The Life She Wants

The Life She Wants

3.3 3
by Robyn Carr
     
 

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#1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr brings together a poignant novel with a rich tapestry of characters. A moving story that will leave the reader laughing and crying, as two friends confront their pasts and move towards their futures.

In the aftermath of her financier husband’s suicide, Emma Shay Compton’s dream life is

Overview

#1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr brings together a poignant novel with a rich tapestry of characters. A moving story that will leave the reader laughing and crying, as two friends confront their pasts and move towards their futures.

In the aftermath of her financier husband’s suicide, Emma Shay Compton’s dream life is shattered. Richard Compton stole his clients’ life savings to fund a lavish life in New York City and, although she was never involved in the business, Emma bears the burden of her husband’s crimes. She is left with nothing.

Only one friend stands by her, a friend she’s known since high school, who encourages her to come home to Sonoma County. But starting over isn’t easy, and Sonoma is full of unhappy memories, too. And people she’d rather not face, especially Riley Kerrigan.

Riley and Emma were like sisters—until Riley betrayed Emma, ending their friendship. Emma left town, planning to never look back. Now, trying to stand on her own two feet, Emma can’t escape her husband’s reputation and is forced to turn to the last person she thought she’d ever ask for help—her former best friend. It’s an uneasy reunion as both women face the mistakes they’ve made over the years. Only if they find a way to forgive each other—and themselves—can each of them find the life she wants.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
07/25/2016
Bestselling author Carr follows a woman who marries a multi-millionaire schemer (who commits suicide after being caught) and ends up as a nearly penniless widow. Emma Shay Compton is unsympathetic in the public eye—though she did nothing wrong and was unaware of her husband’s fraudulent practices—and has to start her life all over again. She flees the east coast and returns to her childhood home of Sonoma County, where she confronts her past: Riley Kerrigan, the best friend who stole Emma’s high school boyfriend, Jock, and got pregnant; and her difficult childhood with a typically evil stepmother who favored her own children over Emma. Emma ends up working for Riley, whose brother, Adam, intercedes on her behalf (he’s had a crush on Emma for years) and Emma becomes part of Riley’s professional cleaning service while developing a relationship with Adam. That she readily goes from living the luxurious life to cleaning toilets is a bit of a stretch, as is her involvement with one of the client’s daughters, a huge infraction of Riley’s professional rules. Too much melodrama, shallow character portrayals, and lifeless romantic scenes unfortunately undercut what could have been an insightful exploration of a woman’s world turned upside down by circumstances beyond her control. (Sept.)
Kirkus Reviews
2016-07-31
After her financier husband commits suicide rather than face jail time for stealing from his clients, Emma Shay Compton comes home to Sonoma with the shadow of his crimes over her and must reinvent herself in a hostile landscape while reconnecting with friends she’d thought lost forever.When Emma married her wealthy husband, she had no idea he was running a Ponzi scheme, but that doesn’t make it any easier to convince people of her innocence once he’s accused and kills himself. Going from mad wealth to mere sustenance isn’t as hard as knowing her husband ruined lives, but when she moves back to her hometown and finds it almost impossible to get a job, Emma begins to wonder if she’ll be able to survive, much less thrive. With help from a friend she finds a place to live and gets a terrible job that doesn’t last, but through it she runs into Adam, the brother of Riley, her childhood best friend. Riley had betrayed Emma in college, having an affair with her longtime boyfriend, which ended the friendship for good. But now Riley runs a cleaning company with better opportunities than anything Emma can find, so Adam encourages her to get in touch with Riley and see if she can help. Emma swallows her pride and asks Riley for a job, which she gives her, but the two still hold grudges from the past, and neither is interested in trying to rekindle their friendship. Riley is surprised to discover, however, that Emma is truly determined to work hard and embrace her new, simpler life, and both women discover they admire and like the older versions of each other. And when circumstances threaten their families and happiness, they’ll both question what they’re holding onto—for instance, anger, resentment, and pride—and what they’re missing out on. Carr’s take on this complicated situation is interesting, though readers seeking a deeper reflection from Emma in the aftermath of her husband’s death or her stepmother’s spite may be disappointed. A satisfying reinvention story that handles painful issues with a light and uplifting touch.
From the Publisher
"A layered, well-paced plot and flawed, three-dimensional characters whom readers will care about make this a quick and entertaining read for those who relish contemporary family sagas with strong female characters as well as readers who like their stories tinged with romance." -Library Journal

"A satisfying reinvention story that handles painful issues with a light and uplifting touch." -Kirkus Reviews

"Robyn Carr has done it again... What We Find is complex, inspirational, and well-written. A romance that truly inspires readers as life hits them the hardest."

