Customer Reviews for

Here, Home, Hope

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Great Book

I really loved this book. It is not the kind of book that I have been reading lately, you know one of those true escapism books to just get away from real life. Instead this book touches on so many facets of my real life right now it was amazing to see how others could...
I really loved this book. It is not the kind of book that I have been reading lately, you know one of those true escapism books to just get away from real life. Instead this book touches on so many facets of my real life right now it was amazing to see how others could handle things, Like Kelly I am getting close to that 40 mark, and in the process of re0inventing myself. Like Katherine and Charlotte I just finally finalized my divorce, after 2.5 years we were both ready for things to be over. The concept of staging houses to sell is something I am looking into since I am also selling my current home, living here 13 years we have tons of junk that we are going through and trying to find the right way to live here and show the place can be tricky. I also have a moody teenage son that is a chore and a delight to handle, though thankfully he has no where near as serious problems as Melanie does.

All in all anyone who is going through a midlife crises, or just changing and trying to reconstruct themselves I recommend this book. I plan on passing it along to my mom, and then on to some of my other friends, if that is any indication of how much I really did like this book.

posted by tracysnook on May 23, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

A Disappointment

After reading the previous reviews (interestingly, all written within a one week period of one another,) I expected Here, Home, Hope to be far more engaging and enjoyable than it was. Instead, I felt completely disconnected from the characters - I couldn't identify wit...
After reading the previous reviews (interestingly, all written within a one week period of one another,) I expected Here, Home, Hope to be far more engaging and enjoyable than it was. Instead, I felt completely disconnected from the characters - I couldn't identify with Kelly (despite being a 30-something myself who should have plenty in common with her), and it was honestly a struggle to get through the book. The storylines were nothing new. In fact, they rang eerily similar to those of other books in the same genre, just less enticing - a woman keeping a list of things to change about herself, a friendship which is tested because of differences in morality, a young woman struggling with body-image and and eating disorder. On the surface, these seem like compelling storylines, but they simply don't pull the reader in. There was ample opportunity for Here, Home, Hope to be more interesting, but instead it felt very much like being on the outside of a series of "you had to be there" moments - you can appreciate what's being said, but you never truly feel that you're getting a full picture of the lives of these characters. I'm glad I didn't spend a great deal on this book.

posted by Steph_In_Denver on December 29, 2011

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  • Posted June 8, 2011

    Wonderful book

    Being 39 myself, I can definitely find a friend in Kelly Mills Johnson. I too have started to wonder whether or not I am really doing the right thing with my life. I guess women do go through midlife crisis as well as men do. We just hide it a little better. We tend to push down our feelings and pour ourselves into our families.

    This book takes us on the journey of Kelly who has decided that she can no longer push back those feelings. She is ready to try to find out what she wants with her life.

    This was truly a wonderfully written book. It definitely encourages readers to open up their lives to more then what is currently in them. I know that I will be reexamining what I find important and what I plan to do with the next 10, 20, or even 30 years of my life.

    In fact, Kelly has inspired me to start making a Things to Change list. I know how Bucket lists were all the rage a few years back. Well, this book will have everyone wanting to make Things to Change lists. This is a list of things in your life that you are wanting to change. It could be in regards to your job, your house, your family, your friends, your clothes, your weight, anything that you don't feel satisfied with. Then slowly work your way through your list to make a more positive change in your life.

    In conjunction with the Wakela's World Disclosure Statement, I received a product in order to enable my review. No other compensation has been received. My statements are an honest account of my experience with the brand. The opinions stated here are mine alone.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Book

    I really loved this book. It is not the kind of book that I have been reading lately, you know one of those true escapism books to just get away from real life. Instead this book touches on so many facets of my real life right now it was amazing to see how others could handle things, Like Kelly I am getting close to that 40 mark, and in the process of re0inventing myself. Like Katherine and Charlotte I just finally finalized my divorce, after 2.5 years we were both ready for things to be over. The concept of staging houses to sell is something I am looking into since I am also selling my current home, living here 13 years we have tons of junk that we are going through and trying to find the right way to live here and show the place can be tricky. I also have a moody teenage son that is a chore and a delight to handle, though thankfully he has no where near as serious problems as Melanie does.

    All in all anyone who is going through a midlife crises, or just changing and trying to reconstruct themselves I recommend this book. I plan on passing it along to my mom, and then on to some of my other friends, if that is any indication of how much I really did like this book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 9, 2011

    Great BOOK!

