Title: The Good Life
Author: Susan Kietzman
Length: 352 pages
Rating: 5 Stars
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. -Goodreads
This is a beautifully written family drama that rings so true to life that readers can't help drawn into it's thought provoking depths.
Ann and Mike are like so many of us, isolated from those closest to them by the insular routine that they have allowed to become their lives.
Rather than reaching out to each other for the closeness that they crave Mike turns to his work. Ann to exercise and alcohol. Their children, Nate and Lauren, follow suit by relying on school, sarcasm, and friends to hide from their parents.
When Ann's parents come to stay with them while in transition to their assisted living community; the walls of separation that this family has spent so much time crafting come crashing down.
Feelings long buried, thoughts left unarticulated, and love unrealized is brought to the forefront as familial bonds are strengthened, roles are reassessed, and the family that "has it all" finds it's true wealth in each other.