The three most important parts of a book are: a well constructed plot, compelling characters, and a satisfying conclusion.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman

Publisher:  Bantam
Release Date:  July 22, 2013
Pages:  368
The Life List by Lori  Nelson Spielman

About the Book:  In this utterly charming debut — one woman sets out to complete her old list of childhood goals, and finds that her lifelong dreams lead her down a path she never expects.

1. Go to Paris
2. Perform live, on a super big stage
3. Have a baby, maybe two
4. Fall in love 

Brett Bohlinger has forgotten all about the list of life goals she’d written as a na├»ve teenager. In fact, at thirty-four, Brett seems to have it all—a plum job at her family’s multimillion-dollar company and a spacious loft with her irresistibly handsome boyfriend. But when her beloved mother, Elizabeth, passes away, Brett’s world is turned upside down. Rather than simply naming her daughter the new CEO of Bohlinger Cosmetics, Elizabeth’s will comes with one big stipulation: Brett must fulfill the list of childhood dreams she made so long ago. 

Grief-stricken, Brett can barely make sense of her mother’s decision. Some of her old hopes seem impossible. How can she possibly have a relationship with a father who died seven years ago? Other dreams (Be an awesome teacher!) would require her to reinvent her entire future. For each goal attempted, her mother has left behind a bittersweet letter, offering words of wisdom, warmth, and—just when Brett needs it—tough love. 

As Brett struggles to complete her abandoned life list, one thing becomes clear: Sometimes life’s sweetest gifts can be found in the most unexpected places.

Wanda's Review:  Elizabeth Bohlinger, an extraordinary woman, mother, grandmother, and friend, was a remarkable woman who touched so many lives so profoundly. And now she was gone, her diagnosis and death had come so quickly. 

Brett, age 34, is the only one of the Bohlinger children who is single. Brett assumes she will become president of Bohlinger Cosmetics and she is not feeling confident that she can handle it. The company had become a mutltmillion dollar enterprise largely because of Catherine, Brett's sister-in-law, who was vice president and very competent with a good head for business. Brett is humiliated when the will is read and Catherine inherits her mother's shares of Bohlinger Cosmetics, making Catherine the CEO of the company. But, the biggest shock is when Brett finds out she must complete a life list before she receives her inheritance - a list of goals written by Brett when she was 14 years old - a ludicrous list that will mean major life revisions. And the story unfolds ---

Brett was a lovable character with a genuine sweetness about her, but her life seemed to be lacking a basic human need called love. Her mom took a huge gamble, trying to fix Brett's life. She wanted to ensure Brett's happiness and was calling all the shots for each scene in her life by forcing Brett to venture out of her comfort zone and complete this list. 

Quote from the book - "There will be another sky, my love, just you wait."

This beautifully structured story touched my heart. The story was brought to life by the unique characters and I enjoyed the splashes of humor spread throughout. I also felt the sadness of Brett's loss of her mother - very poignant. And all the loose ends were tied up neatly at the end. Just an incredible debut novel by an amazing writer! Most definitely a favorite for 2013 with a 5 star rating. Don't miss this one.  

The Author:
Lori  Nelson Spielman