The Overdue Life of Amy Byler

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler

by Kelly Harms


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An Amazon Charts and Washington Post bestseller.

“A laugh-out-loud funny, pitch-perfect novel that will have readers rooting for this unlikely, relatable, and totally lovable heroine, The Overdue Life of Amy Byler is the ultimate escape—and will leave moms everywhere questioning whether it isn’t time for a #momspringa of their own.” —New York Journal of Books

Overworked and underappreciated, single mom Amy Byler needs a break. So when the guilt-ridden husband who abandoned her shows up and offers to take care of their kids for the summer, she accepts his offer and escapes rural Pennsylvania for New York City.

Usually grounded and mild mannered, Amy finally lets her hair down in the city that never sleeps. She discovers a life filled with culture, sophistication, and—with a little encouragement from her friends—a few blind dates. When one man in particular makes quick work of Amy’s heart, she risks losing herself completely in the unexpected escape, and as the summer comes to an end, Amy realizes too late that she must make an impossible decision: stay in this exciting new chapter of her life, or return to the life she left behind.

But before she can choose, a crisis forces the two worlds together, and Amy must stare down a future where she could lose both sides of herself, and every dream she’s ever nurtured, in the beat of a heart.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781542040570
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publication date: 05/01/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 332
Sales rank: 42,554
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Kelly Harms is an author, a mother, and a big dreamer. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with her sparkling son, Griffin; her fluffy dog, Scout; and her beloved Irishman, Chris. Before this midwestern life, she lived in New York, New York, and worked with many of her author-heroes as an editor at HarperCollins and then as a literary agent. When she’s not lost in a book that she’s either writing or reading, you can find her on the water, in the water, or near the water. Say hello anytime at

