Thursday, August 01, 2013

Recipe for a Happy Life by Brenda Janowitz: A Book Review

[Order Recipe for a Happy Life today at Amazon,

There’s more than one recipe for a happy life.

Hannah Goodman doesn't grow up like most kids on the Upper East side. Her mother, Gray, is an award-winning photojournalist with little time for the banalities of child-rearing, and when she's not jetting off to follow the latest scoop, she's camped out at the Hotel Chelsea. The closest thing Hannah's got to a traditional matriarch is her grandmother—a glamorous widow six times over with a sprawling Hampton’s estate. But Gray is determined that her daughter resist the siren song of the trust fund set, and make her own way in the world. So Hannah does just that—becoming a successful lawyer in New York City, and dating a handsome musician. Hannah has it all, or so it seems, until one hot June day the carefully constructed pieces of her life break apart. When she throws it all in and seeks solace at her grandmother's estate, she discovers that where happiness is concerned, you don’t have to stick to the recipe.

From the author of Jack with a Twist and Scot on the Rocks comes a charming, clever, and romantic novel about three generations of women with a culture all their own.

“Brenda Janowitz has found the recipe for a great summer read: a dash of Hampton's glamour, a sprinkle of romance, and a cup of a feisty heroine you won't soon forget. RECIPE FOR A HAPPY LIFE will keep you charmed from beginning to end.” -Julie Buxbaum, author of After You

CLG Review of Recipe for a Happy Life

5 (out of 5) lattes

A Wonderful Story of Family, Love, Loss, and Moving On

A funny thing happened on my way to read just a few pages of Brenda Janowitz's latest novel, Recipe for a Happy Life: I couldn't stop reading. My goal was to get the first chapter in, get a feel for the story, and then come back later to finish and write my review, but the story pulled me in immediately, and every time I tried to walk away from the book, I couldn't. I'm a fan of Janowitz's and loved her first two books, but this one is by far her best. She gives us a wonderful heroine in Hannah Goodman, a woman who is complex and unsure and insecure... and wanting: of loving family bonds, a good romantic relationship, and love. Janowitz's supporting characters pulled my heart just as much as Hannah did. I love how unique each character is and how they all have their own stories that affect them... and Hannah, like they should: they are they to support her, after all. One thing I'm a big fan of in writing is good scene development, good chapter development and leaving readers with those endings that make readers HAVE to read on to see what happens next. Janowitz never disappointed with this. After every scene, every chapter, I was rushing to whatever was next. I think my favorite thing about Recipe for a Happy Life is that I FELT. I was MOVED. It's been a while since big, fat tears rolled down my cheeks because I cared that deeply about the goings on of a fictional character. And yet they did roll on to the end. I'm so looking forward to seeing what Janowitz writes next; she's set the bar pretty high for herself. And here's hoping this story makes it onto the big screen. Would LOVE to see that happen!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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