What Matters Most

What Matters Most

by Bette Lee Crosby


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Award-Winning Story of friendship

From bestselling author Bette Lee Crosby...What Matters Most. A heartwarming story of acceptance and coming to grips with reality. Royal Palm Literary Award Winner.

Louise Palmer is a settled-down person. A woman who wants nothing more than to remain in the same house until the day she dies. So, when her husband, Clay, announces an intention to quit his job and move to Florida, her life is thrown into a turmoil of mixed emotions and strained loyalties. Torn between Clay's desire for "the good life" and the lifelong friendships of her quilting club, Louise struggles with what to do...until her best friend suggests a scheme to thwart the move.

Before she discovers the truth of what matters most, a marriage will be tested, family relationships will fall apart and the friendships Louise tried to hold on to will change dramatically.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780989128902
Publisher: Bent Pine Publishing
Publication date: 04/01/2013
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 944,852
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.65(d)

About the Author

Author of the Bestseller, Spare Change, Bette Lee Crosby is known for creating characters who will grab hold of your heart and never let go. They are characters you will both love and love to hate. And, Crosby manages to brighten even the most dire circumstances with heartfelt moments that will be remembered long after you have finished the book.

Her published novels to date are: Cracks in the Sidewalk(2009), Spare Change (2011), The Twelfth Child (2012), Cupid's Christmas (2012) and What Matters Most (2013). Crosby also authored Life in the Land of IS (2012) a memoir written for Lani Deauville, a woman the Guinness Book of Records lists as the world's longest living quadriplegic.

Crosby's work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. Since that, she has gone on to win several more awards, including another NLAPW award, four Royal Palm Literary Awards, two FPA President's Book Award Gold Medals along with a Silver Medal and The Reviewer's Choice First Place Award.

