Recently the book club I am in did its 2nd annual book swap. This is not like a swap meet where you go to buy and choose the things you like. This is “book swap” as in you get handed a book by someone else and you’re stuck with it. You must read it. Each year, The Bookies are asked to bring a favorite book of theirs all wrapped up. These books are put in a pile and we take turns choosing a book out of the pile without knowing what we are getting or from whom.
Everyone in our book club has vastly different tastes in books which I think is one of the things that makes us so successful. Many different opinions makes for very good book discussions. And while you may not always agree with those opinions, you respect them and learn from them. But, it can make a book swap a little scary!
This year the book I picked out of a pile of wrapped up books was Susan Mallery’s Already Home. Not as scary as a few of the other books that got picked…but not really my type of book. It looked like a straight up starry eyed romance. But I have learned to never judge a book by it’s cover! 🙂
Already Home had me almost from the beginning. The author’s writing style flowed so easily. It was simple to consume large amounts of text at one sitting. But even better than the ease with which the words flowed was the strength of her characters. I knew them and I loved them right away.
Already Home is about a woman named Jenna who left California to move back home to Texas after a divorce that shook her confidence. Without thinking, she signs a three year lease on a retail establishment intending for it to become a kitchen store before she remembers she has no retail experience. She’s just a chef, and questioning whether she’s even a good one.
Shortly after she opens her store a couple walks in and introduces themselves as her birth parents; people she has never had any desire to reconnect with because she loves Beth and Marshall, her adoptive parents unconditionally. This kind of shakes her world.
Along with all of this, there is a strong subplot going. Her employee Violet meets up with a man who is different then the bad boys she’s used to being involved with and she sets out to impress him.
I was emotionally invested in each of these characters. From her loving adoptive mom Beth who encourages her to spend time getting to know her kooky, kind of hippy birth mother Serenity, to her employee Violet who becomes her best friend and part of the family. Each character had a warmth about them that I cherished.
I enjoyed this year’s book swap. Hopefully, the book I put into another’s hand will be as loved as this one was. 4/5 stars