I don’t know about you, but my friends and I are not perfect. In fact, it is their imperfections that I like and respond to because I know that since we’re not perfect, our relationships can be based on the reality of who we are. If I perceived my friends as perfect, I don’t know that I would be friends with them. It’s a lot of pressure trying to measure up to perfect friends.
Perfection appears to be a running theme in the chick-lit release Here, Home, Hope, a novel by Kaira Rouda. Kelly Johnson is nearing her 40th birthday. A perfect, successful husband and two perfect sons. But she feels as if her life is not perfect and as if she is missing something. She knows that an empty nest is approaching a few short years after she celebrates her big 4-0 and she knows she needs something that will fulfill her, as well as fill her time. So Kelly does what we all do. She looks to her friends, specifically Kathryn and Charlotte, for guidance and inspiration. After all, they seem, well, so perfect and successful. In many ways, Here, Home, Hope brings us and Kelly, the quintessential suburban mom, along on a journey to question and re-evaluate her view of her midlife crisis.
And the journey, involving many of the struggles many of us face at home or with friends, is interesting and real. Except for the belief Kelly has that everyone–except her–seems to have a perfect life.
Kelly, in viewing her role models, uncovers and speaks of fissures that course through her friends and neighbors’ lives. Yep, the family across the street: not so perfect. Some of her friends: not such perfect marriages. Their kids, eh, not so perfect. This crumbling of the illusion she has is the saving grace for Kelly. And her process is fairly entertaining and approachable, as she reminds herself throughout the novel of Things to Change (or T2C). We watch Kelly grow and learn and accept. So that when the reader reaches the growing list of T2C that Kelly has been acquiring, we realize that Rouda has taken us on our own journey to show us universal tools for change to help empower women. Rouda wants women to feel empowered, even if they start with a view of themselves as imperfect in contrast to others.
The Kindle advanced review copy I read was provided by the One2One Network for the purposes of this review.