    My Opinion: Here,Home,Hope by Kaira Rouda encourages you to reevaluate you circumstances and find ways to reinvent your life. I identified with the subjects in the book like when your kids are growing and you find that they don't need you as much as they did. Or from wanting more time for youself. Kelly the main character and a likable charcter in the book shows how she struggles to start her own home business. How she reconnects with friends and tackles their problems. The book was down to earth and funny. It helps women with some strong emotion issues that women face today. Like eating disorders and addictions. This book is a great summer read for women who like chick lit. I recommend it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    We All Need a Little Change

    Kelly the main character in "Here, Home, Hope" is a 39 year old mother to two teenage sons, happily married, and has two best friends. She is your typical suburbia mom and who seems to have the perfect life in her upper class community. Kelly goes through a cancer scare and starts to wonder what she needs to do with her life. She's searching for something and I believe its a phase all women go through. We get to that point where we wonder if everything we do is enough or is there a greater purpose?

    Change can be difficult but we all see as does Kelly that change can be a good thing. Kelly shows us a fun way to initiate change, she uses post it notes on a variety of things, for example her home and her car who she named "Doug".

    If your looking for a story full of empowerment and inspiration then "Here, Home, Hope" is for you! I believe every woman can relate to Kelly and the things she is going through. This story has even inspired me to make changes in my life, for the better! Whether big changes or small we all need a little change to make our lives healthier and happier for not only ourselves but also for those around us.

    * Thanks to the One 2 One Network I was able to review this wonderful book *

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 3, 2011

    Highly Recommended - reinvent yourself in the book!

    I admit that I was captivated from page one as Kelly Johnson sat in the dentist chair. As I continued to read I was amazed at the parallel lives we were living. No, not everything is exactly the same, but the way she sets out to reinvent herself is exactly where I feel I am. Kelly is able to find a purpose for her everyday life and uses Post-It notes to chart her T2C {things to change} list all over her house and her car. I understand her passion and desire to bring about a new chapter in her life. Kaira Rouda arouses the emotional side of the reader and allows you to feel heartache,anger,sadness,and hope right along with the characters of the novel. The book is funny and full of life-changing advice you can actually take into consideration upon reading. Here, Home, Hope will definitely appeal to other chick lit readers with a desire for change and purpose in their own lives. I know that it truly helped ignite that desire in me!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 30, 2011

    An Inspirational Read

    Kelly Johnson is a woman facing a mid-life crisis. She is stuck in a rut, and decides to take steps to change her life. In the meantime, while she is trying to deal with her own problems, she becames involved in the problems of her two best friends as well becoming the temporary caretaker to one friend's anorexic daughter. This is a very inspiring book. Kelly Johnson is a very gutsy take charge kind of heroine. The way she decides to change her life and then works diligently until she is able to accomplish her goal is quite admirable. I found this book to be more inspiring than a stack of self-help books. Self-help books tell you what you should do and why. This book shows you that it can be done. You can set goals for yourself and accomplish them. If Kelly, can so can you.

    I am a member of One2One network, and I was given a digital copy of this book for review purposes.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 29, 2011

    Wonderful Read!

    I don't have a lot of time to spend reading adult fiction. These days, most of my time is spent reading children's picture books to Raileigh. So, when I do take the time to read, I am pretty particular about the books I pick.

    I like a book with a good story. I also prefer a group of characters that are believable-- ones that I feel like that I can really get to know. That is exactly what I found in Here, Home, Hope.

    As the story unfolds, it felt as if I could really see inside the main character, Kelly. She is a stay at home mom, yearning to do more. Kelly started a T2C list- Things To Change. Can't you see how incredibly useful that would be to anyone?

    The book is full of little tidbits such as this. Though it is a piece of fiction, there are many pages of worthwhile advice to benefit from. It's offbeat and touching, clever and original. It was truly a book that I enjoyed reading.

    Disclosure: I received no monetary compensation for this post. I am participating in a blog tour as part of one2one network. I received a copy of this book for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2011

    Great Summer Read!

    It's been a while since I've read a good, light, chick lit book. A book that lets me escape the everyday life of being a mom for a little bit each day. This book provided just that, and more! It's a fiction book, but has such great advice in it, I've dog-eared her appendix of "T2C's" for reference for myself. While a quick and easy read, it still had the depth that most books in this genre are lacking. I felt like the main character and I were kindred spirits.

    This book shared what it's like when you are a stay at home mom and have the desire to do more. I was at that point 2 years ago. I was helping run ColoradoMoms(dot)com forums and wanted to do more. I had no idea what to do. Like the main character, I didn't know I could do what I loved AND make money doing it. I love playing with my kids, checking out the latest toys and sharing things with friends. Who knew that love and passion would translate to a popular blog! Where I get to review things like this amazing book! It really has come full circle.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2011

    Love this realistic novel for 30somethings!

