The Overdue Life of Amy Byler
Overworked and underappreciated, single mom Amy Byler needs a break. So when the guilt-ridden husband who abandoned her shows up and offers to take care of their kids for the summer, she accepts his offer and escapes rural Pennsylvania for New York City.Usually grounded and mild mannered, Amy finally lets her hair down in the city that never sleeps. She discovers a life filled with culture, sophistication, and—with a little encouragement from her friends—a few blind dates. When one man in particular makes quick work of Amy’s heart, she risks losing herself completely in the unexpected escape, and as the summer comes to an end, Amy realizes too late that she must make an impossible decision: stay in this exciting new chapter of her life, or return to the life she left behind.But before she can choose, a crisis forces the two worlds together, and Amy must stare down a future where she could lose both sides of herself, and every dream she’s ever nurtured, in the beat of a heart.

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler Details

TitleThe Overdue Life of Amy Byler
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 1st, 2019
PublisherLake Union Publishing
Rating
GenreFiction, Womens Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance, Contemporary

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler Review

  • Meredith
    January 1, 1970
    Smart, savvy writing turns a predictable plot into a humorous and heartwarming read about a single mother’s journey to self-awareness. Amy Byler is a single mom who does what it takes to provide for her children--in doing so, she has lost herself as she only sees herself as a mother to Cori and Joe. Three years ago, her husband walked out on her and their two teenage children. When he suddenly returns, he attempts to make amends by having their kids stay with him for a week over the summer. WIt Smart, savvy writing turns a predictable plot into a humorous and heartwarming read about a single mother’s journey to self-awareness. Amy Byler is a single mom who does what it takes to provide for her children--in doing so, she has lost herself as she only sees herself as a mother to Cori and Joe. Three years ago, her husband walked out on her and their two teenage children. When he suddenly returns, he attempts to make amends by having their kids stay with him for a week over the summer. WIth no one to take care of, Amy finds herself attending a librarian conference in NYC. While in the city, she reunites with an old friend who convinces her to take a momspringa (a play on the Amish Rumspringa). Away from her children and ex-husband, Amy slowly learns to come to terms with her failed marriage and being a mother. At the same time, she opens her mind to a new kind of life and new love. Amy’s character is likable and relatable, but her quick wit is what I loved best about her--she has a way with words. Kelly Harms’ witty writing style makes The Overdue Life of Amy Byler a standout. Amy’s snappy banter coupled with witty side characters gives this book a Gilmoreesque quality. In addition, there are tons of literary references that will be sure to make any book nerd smile with glee! This is a light and charming read elevated by Harms' sharp, witty writing! #momspringa!I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Larry H
    January 1, 1970
    I'm between 3.5 and 4 stars, so I'll round up."I have suffered plenty. I am a poster child for low-grade chronic suffering. If an ad agency wanted to make suffering into a thirty-second spot, they would make a time-lapse video of me in my three colors of elastic-waistband teacher pants shoveling eight inches of snow at five a.m. so my kids can get to their early-bird activities on time, then teaching 250 overprivileged kids how to not use computers for porn for ten hours, and then collapsing in I'm between 3.5 and 4 stars, so I'll round up."I have suffered plenty. I am a poster child for low-grade chronic suffering. If an ad agency wanted to make suffering into a thirty-second spot, they would make a time-lapse video of me in my three colors of elastic-waistband teacher pants shoveling eight inches of snow at five a.m. so my kids can get to their early-bird activities on time, then teaching 250 overprivileged kids how to not use computers for porn for ten hours, and then collapsing in front of Outlander too tired to even find, much less turn on, my vibrator at the end of the day."For the last three years, Amy Byler has been the sole provider for her two children: 15-year-old Cori and 12-year-old Joe. She's barely keeping her head above water financially, working as a school librarian in order to keep her kids in private school, tending to the myriad repair needs of their beautiful yet historic (read: old) Pennsylvania house, and doing all of the disciplining, the chauffeuring, and everything else. That's been the drill since her husband left for a business trip in Hong Kong and decided not to come back.But now, John is back. He's realized he has been a terrible father and he wants to be a part of his children's lives again. He asks Amy to give him a week with the kids so he can begin seeking their forgiveness. (Much to Amy's chagrin, he accepts all of her criticisms and angry insults, and keeps apologizing, but he doesn't seem too interested in her forgiveness.) Reluctantly, she takes him up on his offer, and heads to New York for a week to attend a library conference.When Amy arrives in New York, the scene of some crazy college days, she's looking forward to a week of professional