Yet another satisfying Claire Cook read, it is number three for me. Previously, I read Wild Water Walking Club, Seven Year Itch and was excited for the new release. I think Claire writes a solid summer vacation or staycation read. Although, I read the other two in other seasons, I think as you gather books this summer she should definitely be among them.
In Best Staged Plans the main character, Sandy Sullivan, is in the midst of a mid-life crisis of sorts. Sandy a home stager is set to stage the next chapter in her life somewhere other than the Boston suburbs. However, her husband Greg does not seem to be in any hurry nor her son Luke who has come back to the nest after college.
In an effort to shake things and up and in sheer frustration Sandy embarks upon a project that takes her away from the core of her frustration. Her best friend Denise comes up with an opportunity for Sandy of a lifetime. Her latest boyfriend acquired a dilapidated property that he wants to turn into a boutique hotel. Denise connects the two and Sandy is off to Atlanta on a three-month engagement.
One of the reasons Sandy was so quick to accept this challenge was that her daughter Shannon and her husband live in Atlanta. Sandy was looking forward to spending time with the member of her family that she is currently not frustrated with. Upon Sandy’s arrival she learns that her daughter is going to be switching places and heading to Boston for a work project. Sandy will be rooming with her son-in-law. This is definitely not what she bargained for.
The tips that Sandy offers throughout the book about staging homes and then decorating the boutique hotel are so interesting. If you are a HGTV or DIY person you will love these segments too. There are two pages at the end of the book that offer tips on staging, I can only imagine the adventure of doing this research and wish I could have been a fly on the wall.
Throughout the book there is a thread about reading glasses. This thread continues throughout the book and definitely provides some laugh out loud moments. Who would have guessed reading glasses could be utilized in this way? If you are not going to have the opportunity to read this book, do visit Claire Cook’s website www.clairecook.com and click on “Readers for Readers”.
Even as a stager where she is in control, her life as it turns out is not under her control. For me, my takeaway was that you can never turn your back on that which is solid and good, maybe it is a “keeper” but just needs a shine, new coat of paint or some patience.
Claire has a way of touching you with her characters even if you cannot personally identify with the story that is unfolding. She writes about everyday people who could be you, a friend, a neighbor, your sister or mother and that is part of the magic that pulls you into her books.
Still want to know more watch the YouTube sneak peek to learn more, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LdVP57VkS0