Here, Home, Hope

( 74 )

Overview

Kelly Mills Johnson becomes restless in her thirty-ninth year. An appetite for more forces her to take stock of her middling middle-American existence and her neighbors' seemingly perfect lives. Her marriage to a successful attorney has settled into a comfortable routine, and being the mother of two adorable sons has been rewarding. But Kelly's own passions lie wasted. She eyes with envy the lives of her two best friends, Kathryn and Charlotte, both beautiful, successful businesswomen who seem to have it all. ...

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Overview

Kelly Mills Johnson becomes restless in her thirty-ninth year. An appetite for more forces her to take stock of her middling middle-American existence and her neighbors' seemingly perfect lives. Her marriage to a successful attorney has settled into a comfortable routine, and being the mother of two adorable sons has been rewarding. But Kelly's own passions lie wasted. She eyes with envy the lives of her two best friends, Kathryn and Charlotte, both beautiful, successful businesswomen who seem to have it all. Kelly takes charge of her life, devising a midlife makeover plan.

From page one, Kelly's witty reflections, self-deprecating humor, and clever tactics in executing that plan—she places Post-it notes all over her house and car—will have readers laughing out loud. The next instant, however, they might rant right along with Kelly as her commitment to a sullen, anorexic teenager left on her doorstep tries her patience or as she deflects the boozy advances of a divorced neighbor. Readers will need to keep the tissue box handy, too, as Kelly repairs the damage she inflicted on a high school friend; realizes how deeply her husband, Patrick, understands and loves her; and ultimately grows into a woman empowered by her own blend of home and career.

Here, Home, Hope will surely appeal to readers of chick lit and other women's fiction titles who are ready to transition into something new in their own life.

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  • Here, Home, Hope
    Here, Home, Hope  

Editorial Reviews

ForeWord Reviews
Written with a bouncy sense of humor, this lighthearted novel delights the reader while delving into serious issues such as eating disorders and addictions, typical problems of middle-class America. Rouda will touch readers who can relate to the frustration of being sidelined on the field of life, never allowed to play and always needed behind the bleachers, until finally experiencing the joy of participation.
Library Journal
Kelly Johnson is no longer fulfilled by her charmed suburban life with an exquisite home, two wonderful boys, and a perfect husband. All around her, families are falling apart: the next-door neighbors just got divorced, best friend Kathryn's teenage daughter, Melanie, is battling anorexia, and old friend Charlotte needs help with her burgeoning real estate business. While her boys are at summer camp, Kelly shifts her life into overdrive, taking in the sullen Melanie and preparing one of Charlotte's homes for showings. It turns out that Kelly has a gift for interior decorating, and she soon decides to launch her own business. Kelly helps her friends and neighbors get back on their feet while simultaneously finding a cure for her midlife blasé. VERDICT This fiction debut often feels like a how-to book on starting a small business—not surprising, as the author is an entrepreneur and real estate expert, who here highlights women's entrepreneurial spirit. Entrepreneurs and women wishing to become small business owners may find this novel interesting.—Anika Fajardo, St. Catherine Univ., St. Paul
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608320912
  • Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group, LLC
  • Publication date: 5/1/2011
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 352,920
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 74 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(34)

4 Star

(22)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 74 Customer Reviews
  • 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 June 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Heartfelt

    Here, Hope, Hope by Kaira Rouda is about a mom who is having a midlife crisis. She chose to be a stay at home mom, but now that her kids are growing up, she's questioning that decision. This book takes you trough that journey of her finding herself, and the changes she wants to make in her life.
    This was a really heartfelt book. You feel like you are going on her journey with her, and it also gives you cause to question some things about your own life, and what you need to change. I especially like the fact that even though its about serious issues, you see the humor in it as well. This is definitely not a boring book!
    I would recommend it to any woman who wants to read a heartfelt and funny story. I also think that this would be a good book for a book club. It would be interesting to talk about some of the issues this book addresses in a group.
    I definitely felt inspired after reading this, and I hope you are as well!

    3 out of 4 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 December 29, 2011

    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 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.

    2 out of 2 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 8, 2011

    Trite

    Here, Home, Hope is a good, mindless beach read. I hate to label it chick lit, but probably more "beach book"; one that gets left behind at the rental property.

    I really wanted to like this book. The setting is close to my home town. I loved identifying with popular places, restaurants and stores. And for that reason, I found it fun.

    Unfortunately, the book is best characterized as being trite. I really didn't like and couldn't identify or sympathize with any of the characters. I felt that the author attempted to hit on a lot of controversial topics (eating disorders, rape, underage drinking, midlife crisis, infidelity, divorce, suburban pettiness, to name a few) without really delving into any one of them deeply enough. Everything was dealt with in a very superficial fashion. Ultimately, all ends well and is wrapped up with a bow at the end. All of it. Ugh!

    The author is a very accomplished person in her own right. It appears as if "write a novel" was on her bucket list. Done.

    I received this novel as a PDF version of an advanced readers copy through my involvement with One2One Network. I received no compensation for this review and all opinions expressed are completely my own.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2011

    Total Chick Lit

    Here, Home, Hope by Kaira Rouda Kaira Rouda is the founder of the Real Living Real Estate brand and the Real You. She is very accomplished, and decided to write a book to fulfill her dream of being an author. This book came from that dream. It is about a woman, Kelly, who is going through a mid life crisis. She re-evaluates her life, and makes some changes. It is a great book to take to the beach! Total chick lit! Fun, and reads pretty quick. Yes, I did receive a download of this book. But my review is my opinion.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Good Beach Read on Life.

