Published: February 26, 2013
Format: Paperback (352 pages)
Origin: Publisher through NetGalley (eGalley)
***Though the publisher provides the free book, I offer the opinion.***
The Barons have a plush life, and this mode of living has many perks and complications.
Mike is a CEO, both handsome and powerful; he lives to work and enjoys the chase of making money. Ann enjoys the drink, basks in the limelight of their status, gloats over others’ lack of status, and gives their children everything money can buy.
Meanwhile, Nate resents his mother, since Ann thinks she can buy love and denies him what he wants most—time. Mike does try to make time for him, but when Mike can’t do it, Nate doesn’t let his father off easy either. On the other hand, Lauren understands her father is a busy man, and for the most part she’s okay with that. Lauren, oftentimes, feels like she’s little more than a duty to be dropped off and picked up, and she doesn’t miss that her mother no longer spends time with her. Ann doesn’t even attend her games. In fact, Lauren finds herself envying those of her peers whom are putting up with meddling mothers, overprotective fathers, and siblings who constantly tag along. Her peers tell her she’s the lucky one. But is she?
Soon, this dysfunctional family dynamic gets an injection of family values and a lesson in what being a family really means, when Ann’s parents ask to live with them.
Due to Ann’s aging father’s illness, her mother claims she cannot care for him, but she must wait for an opening in the assisted living facility. At first, Ann thinks her mother, Eileen, is being dramatic—as is her nature, but she quickly realizes that his mental abilities are diminished. After attempting to solve the problem by throwing some money at it, Ann is faced with having them move in.
However, Ann has a plan to minimize the interruption to their lives and Mike agrees, since Ann will be handling most of the problems and facing most of the interruptions. After redecorating the guesthouse, Ann places her parents there with a nurse.
Will this living arrangement take a problematic turn?
In THE GOOD LIFE by Susan Kietzman, you’ll find a family in turmoil before the living arrangement ever comes into play. Hiding behind wealth and status can lie insecurities, failures, alcoholism, eating disorders, dysfunction, and distorted egos.
I found characters with a sense of dislike at the life that some love and a dislike for themselves while living it. At first, I understood Ann, having to come to terms with sick parents and problems that money can’t fix, but soon I found myself relating to Mike. Although, he likes to work and make money, he recognized Ann’s parents’ issues and tried his best to help. However, I fell in love with Nate and Lauren, as they fell in love with their grandparents.
A standalone novel, THE GOOD LIFE by Susan Kietzman will leave you hoping for another read from this author.