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The Overdue Life of Amy Byler 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
PanglossMystic 8 hours ago
Great summer beach reading! I thoroughly enjoyed this book about an overworked, under-appreciated single mom who goes off to NYC on a "momspringa." With a little help from friends, she re-discovers herself as an adult and finds new love. The book moves along at a good clip, with interesting characters and no boring parts. Highly recommended to moms who need a fantasy break this summer!
Achour_2019 6 days ago
I really enjoyed this book. The author illustrates with a lot of humour the everyday life of Amy Byler and her family. Within well organised chapters and in very readable way, we follow Amy’s resilience who tries to recover from the unexplained and unexpected leaving of her husband three years ago. The Overdue Life of Amy Byler was an interesting story and enjoyable read. It is about self-confidence, mutual support, coming-of-age, family relationships and more. The author managed to explore brilliantly the challenges (single moms) (parents) face when they sacrifice everything for their children and family. The characters are well designed and I personally enjoyed Amy, her friends, her children and her ex-husband. Even Though the plot was a little bit predictable and sometimes seemed like a TV show, I kept reading because the book is really well-written. I recommend this book to those who are looking for something quick and fun to read.
bookchickdi 6 days ago
The cover of Kelly Harms' delightful novel, The Overdue Life of Amy Byler, definitely called out to me with the art work of a woman walking in New York overlaid with the title written on book spines. Three years ago Amy Byler's husband went on a work trip to Hong Kong and decided to never come back. She became a struggling single mother responsible for their two children, 12 year-old Cori and 8 year-old Joe. With the help of her best friend Lena she got a job as a librarian in her children's private school in their hometown in a small Pennsylvania town. Out of the blue, Amy's husband John says he is coming back and would like to spend a week with the kids. Amy is dumbfounded but after asking the kids if they are willing, she takes the opportunity to spend a week in New York City at a teacher's reading conference at Columbia University. She stays with her old friend Talia, the editor of a woman's magazine. Talia has a brilliant idea- a magazine spread about what she calls Amy's #Momspringa- a break where Amy gets to do whatever she wants before she returns home to her reality. Talia's assistant Matt arranges for Amy to get a complete makeover, new clothes, go to spin class, and the Twitter postings about it become so popular that Amy starts getting requests for dates from eligible men. Her husband has been dating a young woman since he left, so Amy agrees to go on a few prescreened dates. Her dating life is eye-opening, but Amy can't stop thinking about Daniel, otherwise known as "hot librarian" at the conference. They spend a great night together, but reluctantly decide to be just friends. When John asks to spend the entire summer with the kids and they agree to it, Amy gets to extend her #Momspringa for the rest of the summer. Amy's excellent adventure consists of wandering the city, eating at restaurants, and spending time with Daniel going to see Shakespeare in the Park. The funniest parts of this wonderful story are the journal writings of Cori. Her mom wants Cori to read during the summer and journal about it, and Cori's letters to her mom are hilarious. I laughed out loud at every one of them. The text message exchanges between Amy and friends Talia and Lena are also so funny, mostly because most of us can look at our own phones and find similar group text chains from our friends. Harms used to live in New York City, and The Overdue Life of Amy Byler is a love letter to the city. (Although I did question why Daniel, a NYCer, didn't know not to get on an empty subway car. You learn that your first week in NYC.) After reading this book, you will definitely want to book a trip to NYC pronto. The characters are people you want to know, from Amy and the kids to Lena, Talia, Matt and Daniel. Since Amy is a librarian there are some great reading suggestions in there for teen readers. I also loved the reading program that Amy created and presented at the conference. Reading The Overdue Life of Amy Byler will take you out of your life for a few hours, just like Amy got to leave her responsibilites, and just like Amy you'll find it a welcome adventure. I highly recommend it.
3starsandup 13 days ago
The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms is an Adult Contemporary/Romance which I received as an Advance Reader Copy (ARC) from @NetGalley (& Lake Union Publishing!) in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. (Release Date | 01-May-2019) SYNOPSIS | Amy Byler is a single mum of two teenage kids as her husband decided 3 years ago that they would be better off without him in their lives so he essentially abandoned them and moved to Hong Kong. Randomly whilst buying some essentials at the drug store she bumps into her husband again. He has returned to rural Pennyslvania and wants to get to know his children again. Amy reluctantly agrees thinking she can use the opportunity to go to a conference in New York but soon finds that she has come a long way from the girl that she used to be. MY THOUGHTS | I was surprised how much I could relate to Amy. I do not have teenage children, but I do have a 4 year old stepdaughter and I know how easy it is to compromise little and often and ultimately feel like you aren't "you" anymore. I thought this was a lovely story of self-discovery and there was moments where I chuckled out loud. Overall I felt like the writing was witty and the characters were real & most important multi-dimensional. My only criticism is that I often confused the voices of her teenage daughter and her best friend as they both used extremely similar language and grammar.
BooksAndSpoons 13 days ago
