The Life You've Imagined
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The Life You've Imagined

3.4 18
by Kristina Riggle
     
 

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“A richly woven story laced with unforgettable characters….A beautiful book.”
—Therese Walsh, author of The Last Will of Moira Leahy

The Life You’ve Imagined is a terrific novel about love and loss, letting go and holding on. A book to share with family and friends—I loved it.”
—Melissa

Overview

“A richly woven story laced with unforgettable characters….A beautiful book.”
—Therese Walsh, author of The Last Will of Moira Leahy

The Life You’ve Imagined is a terrific novel about love and loss, letting go and holding on. A book to share with family and friends—I loved it.”
—Melissa Senate, author of The Secret of Joy

 

From Kristina Riggle, author of the brilliant debut Real Life & Liars, comes The Life You’ve Imagined, an astonishing new novel about love, loss, life, and hope. It’s the story of four former high school friends who are forced to examine what happened to their high school dreams which are now at odds with their grown-up reality.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
Riggle, author of Real Life and Liars (2009), explores what happens when real life diverges sharply from childhood dreams. Her strong and complicated female characters are interesting and likable, and she ably weaves together multiple story lines.
Grand Rapids Press
“An entertaining, challenging story with the potential to change us if we let it.”
Therese Walsh
“The Life You’ve Imagined is a richly woven story laced with unforgettable characters. Cami, Maeve, Anna, and Amy will snag your heart as they explore the sometimes-wide chasm between hope and reality. A beautiful book.”
Melissa Senate
“Backed by Riggle’s trademark unflinching honesty and imbued with heart and hope, The Life You’ve Imagined is a terrific novel about love and loss, letting go and holding on. A book to share with family and friends—I loved it.”
Tiffany Baker
“Kristina Riggle writes women’s fiction with soul. Her characters are both familiar and quirky, and reading their stories is like spending a weekend catching up with your oldest friends. You come away laughing and also touched that someone knows you so well.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061706295
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/17/2010
Pages:
334
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

What People are saying about this

Tiffany Baker
“Kristina Riggle writes women’s fiction with soul. Her characters are both familiar and quirky, and reading their stories is like spending a weekend catching up with your oldest friends. You come away laughing and also touched that someone knows you so well.”
Melissa Senate
“Backed by Riggle’s trademark unflinching honesty and imbued with heart and hope, The Life You’ve Imagined is a terrific novel about love and loss, letting go and holding on. A book to share with family and friends—I loved it.”
Therese Walsh
“The Life You’ve Imagined is a richly woven story laced with unforgettable characters. Cami, Maeve, Anna, and Amy will snag your heart as they explore the sometimes-wide chasm between hope and reality. A beautiful book.”

Meet the Author

Kristina Riggle is a published short story writer and coeditor for fiction at the e-zine Literary Mama. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with her husband, two kids, and dog.

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Life You've Imagined 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Wendy Libby More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book, and liked seeing the characters develop on their own and in their relationships with each other.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Still sarcastic Cami Drayton has come home to Haven though she prefers not to return to the house she hates where her alcoholic father resides and the man she loves Steve is distant. She must deal with an ugly family secret if she is to move on with her life. Unlike the next generation including her daughter the hotshot Chicago lawyer, Maeve always has lived in Haven, but not because she cherishes the town. Instead she remains in the family home hoping that her husband will return to her; though he abandoned her and the family years ago. Maeve's daughter and Cami's best friend at Haven High School, Chicago attorney Anna Geneva grieves the death of a dear friend and mentor August Canfield, but fails to cope with her loss. Needing the comfort of family and friends, Anna returns to Haven. Finally Haven native Amy Rickart figuratively kills herself to be perfect. She has found her perfect match she believes in Paul Becker, but has doubts she is perfect enough as her childhood still haunts her with how imperfect she was and mentally assumes still is. Rotating first person perspective though at times it is difficult to separate the voices of who leads a chapter, this is a well written and engaging character study as each woman looks back and wonders what if they made a different choice at a pivotal moment. Obviously character driven, the lives intertwine as the women must confront new decision-making life choice. Harriet Klausner
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NatalieTahoe More than 1 year ago
Four women in Haven, Michigan find that life in a small town, whether they've just returned or have never left, can be just as tumultuous and disappointing, as it's ever been. Are they living the life they've imagined? Maeve is the proprietor of the local convenience store and the mother of her daughter, Anna, a Chicago city lawyer. Maeve never thought that the convenience store was going to be her career, but she's been waiting twenty years for her husband to return after he left her and Anna one day with no word. Recently, she's been receiving letters from him, promising her a better future. Anna has lost a close friend and mentor at the Chicago law firm and has been granted bereavement leave. Returning to Haven isn't easy, but she's not sure where else to go. She's always been strong, almost cold, but coming back to Haven means she might have to deal with her ex-boyfriend, the man who might be the love of her life, who she broke up with before they left for different colleges. Cami is an old high school friend of Anna, who has recently returned back to Haven with her tail tucked between her legs after submitting to her gambling addiction and stealing money from her boyfriend and losing it all. She returns to her father's home - to a man who doesn't hold back from expressing his emotions of anger and resentment drunkenly and violently. [One nagging little gripe: My only issue with her is that she ends every statement with "yeah." So, for example: "Everything is good, yeah?" I subconsciously began tallying up how many times she ended her sentences like that.] Amy, once overweight in high school, has now become obsessed with maintaining her successful weight loss. She's engaged to the son of the town's richest developer who happens to be planning to renovate Haven to appeal to tourists and Maeve's convenience store is one that will soon be destroyed. Amy's dream to have her perfect wedding, though, is on track. So she thinks, until the stress of wedding planning and wondering if she's making the right decisions has her doubting. Recently, she's bumped into Ed, an overweight and friendly guy who has a dog that just happens to get along with her own dog. Will the life she's imagined be what she's needing? Ultimately, I liked this story a lot, even though each character frustrated me with Amy disappointing me completely. I cheered her on and for just a moment, I thought she had grown a backbone, but then...she didn't. With each chapter alternating between the primary characters making it a quick read, and although I wanted just a touch more from specific secondary characters, Kristina Riggle successfully exposes the lives of four women who feel like they just may have missed out on life. After a while, each character finds that there is a beauty and sadness in realizing that it may be possible that the life being lived right now isn't any better or worse than what imagination can bring. Moral of the story? Make good choices, people. But, no matter what, never look back.
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