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Monday, August 30, 2010

The Life You've Imagined - Kristina Riggle (General Fiction)

Released September 2010

The Life You've Imagined revolves around the lives of four women. Maeve Geneva settled in Haven with her husband and remained there, even after he abandoned her and their young daughter. Decades later, he wants to be part of their lives again and Maeve is delighted with the turn of events.

Anna Geneva spent years as a busy Chicago attorney, but now she's back in Haven for some much needed R&R and isn't sure she wants to return to her Chicago lifestyle. When she learns her mom is about to lose the family store and her dad is suddenly back in the picture, she decides her mom might need more help than she's willing to admit to.

Cami Drayton spent years as Anna's best friend and also happens to return to Haven. Cami's father is an abusive alcoholic who's been hiding a secret. Cami's going to need her friends when the truth is revealed.

Finally, Amy Rickart went to school with Anna and Cami. The subject of many high school jokes due to her weight, Amy's slimmed down since then and is about to marry her soulmate. However, Amy still battles the demons of her teen years and that's an obstacle she's having a very hard time overcoming.

While there are many plots going on in The Life You've Imagined, it's extremely easy to keep up with each character. Chapter separations are clear from the start, so you always know who's viewpoint is being shared.

Kristina Riggle's novel is an absorbing read. It's not horribly fast-paced, yet I was still drawn into the women's lives and found myself unwilling to walk away from their stories. It's not necessarily a feel-good read, but definitely makes you reflect on your own life and choices made along the way.

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