Monday, May 23, 2011

Review: Here, Home, Hope

Thanks to the One2One Network, I recently had the opportunity to review a great new debut novel by author Kaira Rouda called Here, Home, Hope! I really enjoyed this story, and would definitely recommend it to others!

Here is what the author's website says about the book:
"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. Kelly takes charge of her life, devising a midlife makeover plan."

This book really spoke to me, as the main character is about the same age as me. Though I'm not a stay at home mom and haven't had some of the life experiences she has had, I still can relate to some of the emotions she feels at this given stage of life. I have been through several bouts of depression, much like Kelly experiences in the book. I really liked the following description that her counselor gives of depression, and the effect medication has on the person in a depressed state:
"I like to explain depression like this. Imagine your brain as a bathtub, and it's unusually filled all the way to the top with endorphins. In a depressed person, the brain alone can fill the bathtub only halfway. With medicine, the brain is then able to fill the bathtub all the way to the top. The medicine will help you continuously fill the tub back up until you can do it yourself."

Rouda has several very well-worded descriptions of the characters to which I could relate, like when she has Kelly reminiscing on herself as the Engergizer Bunny going and going, but perhaps masking underlying unhappiness with constant motion. Another favorite is Kelly questioning why busy wives and mothers don't reach out to their friends in times of emotional pain and distress.

This book would be invaluable to anyone who has a loved one battling an eating disorder similar to that which the character Melanie is undergoing. The advice given and descriptions of Mel's inner struggles feel very real. The only suggestion I might make would be concerning her description of Mel's suicide attempt. However, I realize that this might be because it is one part of the story I can relate to from personal experience. Admittedly, my own experience may be coloring my judgement on this part of the story.

I have overwhelmingly positive feelings about this novel. I had trouble putting this book down, and I don't find many books I can say that about lately! Pleasw do check out the author's website, become her fan on Facebook, or follow her on twitter!

Still not convinced to read the book? Check out this trailer!

I promise you won't be disappointed!

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