I've loved Claire Cook's writing ever since I picked up a copy of Must Love Dogs. My library doesn't carry her books, but I'm begging them to get her two latest, Seven Year Switch (now available in paperback) and Best Staged Plans (published June 7).
Just when she's finally figured out how to manage on her own, Jill Murray's ex-husband, Seth, is back crashing into the man-free existence Jill and her ten-year-old daughter, Anastasia, have built so carefully. Jill's life just hasn't turned out quite the way she'd planned. By now, she'd hoped to be jetting around the world as a high-end cultural coach. Instead, she's answering phones for a local travel agency and teaching cooking classes at the community center. Enter free-spirited entrepreneur Billy who hires Jill as a consultant for an upcoming business trip. Suddenly, her no-boys-allowed life is anything but.
They say that every seven years you become a completely new person, but Jill isn't sure she's ready to make the leap. It takes a Costa Rican getaway to help her make a choice not so much between the two men in her life, but between the woman she is and the woman she wants to be.
As a professional home stager, Sandy Sullivan is an expert at transforming cluttered rooms into attractive houses ready for sale. If only reinventing her life were as easy as choosing the perfect paint color. She's eager to put her family's suburban Boston home on the market, to downsize, and to simplify her own life. But she must first deal with her foot-dragging husband and her grown son, who has moved back home after college to inhabit the basement "bat cave."
After reading them the riot act, Sandy takes a job staging a boutique hotel in Atlanta recently acquired by her best friend's boyfriend. The good news is that she can spend time with her recently married daughter, Shannon, in Atlanta. The bad news is that Shannon finds herself heading to Boston for job training, leaving Sandy and her southern son-in-law, Chance, as reluctant roommates. If that's not complicated enough, Sandy begins to suspect that her best friend's boyfriend may be seeing another woman on the side.
Filled with characters who are fresh and original, yet recognizable enough to live in your neighborhood plus plenty of great tips and tricks for fixing up houses, and lives this is a wise and witty story of letting go and moving on.