development, sleeping in, and reading a ton of books. Instead, she starts to let her hair down a little bit, and even meets a handsome librarian along the way. But she still can't stop worrying about her husband spending time with the kids, whether he's going to make some colossal mistake, or—worse—whether her kids will even miss her.Her old college friend, now the editor of a lifestyle magazine, convinces/orders Amy to get a total makeover, and sets her on a course for a real vacation from parenting, a #momspringa, if you will. When her husband asks to spend the summer with the kids, Amy's newfound freedom turns into a real adventure followed by the magazine's readers. She takes advantage of all the city has to offer and starts finding herself again, even going on a few blind dates. But when one man threatens to steal her heart, she has to decide whether this "new Amy" will still exist when she returns home, and what it means for everything—and everyone—if she doesn't. The Overdue Life of Amy Byler was utterly charming, laugh-out-loud funny in parts, and an enjoyably thought-provoking read. Not being a woman or a parent, I may have missed some of the nuances of the story, but I think the book did a great job exploring the challenges women face as mothers, when they sacrifice everything else for their children and supporting their family. But when they do that, do they put their relationship with their spouse at risk, too, or is that something they shouldn't worry about?I enjoyed many of the characters in this book, from Amy to her former-nun-now-teacher best friend Lena, "hot librarian" Daniel to self-absorbed magazine diva Talia. Sure, the plot is a bit predictable, and I felt like it dragged a bit in the middle, but I was looking for a lighter read and this book definitely delivered. This definitely fits the bill when you've been reading a lot of brooding thrillers or books heavy on emotion—while there is still poignancy here, Kelly Harms keeps the tone light as she explores serious issues.Are you in need of a #momspringa? Wish you could have had one? The Overdue Life of Amy Byler will give you the lowdown, and entertain you, to boot.Lake Union Publishing and Amazon First Reads provided me an advance copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making it available!The book will be published May 1, 2019. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.Check out my list of the best books I read in 2018 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2018.html. You can follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/yrralh/.
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  • Christine
    January 1, 1970
    I have been reading some heavy novels recently and thought it was time for something a little less oppressive. This one fit the bill perfectly.Amy Byler is a school librarian and single mom with two kids, ages 12 and 15. Her husband up and left them for nebulous reasons three years previously. It has been a struggle to make things work, but Amy has indeed made a good life for her family even though she is worn down from her efforts. Suddenly Amy’s husband reappears and wants three months of re-b I have been reading some heavy novels recently and thought it was time for something a little less oppressive. This one fit the bill perfectly.Amy Byler is a school librarian and single mom with two kids, ages 12 and 15. Her husband up and left them for nebulous reasons three years previously. It has been a struggle to make things work, but Amy has indeed made a good life for her family even though she is worn down from her efforts. Suddenly Amy’s husband reappears and wants three months of re-bonding time with the kids, which eventually results in Amy getting a “momspringa” vacation in New York City.This book is engaging, funny, and thought provoking. Amy finally has time to actually think about finding her true self, and to try to determine in what direction she wants her life to go. Things are complex, and Amy has much to sort through. What exactly does her husband want? How will the kids react to him? Does she still love him or is she ready to move on to someone else? Her whole recent adult life has revolved around being a wonderful mother to her kids. But at what cost to herself? Is it possible to find a way to take better care of Amy? The cast includes a couple of great longtime friends of Amy’s - a magazine editor and an ex-nun (whom I loved) who dole out advice and a couple of interesting male companions Amy connects with during her journey in New York. Amy has a ton of decision trees in this novel, and it was fun to think about what I would do in her position. Humor is present throughout; I smiled a lot and laughed out loud several times. I also liked the fact that two of the main characters are librarians and we get some good librarian book talk in this story. Extra credit goes to Ms. Harms for her dialogue, which simply sparkles. Amy is so easy to cheer for and I kept hoping for a way for everything to fall into place for her and her family. I looked forward to grabbing the book every time I had a few minutes to read; I felt invested in the characters and was engrossed in their story.I recommend The Overdue Life of Amy Byler to anyone looking for a quick, easy, and fun read featuring a very likeable main character on a thoughtful journey. Thank you Net Galley, Lake Union Publishing, and Kelly Harms for the gift of an advanced review copy. Thanks also to Sonja Yoerg for kindly bringing this book to my attention. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way.