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What Matters Most 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this story. Very unique perspective, well-written. Absolutely LOVED the twist at the end. Review by CherishD
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
carol223CS More than 1 year ago
Bette Lee Crosby's What Matters Most Clay Palmer inherits a property in Florida. He decides to retire and move there. Louise Palmer loves her current home where they live in New Jersey. She does not want to move so the story begins. Emotionally packed read!! The story deals with allowing oneself to break free of the past then willing walk into the future. It's about the importance of love despite the bumps, tribulations, trials, distresses, frustrations and minor set-backs in life. This book has some humorous, touching and moving parts to the plot. The characters are well developed, realistic and. interesting, They will pull at your heartstrings. I volunteered to read this book. Thanks to the author for the eBook. My opinion is my own.
TheAvidReader_KA More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading What Matters Most by Bette Lee Crosby. Louise Palmer is the type of person who likes things to remain status quo. She does not like change. She wants predictability and stability. Louise wants to live in the same home until she passes away (this is because of her upbringing). She is happy with her husband, home, and family. Then her husband, Clay, inherits a home from his Uncle Charlie in Florida. Clay is tired of his job at the bank. He has been working there for over 30 years and is tired of the same thing day in and day out. Clay is tired of the endless cold and snow (my father said the same thing and now we live in Florida). He wants to retire, sell their home, and move to Florida. Louise cannot think of anything worse. Louise conspires to stall the selling of the house by getting the worst real estate agent she can find while Clay forges ahead with cleaning out the house and turning in his retirement papers. Clay is looking forward to relaxing and enjoying life in Florida while Louise wants to stay put. Louise concocts a plan to delay the sale of the house. When that does not work out, Louise is gets the girls of her quilting circle to help her come up with ideas. Poor Clay just keeps forging ahead. Clay is hoping that wants Louise gets settled in Florida (Tall Pines), she will make friends and end up loving it. What happens with Louise and Clay? Will Louise end up loving Tall Pines, Florida? Can Clay settle down and enjoy retirement? Read What Matters Most to find out. I give What Matters Most 3.5 out of 5 stars. It is a cute story, but it is twice as long as it needs to be (though it does get better towards the end). There are chapters that are just what Louise or Clay are thinking about at the time which seemed unnecessary. I received a complimentary copy of What Matters Most from the author in exchange for an honest review. The review and opinions expressed are my own.
Koalabear3 More than 1 year ago
Another Amazing Story by Bette Lee Crosby about family, friendship, love and changes. Louise is set in her ways and content in her little house and has no desire to leave her home or her friends. Her husband inherits his uncle's place in Florida and decides he has had enough stress of his job and retires and wants them to move to Florida. Louise fights him every step of the way. I really enjoyed this story and it shows you what is really important in life. This story especially has a special place in my heart because this will probably be happening to me next summer.Read the book today you will love it. A fast paced story and very hard to put down because you have to find out what will happen next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Being an avid reader of anything Bette Lee Crosby writes, I found she has outdone her own self with the writing of this book. This is the story of a retirement aged couple - she working all her life to affect a "retirement" situation of her own, with friends, family, consistency - and he suddenly with an option/offer to go elsewhere and seek a different kind of retirement. What to do? What ensues is a heart-rending situation in which she wishes to honor her long-time husband, yet wants nearly more to keep her life stable and secure as she has worked so long and hard to effect. What happens is a most wonderful read. There is fun. There is anger. There is confusion. There is male/female differences. There are old friends. New friends. Crises. Disappointments. And new things to be learned. And a twist near the end that is not to be missed! Bette Lee writes simply. Life is normal in her books. People are usual. But all have inner things going on that she shares with us all. I laughed reading this book. I shed a few tears reading this book. I ask that you read this book. You won't be sorry.
macjam47 More than 1 year ago
Louise and Clay Palmer have the perfect life, or so Louise thought, until Clay tells her his health is in jeopardy because of the stress of his job. He wants to pack up and move to the house in Florida that his uncle bequeathed to him.  He’s tired of his job, and he’s tired of shoveling snow. Clay wants to enjoy life. Louise doesn’t want to move.  Why would anyone want to leave their family, the perfect home they’ve lived in all these years, and their friends and move to a place where they don’t know anyone?   Louise tries to sabotage the sale of their home so that they have no choice but to stay.  However, her efforts are in vain, and she and Clay pack up their belongings and move to Florida.  The story follows their adjustments to a new life and the friendships they make. Will Louise and Clay discover what matters most? WHAT MATTERS MOST is a story of love, friendships and new beginnings. I read WHAT MATTERS MOST some time ago.  It was the first of Crosby’s books I've read. Since then I’ve read several more, and like this one, I enjoyed all of them immensely.  Crosby has a talent for telling a story in a way that you feel part of the cast of characters.  It’s her gift for spinning a yarn that makes her characters and story come to life. I recommend WHAT MATTERS MOST to all readers of fiction.  No matter what genre a reader prefers, Crosby’s story will resonate with everyone.  Like all of her books, I couldn’t put this one down.
Mama_Cat More than 1 year ago
