The Good Life

The Good Life

by Susan Kietzman
3.8 10


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The Good Life by Susan Kietzman

Between workouts, charity events, and shopping, Ann Barons keeps her days as full as her walk-in closets. She shares an immaculate house with her CEO husband, Mike, and their two teenagers, Nate and Lauren. It's a luxurious life, far from her homespun childhood on a farm in eastern Pennsylvania. . .which is why Ann is wary when her elderly parents ask to move in temporarily.

Ann prepares in the way she knows best--hiring decorators and employing a full-time nurse for her dementia-stricken father. But nothing can prepare her for the transformations ahead. Soon, her mother Eileen is popping in to prepare soups and roasts in Ann's underused kitchen, while the usually surly Nate forms an alliance with his ailing grandfather. Lauren blossoms under Eileen's guidance, and even workaholic Mike finds time to attend high-school football games. But it's Ann who must make the biggest leap, and confront the choices and values that have kept her floating on life's surface for so long.

Timely, poignant, and wise, The Good Life is a deeply satisfying and beautifully written story about the complex relationships between parents and children--and the gap that often lies between what we seek, and what will truly make us whole.

"The moving story of a family's rebirth through the simple but profound acts of daily kindness and sacrifice." –Holly Chamberlin, author of Last Summer

Susan Kietzman is a Connecticut native. She has a bachelor's degree in English from Connecticut College and a master's degree in journalism from Boston University. She has worked in both magazine and newspaper publishing and currently writes grants for the Mystic Seaport Museum. The Good Life is her first novel. She lives with her family in Mystic, CT.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780758281326
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 02/25/2014
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 308,514
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

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The Good Life 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great read for anyone plunked in the middle of the "sandwich" generation. Life is difficult at times, but combining your own aging process, your parents decline in the ability for caring for themselves, and dealing with the teens in your house can cause havoc for most people. Grace under pressure is not a given in all families, no matter how affluent you are. There is a magic that occurs when families deal with intergenerational issues together. Kietzman weaves a good story, nudging the reader to think how she would approach the problems given the same circumstances. I loved how this book does not have the "happily ever after" ending. Instead you are left wondering how the family fared over time - just like real life! This is not an escapist book: however, if you can reserve judgement, you will find many levels of the human condition to explore that will leave you cheering for the villain and the heros.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book that really makes you think about what is important in life. The characters are well written and very relatable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written and holds your interest BUT such an ABRUPT ending! I was very disappointed with the books ending. Begs for a sequel! There has to be a lesson that was learned and a REAL conclusion to the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I suffered through the lives of Ann, the self indulgent mother in this book, and Mike, the busy money machine, believing and hoping they would learn something from Ann's mother and father living with them. The abrupt ending quickly put an end to my hopes. It felt as if the author had a deadline and needed to end this book and get if off to the publisher. I don't want to give the ending away, but seriously?! Ms. Keitzman, you couldn't find a better way to end this?! I never would have thought Ann would have changed into her mother, but some glimmer of hope for the poor kids in the book would have been nice! Yikes! If Ann is how the uber-wealthy live I thank God for my average life filled with effort, work, kids and grandkids and delayed satisfaction for those items I want.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite Ann Baron has enjoyed her life of privilege and wealth as she has been married for twenty years to her college sweetheart, top executive Mike Baron. They live in a custom built mansion with their teenagers, Nate and Lauren, and Ann enjoys her bubble baths, expensive champagnes, meeting her friends for a near no-calorie lunch and shopping for cashmere sweaters, expensive clothes and shoes. Then Ann's mother, Eileen, telephones from their family farm in Pennsylvania and tells Ann that she cannot deal any longer with her husband Sam, Ann's father. Sam has both Parkinson's and dementia, his daycare center can no longer cope with him, and their selected apartment at Meadowbrook, an assisted living center, has been postponed. So Eileen and Sam are coming to live with Ann and Mike in the guest cottage the Barons had built on their property. Ann and Mike have only visited Ann's parents at Christmastime over the years and Nate and Lauren barely know their grandparents. Ann calls in her decorator to redo the guest cottage for her parents, but after years of living far from them and no longer functioning as their slightly over-weight daughter, how will Ann deal with this intrusion into what she sees as her "good life" with Mike? And how will Nate and Lauren adjust to having their grandparents living right in their backyard? "The Good Life" by Susan Kietzman is a deeply satisfying and very well-written story about the complex and often difficult relationships between parent and child, grandparent and grandchild. Throughout its pages of well-created characters and believable but sometimes trying situations filled with great dialogue, "The Good Life" offers the reader a glimpse into what actually defines a good life. Is it material goods and a lavish life style? Or might a good life hinge more on relationships with others? Kietzman has written a book that everyone everywhere should read. There is much to be learned from "The Good Life." This book is a keeper!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book held me from the first page! The plot and characters are almost like people you know....but the story to me was not complete. Hopefully there is second book that brings you back to complete the tale.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book,but i agree with the last reviewer It did seem like the ending was rushed The book just drops off I expected more
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was enjoyable until the very surprising abrupt ending that did not complete the story line in any way.  Very disappointing.
jbarr5 More than 1 year ago
The Good Life by Susan Kietzman Ann and her husband Mike have it all. The phone call from her mother forces her to help out. She will have them live in the guesthouse after she's remodeled it til they are accepted at the nursing home/assisted living facility. So many other things to see to: rent the parents house, and hire caregivers for her parents. Ann and her family, among them 2 teens will live on the property in their own house and share a meal on Sunday. She's busy with her life and charity events. One reason why I wanted to read this book is because it's about an elderly man who's going through dementia and as I have some family members going through it I hope to learn a bit about how to help them. Hardships they all endure and some can see what the grandmother has gone through and help out. They make it through the holidays and one day the grandfather just up and leaves and now they have to go out in the cold to find him... When the call comes about the opening they have many choices and decisions to make. Is it too late to be a family?