    This book really spoke to me, as the main character is about the same age as me. Though I'm not a stay at home mom and haven't had some of the life experiences she has had, I still can relate to some of the emotions she feels at this given stage of life. I have been through several bouts of depression, much like Kelly experiences in the book. I really liked the following description that her counselor gives of depression, and the effect medication has on the person in a depressed state:
    "I like to explain depression like this. Imagine your brain as a bathtub, and it's unusually filled all the way to the top with endorphins. In a depressed person, the brain alone can fill the bathtub only halfway. With medicine, the brain is then able to fill the bathtub all the way to the top. The medicine will help you continuously fill the tub back up until you can do it yourself."

    Rouda has several very well-worded descriptions of the characters to which I could relate, like when she has Kelly reminiscing on herself as the Engergizer Bunny going and going, but perhaps masking underlying unhappiness with constant motion. Another favorite is Kelly questioning why busy wives and mothers don't reach out to their friends in times of emotional pain and distress.

    This book would be invaluable to anyone who has a loved one battling an eating disorder similar to that which the character Melanie is undergoing. The advice given and descriptions of Mel's inner struggles feel very real. The only suggestion I might make would be concerning her description of Mel's suicide attempt. However, I realize that this might be because it is one part of the story I can relate to from personal experience. Admittedly, my own experience may be coloring my judgement on this part of the story.

    I have overwhelmingly positive feelings about this novel. I had trouble putting this book down, and I don't find many books I can say that about lately!

    I promise you won't be disappointed!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2011

    Here Home Hope

    From the get-go you are hooked on this book and want to take the journey along with Kelly. Although I found some of the conversation and the way people talk in the book unrealistic, I still enjoyed the plot of the story and the journey from beginning to end. As a full-time stay-at-home-mama I get the feeling of "cabin fever" myself, and wonder what things out in the "real" world am I missing out on. Sometimes you just gotta make a change, and the transformation Kelly goes through is amazing.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2011

    Loved it!

    This week my reading has been really interesting... I've read two fiction books, completely coincidentally, they both were about women coming into their own, making changes in their lives and becoming more independent and knowledgeable about living for themselves. These books were completely on each end of the spectrum in quality though!

    Here, Home, Hope by Kaira Rouda was lovely. It was beautifully written, easy and fast to read yet full of really, three dimensional characters and hopeful, poignant sub-plots. The description was excellent and the characters made you feel for them. There were "good guys" and "bad guys" in the beginning, that later on turn out to be all just people trying to get through the transitions in life the best they can without hurting the ones they loved. I really loved this book! I look forward to more by this author.

    Sponsorship Disclaimer: No compensation was provided for this review. A free digital copy of this book was provided for my review. All opinions are my own.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended for all women readers!

    Here, Home, Hope has everything I love in a book - real and relatable characters, humor and heart, and a story that grabbed me from the beginning. I found myself engrossed in Kelly's story, in the lives of all the characters, completely relating to her life as she approaches the big 4-0 - thinking her friends and neighbors have it all, living in the suburbs, wanting to revive her passions and energies that have gone to being a wife and mother for so long. I laughed often at how Kelly tackled her mid-life crises and reinvention, cried when issues got real and emotional (and close to home!), and routed for the characters all along - including the teenage anorexic that Kelly takes under her wing. Perfect for summer reading and for fans of women's fiction and even includes a Things to Change List to help readers plan their own reinvention - an inspiring and absorbing debut novel you must read! I'll be adding Kaira Rouda to my favorite women authors to read and look forward to the next book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2011

    Highly recommend...Happy, fun and made me think!!!

    This book would make any mom smile. It makes you think that we are not alone or crazy in our neverending quest to be a better mom, a better wife and a better friend. It's Ok to keep trying, to sometimes fail but hopefully to occasionally succeed...

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2011

    Will definitely recommend to my book club.

    I really enjoyed the book "Here, Home, Hope" by Kaira Rouda. As a mother of a 12 and 16 year old who don't need me as much as they used to I could really relate to Kelly and her mid life crisis. Just like Kelly I have been pondering what to do with the next stage of my life. I have been inspired and empowered by Kelly's can do attitude and her things to change lists. I will definitely be recommending this book to my book club.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2011

    ***** Highly Recommended

    * A great read; bring it on vacation or get cozy at home and you won't want to put it down; you will fly through it. "Here, Home, Hope", is an enjoyable read. As a woman in business who talks to many women daily, I not only related to it myself, but see so many others I know, portrayed in this novel and have suggested it as a top choice. I will continue to recommend this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 19, 2011

    Great Read - Won't forget for a long time...