Bette Lee Crosby’s What Matters Most is a page-turning story about changes, including what a husband and wife might endure when changes are about one person’s desires rather than a meld of both. It is about the indomitable spirits and friendships of women and what they can accomplish together. Clay Palmer worked for thirty years at the local bank, and even though still young, wanted to retire so that he wouldn’t be found dead at his desk at the bank like his daddy had. He inherited his Uncle Charlie’s estate in Florida, which included a house and a very small bank account. Louise Palmer was fine with her husband retiring, she just didn’t want to move. In Clay’s mind, the house he hadn’t seen for years was the solution to everything. Uncle Charlie had always seemed happy and full of life. Louise loved their home and being near their children and grandchildren. She loved their neighborhood, the Material Girls quilting group and her friends (especially Billie Butterman, her very BFF and the Ethel Mertz to her Lucy Ricardo). Schedules and stability were treasured. Belonging was everything. Especially to the broken little girl inside who was called an ‘accident’, whose parents moved from one run-down cabin or motel room to another; her father was killed in an accident and her mother dropped her off at Aunt Rose’s one rainy day, claiming she would be back for Louise one day. But she never did. Louise loved Clay, but tried everything to delay the sale of their home. Tried to get on a bus to go back, but was headed in the wrong direction, and had to return to complete the road trip with Clay and Aunt Rose. The house in Florida looked as bad as any of the dumps her father had taken her. Clay planned to paint and do all the repairs before their moving van arrived, but started and quit many projects. The neighbors were nothing like the Material Girls. One day Louise was running away (again), and met someone who changed her life. I confess, I did not like Louise in the beginning. She had some very good traits, but refused to consider change because her terrible fears from the past had never been taken out, looked at, and put to rest. Clay wasn’t exactly my favorite, either, since he had little concern for Louise’s opinion, didn’t seem to talk with – or listen to – her enough to learn what was bothering her. The tricks Louise tried were so outrageous when denial and her desire for control went beyond what many spouses might endure. Expecting Louise to stay in the battered house wasn’t an enviable trait, either. The peripheral characters were as strongly developed as necessary, especially Cherry and Tulip, and were overall very likable. The plot was believable; some folks who are dissatisfied or in trouble think a ‘geographic’ is all they need (!) to improve their lives. I didn’t understand why Clay didn’t ask for photos of the home he inherited, even just to learn what furniture they may not have room for. The plans of Louise and Billie were humorous; I couldn’t help but laugh and shake my head at some of their antics (think Lucy and Ethel!), and had to keep reading. It took various plot turns and twists before Louise began to hear what strong women do – and begin to learn what matters most. The conclusion was a complete, yet very satisfying surprise. One woman who contributed some of the most important suggestions to Louise appeared only briefly, sharing with her about prayer and listening to the Lord. Whether Louise ever tried to do so is a mystery – I might have appreciated reading about it, hearing positive thoughts and surrender to show how the changes came about in her heart. That aside, however, I highly recommend this novel to women of all ages; there is much to learn from in this acclaimed novel. Bette Lee Crosby knows much about women’s hearts and desires, amazingly demonstrating the power of their friendships. With a grateful heart, I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
Lynn4604 More than 1 year ago
When Clay's uncle Charlie passes away and leave his house in Florida to Clay. Clay decides it is time to retire and move. Louise his wife wants to do no such thing. She spent her childhood never staying in one place and this house is where they raised their children and all her friends are at. Clay isn't backing down. The closer it gets to moving time the more Louise tries to sabotage the move. Loved the characters in this book. Louise was pretty much willing to do anything to stop the move. Yet nothing worked like planned. She was afraid of losing her friends, her home and the life she had that she loved. Clay was determined to move. He wanted to enjoy his life and not work himself to death. He saw the move as a good thing. Days of sitting back and doing nothing except piddling around. Wonderful story of learning home isn't the house. Learning change can be a good thing once you open yourself up to it.
TheBookBag More than 1 year ago
Another wonderful story by Bette! I loved it! I always know when I sit down to read one of Bette's novels that I am going to love the people and the places she takes me to. What Matters Most is another sweet, wonderful story filled with characters who become my friends. I think about them long after I close the book.  Louise loves her life and the predictability of it. She has her routine and her friends and that's enough for her. But her husband, Clay is feeling burnt out and restless in his life.  'I'm beginning to wonder if not-happy is the same as happy.' When Clay's uncle dies and leaves his property in Florida to Clay, he figures this is the perfect time to make some changes. Louise goes along with Clay's plan, figuring he'll come to his senses eventually. But she is uprooted and off they go on the adventure of their lives.  'Louise tried to remember exactly when she lost control of her life.' Can Louise adjust to this new life? Or should she just go back to the place where everything is familiar and safe? And does she really want this life in Florida, does she really still want Clay?  'The truth is I'm afraid of change. Afraid of what it will bring and what it will take.' What Matters Most gives us a look at life changes and how some people react to those changes. Some reactions are positive and others, not so much. 'Everything that mattered in her life was gone.' Bette's stories are always filled with such great words of wisdom and gentle thoughts. I just love reading them and I think each book of Bette's that I read is my new favorite one. 
bookworm1954DB More than 1 year ago
Anyone who has ever read a book by Bette Lee Crosby know she is a master storyteller. This book is no exception. It flows effortlessly and the characters are well developed . You will laugh and you will cry, but  you will feel every emotion possible. You really need to read this book!  Another incredible read by Bette Lee Crosby.
_Rc More than 1 year ago
Louise Palmer is a middle aged woman who is content with her life. Her husband, Clay, is tired of his job and wants to retire. When Clay’s uncle passes away, leaving his home to his nephew, Clay thinks it is the answer to his dreams. Louise is definitely not happy with the idea of moving. What follows is a character-driven drama that challenges us to think about what really matters in life. One thing Crosby does exceptionally well is creating believable characters. When reading this story you can easily picture family members, or even yourself, going through a similar challenge. Personally, I found myself just as frustrated with everything as Louise was--so much so, in fact, that I almost put the book away. I’m glad I kept reading though! By the end of the book I was reconsidering what was most important in my own life. I would recommend this book to people who like narrative drama with a bit of humor.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Louise does not want to leave where she has grown up and where she knows everyone. She does all she can to try and change her husband's mind. I did not like her at first, I thought geeze girl get with the program and you will make new friends. She tries to run from Florida back to New Jersey but things have changed and she finds where her heart lies with her husband, is where she wants to be. Good story about relationships friends and love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Aunt Bee and Lucy Ricardo wrapped into one. A heartwarming story.
