Amazon.com Book Description:
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 news 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.
My Book Review:
As soon as I started reading The Best Staged Plans, I knew that I was going to love this book! This is the first book that I have read from author Claire Cook, and she didn't leave me disappointed. The way she setup the storyline with characters such as Sandy and Denise makes it so easy to relate to them, it's as if Ms. Cook had been looking into my life! I found myself laughing so hard throughout the book, it made it really hard to put the book down, I just had to finish reading it! Sandy's interaction with the ponytail postal clerk dude was hysterical, I could actually see myself reacting to the dude in the same way. Sandy and Denise's escapade in Atlanta with Denise's wayward boyfriend made me think of some of the crazy stunts that I have done with my BFFs. One lesson to learn from their escapades, never ever mess with scorned women, you never know what they're capable of doing! The most heartwarming part of the story for me was when Sandy helped the homeless Naomi get back onto her feet. This part of the story made me stop and think, it made me appreciate and count my blessings, and it brought my compassionate side out. It reminded me that there are less fortunate people out there who need our help, so we should all strive to pay it forward and lend a helping hand to those in need. I would love to see Ms. Cook write a sequel to this book highlighting Naomi's story with a cameo appearance from Sandy and Denise. I loved how Ms. Cook provided some very neat educational details for her readers such as: how to declutter, redecorate and stage your house; in addition to providing us with some delicious recipe ideas that I know I'll have to try! I was intrigued by how Sandy staged the boutique hotel Hot Chocolate in Atlanta. I would love to visit that hotel with it's decadent decor and chocolate frills! Finally, Ms. Cook provided a very real view into family dynamics, especially the varying generations ... the memories of mood rings and Friday night family games took me back down the path of my childhood. This book was so much fun to read, so add this book to your summer beach list, you won't be disappointed!
RATING: 5 STARS *****