Atlanta recently acquired by her best friend's boyfriend. The good news is that she can spend time with her recently married daughter, Shannon, in Atlanta. The bad is that Shannon finds herself heading to Boston for job training, leaving Sandy and her southern son-in-law, Chance, as reluctant roommates. If that's not complicated enough, Sandy begins to suspect that her best friend's boyfriend may be seeing another woman on the side.

Filled with characters who are fresh and original, yet recognizable enough to live in your neighborhood - plus plenty of great tips and tricks for fixing up houses, and lives - this is a wise and witty story of letting go and moving on. Best Staged Plans is Claire Cook at her most humorous and heartfelt.

My thoughts: Claire Cook is one of my favorite authors and I love jumping into her books. While they are categorized as chick lit, they always seem to have little life lessons thrown in. Best Staged Plans was no exception.

This is the story of a middle aged women who finds herself wondering if what she thought she always wanted is what she still wants now. Sandy Sullivan is a professional stager who is at a point in her life where she herself would like to do some reinventing of her own. Anxious to get her own house on the market, she is at odds with her husband and live-in adult son. After enough frustrating events, Sandy takes off to Atlanta to help out her best friend's boyfriend stage his boutique hotel in hopes that in her absence, husband and son will cooperate and get the house market ready.

Best Staged Plans is a humorous interpretation about life in your fifties and asks the question - What do I want to do now? It is filled with many tips on how to make a house look it's most appealing. I loved the idea of the Chocolate Hotel - if that were a real place, I would definitely be making a reservation there, no matter what town it was in!

(I borrowed this book from the library.)

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