DJTP More than 1 year ago
What Matters Most by Bette Lee Crosby.  I really enjoyed this bookl.  Loved the characters at time I got a kick out of them.  I'm looking forward to reading more books by this author and would recommend any of the Bette Lee Crosby's books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Light, funny story with a poignant message. It was what I needed at the time.
Barb65BH More than 1 year ago
Louise loved living in NJ where she was married, had children and living in the same house for 30 years. But her husband Clay had an uncle who died who left him a house in Florida. Clay decided to quit the bank and move them. Louise was heartbroken....had to leave her family and best friends. Find out What Matters Most in life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What Matters Most is delightful! Crosby is a master at weaving together the interactions of endearing characters! At times laugh-out-loud funny and at others so poignant and thoughtful, I was as if a spectator in the same room. I am anxious to read more by Bette Lee Crosby!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Liked it
lsmeadows More than 1 year ago
There is just something about a Bette Lee Crosby book that allows the story to just slide off the pages. I think that I have read almost everything that Bette has written, and thoroughly enjoyed them all. What Matters Most is another enjoyable and charming read from this master of southern literature.  Louise and Carl have an established life in New Jersey. He has worked at the local bank for his whole working career, she has successfully raised two children and is active in the local scene. That is until Carl's Uncle Charlie leaves them a house in Florida. Suddenly their life is in upheaval. Like all of Bette's books, this story was easy to get into and flowed quickly for me. She has a wonderful voice which makes me feel like she is sitting in front of me telling me the story, rather than being miles away while I am reading her book. In addition, Bette's characters are always full of personality and pizazz. There were several characters in this book that really fit that bill, and although I had a bit of a hard time identifying with the main characters of Louise and Carl, there were several supporting characters who I identified with right off the bat. It's not that Louise and Carl were not great characters, they were. It was just that, in the beginning, they were not very likable. In fact, I remember thinking several times that they had to be the most self centered, clueless people in the world....but that was the point. As usual, Bette painted this picture in a true to life way that everyone can enjoy.  As I said, overall this book was thoroughly enjoyable. The story itself was told with Bette's customary charm and wit and the characters were incredibly real. My only regret is that I only have one more of Bette's books left to read. I can only hope that she writes and publishes more soon, so I don't have to wait too long.
JerseyGirlBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Sometimes it takes some changes in your life to make you see what matters most ... What Matters Most is a wonderful story about love, friendship, family and marriage. Author Bette Lee Crosby weaves an entertaining tale written in the third person narrative intertwined with first person narratives, that follows the journey of Louise Palmer as she learns to adapt to changes in her life. Set in Westfield, NJ, fifty-three year old Louise Palmer has been married to husband Clay for over thirty years. Louise's life is picture-perfect: from the house that they live in, to her two grown children, to her circle of friends. But all of this is about to change when Clay receives a letter from an attorney naming him the sole heir to his Uncle Charlie's property in Florida. At fifty-five years of age, Clay has been a banker for the last thirty years, but lately he has become weary and ready for early retirement. The attorney's letter is just what Clay needed to push him to decide to retire while he is still young and healthy enough to enjoy life. But there is just one little problem: Louise! Determined to stay in her NJ home, Louise plots and schemes to get her way, only to have it backfire and suddenly her life is turned upside down and changing as they make their move to Florida. This was such a fun book to read! As the story progressed, I saw myself in Louise in so many ways. As a born and bred Jersey girl, I could relate to Louise's reluctance to move, because I am also a creature of habit and do not like change, except like Clay, I can't stand the cold Jersey winters and would love to move South! I really appreciated the author's thoughtful style of weaving a tale that intertwines wisdom, humor, wit and poignancy throughout the storyline. From Louise's hilarious schemes, to her adjusting to the new lifestyle with a few bumps along the way, to learning the life lesson that home is wherever your heart is, it was heartwarming to watch the transformation that Louise made as she learned to accept change and discover what really does matter most in life. With a quirky cast of characters who are realistic and fun to get to know; witty dialogue and humorous interactions; a setting that is near and dear to my heart since NJ is my home state; and a delightful storyline that easily captivated my attention, What Matters Most is an enjoyable story about life's changes and new beginnings that will simply leave a smile on your face!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A delightfully funny tale about the adventures of a middle-aged woman and her friends. Touching story of discovering what is important and what is not
MisfitGeek More than 1 year ago
This was a delightfully charming story. The wisdom and wit that are woven into this story make it special. This is the second book by this author that I have read although I own all but one of her books. I love her knack for writing a genuine “feel good” story. There were so many points in the book where Louise’s schemes and the situations she found herself in made me laugh out loud. I did not connect with her immediately, but eventually warmed to her. Her sense of community and loyalty are what won me over. I loved watching her transformation. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to read a good book. I will definitely be moving Bette Lee Crosby’s other books up on my to read list.
cindyhreads More than 1 year ago
Another heart warming novel by Bette Lee Crosby! I really loved this book and the characters in it. The story had such a great message that will stay with me at times when I get to feeling like Louise did. Changes are difficult yet part of life. And we must make the best of things. I have enjoyed all of the novels that I have read by this author and I love this one best so far. It goes to show that an author doesn't have to be a best-selling author to write excellent books. I consider Bette Lee Crosby to be a top author because of the special messages you get from her writing. She definitely has a wonderful way with words! I highly recommend that you read this book and be touched by it as I was.