Monday, January 28, 2013

Somebody to Love - Kristan Higgins

One night this summer, I posted on Facebook that I needed a new book to read. A friend suggested Somebody to Love by Kristan Higgins. It was 10:00 at night, but it was summer; I downloaded it, thinking, "I'll read a chapter or two, then sit outside in the sunshine and read more tomorrow." Next thing I knew, it was 4 AM and I was finishing the book. It's the first time I've gone c2c (cover to cover) with a book in a LONG time.

Parker Welles lives in her posh Newport mansion with her son. Her son's father is one of her best friends, and is married to Parker's other best friend. She writes these horrible, saccharin-sweet children's books, but donates all of the proceeds since she is able to live in her father's mansion, supported by her father's money. Until her father is convicted of stealing people's investments, and her home and almost everything in it are taken away. No worries - she finds out she inherited a home in Maine from a distant aunt. Except "home" is a gross overstatement. It's more of a tumble-down shack, but it's all she has. With her son on a trip with his Dad and his wife, Parker goes to Maine to salvage as much of the house as she can. Fortunately, she's not alone. Unfortunately, her helper is her father's attorney, who she unaffectionately refers to as "Thing One." Fortunately, for all of us as readers, she changes her opinion of James, ending with what might be one of the greatest final chapters I have ever read in my entire life.

Like many of the romance books I enjoy, Somebody to Love goes beyond a boy-meets-girl love story. Both Parker and James have complicated relationships with their fathers as well as their mothers. These complications are unfolded carefully throughout the narrative, not splattered in front of us from page one. Relationships get turned on their heads; like real life, many of the characters aren't who they seemed at first. The book makes you think about who has the power in a relationship - partner, child, parent, sibling - and what that power entails. It also helps us remember that, no matter what is happening around you, trust and love are the most important things. If you have those, everything else gets figured out later.

I give this book four hearts; I hope you enjoy Parker and James as much as I do!

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