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Already Home, Susan Mallery

After nearly a decade as a sous-chef in a trendy eatery, Jenna is desperate for a change. She’s supported her ex-husband’s dreams for so long that she can’t even remember her own. Until she sees a for-lease sign near her parents’ home and envisions her very own cooking store.

Her crash course in business is aided by a streetwise store manager and Jenna’s adoptive mother. But just as she’s gaining a foothold in her new life, in walk her birth parents—aging hippies on a quest to reconnect with their firstborn.

Now Jenna must figure out how to reconcile the free-spirited Serenity and Tom with her traditional parents, deal with her feelings for a new love interest and decide what to do about her ex’s latest outrageous request. In the end, Jenna will find that there is no perfect family, only the people we love….

The Review:

Seeing as I was adopted myself, I was particularly interested in this book, and I nearly fell off my bed when I saw that the egalley was offered at netgalley.com.

Like the main character, Jenna, I too was thrown a curve ball when my biological family suddenly showed up out of nowhere. With a lot of personal experience on the subject, I can say that Mallery nails the turmoil of the situation. The warring emotions displayed in the writing are engaging, relatable, and impressively dead on. In this kind of situation there are so many emotions it’s like a web of confusion. I  was pleasantly surprised at how well Mallery expressed them through this story.

Even though the biological parents are universe-talking, vegan people, there isn’t some mystical bond between Jenna and them. At least not on Jenna’s end. Jenna doesn’t feel a bond, and quite frankly doesn’t want one. I loved this aspect, because in truth it really doesn’t work that way in the real world. By rule of thumb, most of these situations are not an Oprah show moment. Usually they are awkward and miserable. Fortunately for us readers, Mallery is a clever writer who takes Jenna’s awkward misery and turns it into a a comedic triangle between her and both her mothers.

Beyond Jenna, there is a wonderful secondary character, Violet. Thank goodness Mallery gave Violet a lot of page time! It saved me the time of having to petition for Violet to have her own book. Violet has a story all on her own. A well-written one that doesn’t take over, but has it’s own spotlight. In a different way Violet is looking for the same thing Jenna is. Jenna just doesn’t realizes what she’s looking for, where as Violet knows but doesn’t think she deserves it.

Then there are the parents, the biological parents, new brothers, and love interests for Jenna and Violet. It’s a large cast of the normal, the damaged, and the weird. All of which make for a great tear jerker mixed with humor, a bit of danger, a pinch of heat, and a lesson in opening up to all the possibilities.

P.S. There’s a swoon worthy Dragon in the story… be on the look out!

*Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

5/5   

Already Home releases on March 29, 2011. Check it out on Susan Mallery’s website, and you can pre-order a copy at the following: BordersB & N | AmazonAudio & eBook


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6 Responses

  1. Ooh. I think I need to check this one out. “A large cast of the normal, the deranged and the weird” sounds like it’s right up my alley.

  2. I actually thought of you, because of how big the cast is. Yours has more romance than this though. This is most definitely women’s fiction. I can definitely see the difference. I had to switch gears in my head for it.

  3. Wow, thank you so much for the well written review. I’m especially thrilled to hear that you related so strongly with Jenna’s ambiguous emotions about meeting her birth parents. That means a lot. I’ve posted a link to your review on my Facebook page and on my website.

  4. I think I scared the day lights out of my children, because I squealed so loudly. This just made my YEAR!

  5. Hey Posey girl! You are going to turn me into a romance ready chic yet, aren’t you? 🙂 This sounds great! Can’t wait to check it out!

    I squealed too! 😉

  6. Thanks, Julie!

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