    Life as a successful lawyer's wife and mother to two adorable sons, Kelly really should feel like she has it all. At this stage in life, these things should be comforting and being a stay-at-home mother should be all she needs. Right?

    Unfortunately, Kelly's just starting the initial stages of a mid-life crisis. A recent scare with her first mammogram test, and a general feeling of being unsettled leaves her feeling as though she's within her life, but feeling as though she is missing...something.

    And here I was, worried I wasn't ready for a thoughtful summer read! Here, Home, Hope by Kaira Rouda, to be released May 1st by Greenleaf Book Group, is like being with friends, commiserating over marriages, children, and life in general. I adored this book - it fit perfectly in my own life right now. Haven't we all questioned whether or not we're at where we want to be, where we thought we should be, at this stage? It's not as though you don't love what you have, it's whether or not you feel grounded, as if you're really living your life.

    Let's be honest - problems are all relative. While one person appears to have the perfect life, it's not fair to say that they should just be appreciative of what they have and get over it. More often than not, they do realize that they should be grateful for what they have, and this is what compounds their guilt even more.

    And this is exactly why I loved all of the characters - they are all real. They are flawed, insecure, confused, and going through one hell of a time right now. Kelly, at the middle of it all, feels that lack of confidence weigh her down even more. Should she start her own business? What could she do after being out of the job market for fifteen years? While she commits to making changes both in her professional and personal life, she begins to put little notes throughout her home as reminders, which are oftentimes both humorous and sad. And although she has friends, they're going through their own issues, too. Along for this personal ride is "borrowed" daughter, Melanie, struggling with tough emotional issues and anorexia, which makes the summer dramatically different than Kelly anticipated.

    Here, Home, Hope by Kaira Rouda makes me want to sit at the beach on a summer afternoon and look back at my own choices, make changes when necessary, and appreciating what I have as I ultimately become who I want to be. Kaira Rouda has made her jump into contemporary fiction with a story that is inspirational and heartwarming, one that is going to be loved by many. It is a refreshing reflection on finding beauty in everything that makes you exactly who you are.

    If you like Kristina Riggles' The Life You've Imagined or Sarah Pekkanen's Skipping a Beat, then you'll find a reassuring hug from Kaira Rouda's Here, Home, Hope.

    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 June 2, 2011

    Fun, inspiring read

    This book was a great vacation read - it moved quickly and was full of characters that most of us can find in our own lives. It reads like a memoir although it is completely fiction, save the "product placement" - Rouda has woven her own books and business brands into the story. According to the book notes, the author's main goal with the book is to encourage women in business. Certainly this book gave me inspiration to follow my entrepreneurial goals, as Kelly, the main character, quickly sets her sights on her passion and is running a booming business before the book ends.

    I liked the themes of women in business and drawing strength/resources from our friends, but again, everything seemed a little too easy. Many of the barriers that women face in following their dreams/goals for starting a business were not there for Kelly. She had unlimited financial resources due to her husband's job, her husband was very supportive of her, and her two school-aged kids were off at camp for the summer, giving her pretty much an open scheduled to take care of business. Most women in the real world don't have that.

    Many of the secondary characters are very relate-able, even if few of us can identify with Kelly, and it's really those other characters that kept me reading along, anxious to see what would happen next. Of course there's a happy ending for all, and a closing mantra of 20 focus points for women to follow (Put passions into actions, love who you are, stay connected, be grateful, etc...). So, overall, I thought that Here, Home, Hope was a lightweight, but quick moving book that would be a good "starting place" for women who dream about pursuing specific life goals, or an enjoyable "easy" read for vacation or a book club.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2011

    Great summer book. A quick read

    I loved reading this book. It was quick and the characters were very interesting. I love books with more drama than my own life. The plot was interesting with enough twists to keep me guessing about what was next. I did not want to put this down. I received a digital copy of this book for the purposes of this review from One2One network.

    2 out of 4 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 27, 2011

    good summer read

    I have read Here, Home, Hope by Kaira Rouda. I am an at home mom of 2 school aged childred so this was a fun and inspiring book for me to read. I can relate to the main character on many levels. I am inspired to start my own T2C (things to change) list and to see what comes next in my life.

    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 May 13, 2011

    Great book on how to change your life

    Here, Home, Hope is set in a fictional place named Grandville, where everyone knows your name and the grass is always greener in your own yard. Looks aren't always as they seem, as Kaira brings her readers to this beautiful town and shows that despite success, beauty, and family, appearances are never as they seem. After receiving news from her mammogram, Kelly evaluates her life and what she wants to change. Armed with post-its and a pen, she begins placing notes to herself as reminders of T2C (things to change). While her children are away at summer camp and her husband is working as a successful attorney, Kelly decides she is ready to embark on a new career. Charlotte and Kathryn, with "perfect lives, perfect marriages, perfect careers", soon let Kelly know what really happens behind the doors of beautiful homes. Kelly is thrown in the mix of helping her friend's anorexic daughter, dealing with her own mid-life crisis, being referee to her best friends as they deal with the fall-outs of their marriages, and balancing a new business that has quickly erupted into a mega success. The characters are believable making it easier to relate to your own life. This is a very fun and light read. This book is a great light summer read. The Things to Change List at the end of the book can help readers plan their own life change.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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