Claire Cook has been writing beach reads for several years now, and hers are always ones I seem to read during the summer. I loved her first novel Must Love Dogs, and have enjoyed many of the others as well. This year's title, Best Staged Plans, was a hit with me.
Sandy Sullivan spends her time staging homes for sale. She is working on staging her own home, hoping to sell it so she and her husband can move on with the next phase of their lives. Both children are grown, although their son still lives in the basement, and Sandy is hoping to move closer to where her daughter and son-in-law now live. Her constant pushing doesn't do much to spur her husband to action - he can't understand what is so wrong about their lives right now. In the midst of working on staging her own house, Sandy is hired out by her best friend's younger boyfriend to help stage a brand new hotel he has bought in Atlanta. While Sandy heads off to Atlanta to stay with her daughter, she finds out that all the things she is complaining about are just minor irritations in the big scheme of things.
While this book is pure fun, there is also a bit of a message in it, too. I enjoyed reading about Sandy's job as a home stager and references to HGTV and Trader Joe's (which I unfortunately have never been to!). I would recommend this book to women of all ages, but certainly women who are facing an empty nest may be able to relate to Sandy quite well.
So far I've enjoyed some great beach reads, and Best Staged Plans is another book I can add to this list.