-San Francisco Review Journal

"Carr's new novel demonstrates that classic women's fiction, illuminating the power of women's friendships, is still alive and well." -Booklist on Four Friends

"A thought-provoking look at women...and the choices they make." -Kirkus Reviews on Four Friends

"The captivating sixth installment of Carr's Thunder Point series (after The Promise) brings up big emotions."

-Publishers Weekly on The Homecoming

"Carr has hit her stride with this captivating series."
-Library Journal on the Virgin River series

Library Journal
07/01/2016
Multiple RITA Award winner Carr ("Virgin River" series) presents a compelling story of mistakes made and redemption attempted in her latest stand-alone. Emma Shay Compton is living a privileged life in New York when her world implodes. Following her husband's suicide, she returns to her hometown in California to lick her wounds and hopefully start over. Riley Kerrigan committed the ultimate betrayal when she and Emma were teenagers, shattering their friendship. When Emma is left with no one to turn to but Riley, all their old hurts resurface and both women have to decide if mending their long-destroyed bridges is even possible. Multiple points of view enhance both newly developing and rekindled relationships, including one that places all of Emma's progress toward peace in jeopardy. Carr presents problems realistically and the romantic encounters are sweetly sexy. VERDICT A layered, well-paced plot and flawed, three-dimensional characters whom readers will care about make this quick and entertaining read for those who relish contemporary family sagas with strong female characters as well as readers who like their stories tinged with romance.—Charli Osborne, Oak Park P. L., MI

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780778319672
Publisher:
MIRA
Publication date:
09/27/2016
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
218
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Robyn Carr is a RITA® Award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than forty novels, including the critically acclaimed Virgin River series. Robyn and her husband live in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can visit Robyn Carr’s website at www.RobynCarr.com.

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The Life She Wants 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous 2 days ago
I'm so disappointed. This book is not worth $9.99. I loved the Virgin River series. That's when I fell in love with this author's writing style. This story is so slow and boring. Didn't take much writing skill to repeat same story over and over and over. Just change the name of the person telling it. Each character is reliving the drama from sixteen years earlier. Emma, Riley, Adam, mama June, lyle, Jock and even Maddie each tell the same story. Such a waste of time. Then the story of Emma's disastrous marriage to a Ponzi scheming thief is repeated by each of them again. Too much living in the past. This story had potential, if she had only focused more on the present.
CharlotteLynnsReviews 3 days ago
Robyn Carr wrote a story that is full of so much emotion. There are second chances, renewed friendships, and strong women characters within this story. Emma Shay and Riley were best friends who had a falling out of a guy and never managed to reconnect until Emma comes back home after her husband kills himself. The mess Emma is left with comes as a shock and changes her entire life. I loved Emma. The strength, the power, and the ability to stand on her own two feet made her so very strong. While most women would fall apart and play the poor me card whenever they could Emma decides to come out on top and make a life for herself. She does that and so much more. Riley is equally as strong. Growing up poor, without a father, and then becoming a single mother is not an easy life. Yet, Riley proves she has what she takes to make something of herself. She takes a house cleaning business and builds it into a successful business. I really enjoyed how she respected her employees. She catered to the working and single parents; she understood the life’s that they led and what they needed to be employed successfully. But what really stuck with me is when she started to realize what she was missing in her life. She began to understand what was important and what needed to be changed to be able to become successful and happy. I think this is a lesson for many parents’ not just single parents. There were other relationships within this story but Emma and Riley’s is the one that I enjoyed the most. Adam and Emma were great together, Riley and Jock’s was interesting, but the best friend relationship is what really talked to me the most. I recommend picking up your own copy of The Life She Wants.
BooksAndSpoons 4 days ago
A beautiful and powerful story about life, love, forgiveness, family in all the different forms and shapes, and moving on after one of the life's curveballs. The story flows well, with often taking a step back and going through the events again, with little more depth, with a different point of view. For those who like to read a book from cover to cover in one sitting, it might feel like repetition, but most might enjoy it. The characters in the story have all faced life's difficulties, have had challenges most can't imagine. As they work through their past in the story, the complications, and disputes, without difficulty it made me reflect on the matters of the tale in my own life. I love stories that make you think and you get life lessons from them. Emma's life situation felt like a never-ending nightmare, the consequences of her choices and the judgment from others seemed unbelievable. She wasn't perfect by any measure, but she was willing and eager leave the past behind, learn from it, and move on. Riley had her own issues to be faced and dealt with. I loved how the two stories harmonized with each other. How both Emma and Riley developed, flourished, and matured as the tale unfolded. A charming tale of life and love, with characters that fascinates, a pleasing plot that intrigues the mind, while delivering messages that make you take inventory of yourself, I believe that is called a life-changing romance novel ~ Five Spoons