Now, I am pretty vocal about my dislike to the first person point of view, and then when I miss the point of doing the proper research before agreeing to review a book I let myself down at times. But Amy's emotion-filled continues strain of thoughts starts to make sense as it paints a demonstrative picture of her chaotic life after her husband and the father of her children walked out on them three years ago. This story was a challenge to me, I admit, and sometimes it is good to be challenged out of our comfort zones. There were parts that I really enjoyed, like Amy's kids and especially her daughter with her wit and son with his smarts. The banter was lively, and the emotions as Amy is first time faced with her ex-husband were genuinely true. The foodie part was delicious to read, who wouldn't want to spend a week in New York eating yourself through the city! And as an avid reader, the talk about books, and the classics were endearing. Now, the project Amy was doing to get the kids to read more was fascinating but it got way too much attention to my liking, even to the point of starting to sound like a filler and slowing the flow of the mid part of the story. Just cause the humor wasn't really lining with mine, does not mean that it wouldn't be funny for someone else. There were many lines and scenes I could see had the potential for laughs, and still entertaining for all of us, I am sure. The time Amy spends in New York, with the free makeover, and meeting new people, trying new things, new scenes for her, they were fun and light, including amusing situations and humorously awkward turns. The energy of those scenes is one of an overly strained and stressed out person finally letting it go, Amy was like college freshman after the finals week, ready to let it loose while feeling guilty of not studying - in Amy's case being with her kids - after that has come all they know. In the end, Amy's story turns into fairytale-like happiness, her worries and struggles being washed away with a chance of romance as well. For me, a three Spoon book is a good story, it is not one of my favorites, but that's okay, not every book can be that. Amy's story is filled with her love and passion for her kids, books, and food, and I appreciate all of that. I can see why this book has been so wildly popular, even if it just missed the bullseye with me. From heartbreak to happiness, Amy navigates her life spicing it up with humor, turning difficult situations to a learning experience, and daring to trust her heart again, even after all the bruises it has received, with the new self-confidence she found through the polishing makeover the magazine gave her. ~ Three Spoons
Itsahardbacklife4me 14 days ago
From the first second I read this description, I couldn’t wait to read the book! As a single mother of 2 young children- whose father left 3 years ago and hasn’t been heard from since- this book called to me! Amy’s husband left her and his 2 children 3 years ago and didn’t come back. He moved to Hong Kong and started dating a younger woman. Amy was devastated- and was forced to raise her children by herself. She had to get a job and figure out a way to pay for her children’s tuition and her home. She did it all. Now their father is back and wants to spend some time with the children. Amy decides to go to NYC for a week. The children are actually having fun with their dad and she is having fun in NYC- she decides to allow them to stay with him all summer long and she will stay in NYC in her friend’s apartment. Momspringa is born! Amy has an adventure over the summer but she struggles with feeling guilty because she doesn’t feel guilty for leaving her kids. So much of who she is is based on her role as a mother that she has really lost herself in the previous years. She struggles with finding herself and trusting her husband and his intentions with her children. She begins dating and exercising and getting to know what she wants! She makes amazing new friends in addition to the ones she already has. I truly enjoyed The Overdue Life of Amy Byler! Thank you to Netgalley, Lake Union Publishing and Kelly Harms for the ARC!
Towrin Zaman 15 days ago
This one was full of heart! A term is used to describe Amy Byler quite a few times in the book - Martyr. She's embraced the life of a single mother perfectly after her husband abandoned her and their two children. Now, he's back. And she's conflicted about whether to trust him or be wary. Should she be happy that he's now determined to be the father to their kids or be insulted that he's not here for her? But ultimately, she lets the mother in her decide it for her. It also helps that she's got two amazingly mature kids who are capable of looking at the big picture. And John, her husband seems genuinely contrite. After she decides to give him his one week with the children, and visits New York, life takes a turn. She's in for a whirlwind thanks to her two best friends and her desire to make the best of. What follows is a makeover, one night stand, dates, and a #Momspringa. But it's not all smooth sailing. There is guilt for enjoying too much and not missing the tiresome aspects of parenting. There is also turmoil over pent up feelings for her ex-husband who is still legally not her ex. Not to mention her new feelings for Daniel, a single father settled in New York. The author does a brilliant work of painting all the shades of Amy's character. You find yourself rooting for her really fast and just wanting her to be happy. Then there are alternate chapters where we see her daughter Cory's entries on a reading journal Amy gave her for the summer so that she could write about the books she assigned her. But of course Cory, a teenager, prefers Hunger Games over The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Amy's a librarian and is intent on her children getting the same literary enrichment she herself got. Her journal entries are laugh-out-loud hilarious. The transition from a teenager's musings to a woman's journey was just flawless! Every mother would want Amy's kids. Cory is a hilarious and mature teenager. Joey is eleven and yet has the vocabulary of a grown-up and is just too sensible for his own good. Not to mention the two friends - Talia and Lena, her biggest supporters. This book made me laugh out loud and just want to hug Amy multiple times. I'm not a mother myself but if I ever become one, it wouldn't hurt to be a mom like Amy.
