Review: Already Home by Susan Mallery

Already Home by Susan Mallery
Release Date: March 29th, 2011
Publisher: Mira (Harlequin)
Page Count: 368
Source: Borrowed audiobook from library; read for leisure

After nearly a decade as a sous-chef in a trendy eatery, Jenna is desperate for a change. She’s supported her ex-husband’s dreams for so long that she can’t even remember her own. Until she sees a for-lease sign near her parents’ home and envisions her very own cooking store.
Her crash course in business is aided by a streetwise store manager and Jenna’s adoptive mother. But just as she’s gaining a foothold in her new life, in walk her birth parents–aging hippies on a quest to reconnect with their firstborn.
Now Jenna must figure out how to reconcile the free-spirited Serenity and Tom with her traditional parents, deal with her feelings for a new love interest and decide what to do about her ex’s latest outrageous request. In the end, Jenna will find that there is no perfect family, only the people we love….

Advice: Have a box of Kleenex and a stash of chocolate handy!

Review: Already Home is my first read by Susan Mallery. It is NOT a romance novel but does have elements of romance woven in. Rather, it’s a book about relationships – family, friends, spousal, adoptive, and especially the inner self.

When I first started reading, I expected the story to be about one character and her life’s ups and downs. The story is so much more. Jenna, her new assistant, her mom, and her birth mom share equal parts of their lives as you read about Jenna’s failed marriage and her attempt to reconnect with her creative self. While she’s gaining self-confidence, her new assistant, Violet, is forging her career path after rough teenage years without any family to fall back on. Beth, Jenna’s mom, is dealing with the birth mother’s surprise intrusion into their lives and Serenity, the birth mom, is a free-spirit who wants to make up for years without memories.

While guys are mentioned and relationships with them explored, they aren’t the center of the story. The center is about change and forgiveness and growing. What do you do when your life is turned upside down? How do you find the strength to pick yourself up? Can a heart hold enough love for two families? A very enjoyable read that brought tears to my eyes.

Quote: “Maybe she could have two mothers.” Part 9 of audiobook

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