    I love books that are smart, funny, character driven and inspiring. Here, Home, Hope is all that and more. As a mom who struggles with all things marriage, motherhood and identity (who doesn't?), I found Ms. Rouda's characters speaking to me personally! The author has a way of taking what we so often feel but can't articulate and expressing these feelings just right. She infuses her characters with such compassion and real life predicaments that I often wondered if I knew her, or them, somehow. I loved this book and will be recommending it for my next book club meeting!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2011

    Highly recommended! Loved it!

    When I'm looking for a good read, here's what I need. Believable characters. A compelling story. And finally, something that makes me think.
    HERE, HOME, HOPE delivered all three of my criteria, and more. As I read, Kelly came to life for me - as a mom, a friend and a caring guardian for a troubled teen. Her realities are mine. I cheered her on from the beginning to the end. At times I found myself laughing out loud - and other times, I realized the truth in these pages hit close to home.
    I'd highly recommend this book. My book club will be reading it this summer.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    an empowering read

    Kelly Johnson has been a devoted wife and mother living in beautiful Grandville, but as her fortieth birthday approaches she is feeling restless. She is married to a successful attorney and has two fantastic boys, but she wonders to herself.what's next. She looks at her best friends Charlotte and Kathryn who run their own businesses and can't help feeling she is less than perfect. After finding herself in a dentist chair from grinding her teeth, Kelly decides something has got to change. From that point on Kelly begins with her T2C (Things to Change) post it note list. Her list grows throughout the story and is all about being the best person she can be.

    Not really sure how she was going to spend the summer, besides gaining her usual 6 pounds, Kelly soon finds herself very busy. Charlotte offers her a prospect of a business venture of home staging, which Kelly is hugely successful at. Kathryn tells her how her daughter Melanie is an anorexic and asks her to take her daughter in while she goes out of town. Kelly quickly finds herself starting a business, taking care of an anorexic teenager girl, and dealing with neighborhood and best friend bombshells going off all around her. Relying on her T2C post it notes (hanging all over the house and in her car) she is able to offer her love and support to those around her.

    As an almost 40 year old, ALMOST not yet-- I could relate on a number of levels to Kelly Johnson. I loved reading about a women's journey through the transition into the next stage of her life. I found Kelly to be able bodied, strong, confident, having integrity and a good friend. I loved reading about a strong woman who had the love and support of her husband behind her. What a wonderful change from so many books I've read. There was a lot of dialogue about friendship within the novel. Each of these three women went through so much alone. They closed off from their friends so afraid of being judged as less than perfect. I could not help, but feel this is such a relevant topic for today. As women, I think so many of us want to come across as strong and having it all together when we would all be better off being real with one another and leaning on each other for support. Rouda got it right.

    I found this to be a fairly quick read, funny and inspiring. Kaira Rouda's debut novel was an absolute refreshing read. I HIGHLY recommended this book. I am looking forward to Rouda's next novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 16, 2011

    Loved this book

    Here. Home. Hope. is a book by Kaira Rouda. I was sent a free electronic copy of this book from the One 2 One Network to review. I started reading it almost immediately. I couldn't stop. I think I finished it in a day and a half. The book is about Kelly who is going through what could be called a mid-life crisis. Being 36 I find this fast approaching for myself. She gave up her career to raise the kids and now he's trying to figure out what to do with her life now that the kids are older. She starts making these T2C (things to change) post it notes and sticking them all over the house. Things like remember my blessings, take it one day at a time, and trust your instinct. By the end of the book she's made a list of twenty-two things to change, and there's even a copy of the complete list at the end of the book.

    Reading the book was like curling up with your best friend. Well without the Desperate Housewives husband stealing and that kind of drama. It was something I looked forward to reading and definitely something I'll be reading again some time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 10, 2011

    Here, Home, Hope - Great Read

    I received an advance copy of this book to read on my Nook from One2One Network and I was not expecting all that much from the book, but I love to read period, so I was looking forward to getting started on it. I was happily surprised by the book & the evolution of the characters throughout. It was easy to relate to the characters & many of the situations, since we all have that arch nemesis or BFF in real life too. I was inspired by Kelly, the main character, to look into going back to school for another degree. She was so easy to relate to, she feared being rejected in her new home staging business, turned to friends & family for advice and support & ended up shooting for the stars & landing far beyond them! I would definitely recommend this read for anyone who needs an easy read next to the pool or for that long summer road trip vacation! Happy Reading!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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