Laeljeanne 15 days ago
At her local drugstore, Amy Byler runs into her husband, who went on a business trip to Hong Kong and stayed for three years. He’s returned to make things right and be the father his children deserve. School Librarian Amy signs up to present her reading program at a conference in NYC, where she plans to reconnect with her college roommate, during the kids’ week with their father. She meets a hot librarian, makes a new friend, and starts a movement. Harms cleverly uses the modern-day epistolary of email and texting in this humorous exploration of a single mom becoming her own woman. Fans of Ann Garvin, Katherine Center, and Kerry Anne King will appreciate Harms’ voice. I received a digital copy of this wonderful story from Lake Union through NetGalley.
Anonymous 17 days ago
The Overdue Life of Amy Byler was such a nice surprise! Amy is a mother of two, who was left by her husband three years ago. Her kids now in their teenage years have developed quite different personalities. Joe is the 12 year old smarty pants, while Cori is a typical Fashion loving, boy obsessed 15 year old. Amy has learned to be a single mother and take care of the bills as a librarian. One day, John decides to come back and wants to take the kids for a week. Amy, being rightfully upset, struggles with the decision but ends up agreeing. Amy gets ahold of her friend in New York and plans to spend a few days at a Literary Conference and the rest of the week with Talia. However, Amy's plans of reading and lounging around in yoga pants are disrupted when Talia's magazine decides to fund a makeover for her. Amy's vacation now turns into a #momspringa! Soon, Amy is doing things she never dreamed she would be doing as a single mom. Amy finds herself in New York but can she return back to her normal life with her new found confidence? The ending of this book will tug at your heart strings! I Just have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. If you like witty banter and book references this book is for you! I fell in love with Amy's character and felt for her. Sometimes life gets busy and I think we can all relate to needing a break sometimes! Amy's momspringa will be a thing that I think many moms will do after reading this book! I think almost all women, mothers or not, would love to be pampered in NYC, eating take out from trendy restaurants and exploring the city! If you haven't read this book yet I recommend you do!
KerryACroucier 23 days ago
I am going to start off by saying that I loved this novel. I am a Mom, a bookworm, and also struggling to get my yOung teen reading (she loves the books when she starts, but geez the struggle to get her to sit down!)…and my life seems to be mostly be about my family. Until a few months ago, any time away was with at least one kid in tow. Amy Byler has done heat she needs to keep her kids’ lives from changing too much after their father decided he wasn’t coming home from his business trip. Three years later, he realizes his mistake and comes back, asking for a week with their kids. Not knowing what to do with herself, she finds a conference relating to her job as a librarian (she may as well get her Continuing Education credits) and visit a friend she hasn’t seen. She packs her bags and her books, and heads to NYC. Things don’t go as she plans as she meets new people and battles her guilt of doing things just for her. As she starts to find her way, there are moments that kept me laughing out loud and turning pages. Kelly Harms did a wonderful job at writing the internal struggles Amy faces. Surrounded by wonderful friends, both new and old, books, and fun situations, Harms delivers a novel that is so relatable that you will be pulling for Amy. When it comes down to it, will she choose her new life, go back to her old life, or find a way to meld the two into a new life that is way over due? It will have you asking: What will you do for your #momspringa? Whether it’s a few hours or a few days, everyone deserves the chance to take time for themselves. We just need to remember that! #tallpoppywriters #bloomreads #momspringa #LakeUnionPublishers @KellyHarmsAuthor
CarolD59 24 days ago
Amy Byler is a Private School Librarian whose husband left her and their two kids three years ago. When he suddenly returns at the end of the school year, he offers to take the kids for the summer so she can get a break and he can reconnect with the kids. Amy takes him up on the offer and goes to her friend Talia's in New York. What ensues is what every mother always dreams of, a Momspringa! What is a Momspringa? You will just have to read this book to find out. I fully enjoyed this laugh out loud story and the great characters. It is about romance, family, and finding yourself again. Thank you to Kelly Harms, Netgalley, and Lake Union Publishers for an ARC of this book and this is my honest review.
lauriesophee 24 days ago
"I must never again forget to care for myself." Definitely a fabulous, laugh out loud funny novel mixed with a whole lot of truth. What Mom doesn't forget herself as she is raising her kids? What is a Mom's life? Does it include time and enjoyment for oneself? When Amy's husband decides to come forth and get to know" his kids after a few years on hiatus, Amy decides with some reluctance and persuasion, to take a month for herself. Could she really relax, live and love? This is a wakeup that is amazing for not only Amy, but for her twitter fans that are following her to see her escapades as #momspringa! I loved all the characters in this book, but especially Cori, Lena and the hot librarian! Read this in a day!
MatteaLC 24 days ago
This book was just fun. A wonderful story of a mother, still stung from the abandonment by her husband, and struggling to keep her young family together. When he returns to try and reconnect with his children, he gives Amy the time to attend a conference in NYC and spend time with her college roommate. That’s where she meets the “Sexy Librarian “. Kelly Harms is a wonderful storyteller with likable characters and the humor and emotions of a page turner. A great beach read! I really liked this book and thank Net Galley and Ballantine Books for the ARC in return for my honest review.