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  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    Amy Byler is a single mom with her hands full. When she’s feeling particularly overwrought, her estranged husband returns and offers to care for the kids for the summer. Amy accepts, and she’s off to NYC. Amy has led a quiet life, but her alter ego comes out. She even goes on a couple blind dates. One of the blind dates ends up capturing her heart, and when the summer is about to end, Amy has to decide between her new life and her old one. Amy doesn’t get to make that choice, though, because bot Amy Byler is a single mom with her hands full. When she’s feeling particularly overwrought, her estranged husband returns and offers to care for the kids for the summer. Amy accepts, and she’s off to NYC. Amy has led a quiet life, but her alter ego comes out. She even goes on a couple blind dates. One of the blind dates ends up capturing her heart, and when the summer is about to end, Amy has to decide between her new life and her old one. Amy doesn’t get to make that choice, though, because both lives collide.Amy is the quintessential mom who has put her children and family ahead of herself for years. She’s made so many sacrifices she feels like she no longer knows herself. It was fun and entertaining to watch her make that discovery on her “momspringa.” The characters in the book are quite charming. Friends Talia, Daniel, and Lena really round out the story. Amy was always my favorite, though. She’s endearing and relatable, and I was captivated with how her life would turn out. I was fully absorbed in Amy’s story and loved all the bookish nods! This book is a true, refreshing escape! I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
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  • Berit☀️✨
    January 1, 1970
    🅡🅔🅛🅐🅣🅐🅑🅛🅔. 🅗🅘🅛🅐🅡🅘🅞🅤🅢. 🅕🅐🅝🅣🅐🅑🅤🅛🅞🅤🅢. Kelly harms! BRAVO! This was such a relatable story told with so much heart and humor, I absolutely adored it! Amy is the single mother of 15-year-old Cory and 12-year-old Joe. Three years ago Amy’s husband John went out of country for work and never came back. Amy picked her self up, dusted herself off, went back to work, and learned how to be a single parent. Now John is back wanting to repair his relationship with his Children and offering Amy a summer off f 🅡🅔🅛🅐🅣🅐🅑🅛🅔. 🅗🅘🅛🅐🅡🅘🅞🅤🅢. 🅕🅐🅝🅣🅐🅑🅤🅛🅞🅤🅢. Kelly harms! BRAVO! This was such a relatable story told with so much heart and humor, I absolutely adored it! Amy is the single mother of 15-year-old Cory and 12-year-old Joe. Three years ago Amy’s husband John went out of country for work and never came back. Amy picked her self up, dusted herself off, went back to work, and learned how to be a single parent. Now John is back wanting to repair his relationship with his Children and offering Amy a summer off from parental responsibility. What follows is Amy’s summer of freedom, fun, self discovery, love, and a new wardrobe. #momspringa Amy was such a real and relatable character. As a single mother I saw so much of myself in Amy. It is so easy to get caught up in your kids lives and not make enough time for yourself. But you also don’t know who you are if you’re not a mom. It was so much fun reading about Amy rediscovering herself in New York. I loved the makeover, all the shopping, and all the crazy dates. I also loved her support system her Besties Lena and Tallia, and Mathew who was kind of a bit of a fairy godfather. Also loved the big part that books played in this story. Amy was a librarian and she had this really interesting program she presented at a librarian convention. I’m sure all bookworms will appreciate the amount of booktalk in this book. And there is a hot librarian love interest. Another part of the book I really loved was Corey’s journal entries, Kelly harms really nailed the 15-year-old voice. There was just so much fun and goodness in this book! This is one of those books that will make you smile, make you laugh, and leave you feeling good when you have turned that last page. The characters are relatable, likable, and entertaining. The storyline is amusing and authentic. I think all moms will absolutely love this book! BUT I think the book will not only appeal to Mom’s it will appeal to anyone who is ever needed a break from their real life, A little re-charge. Simply put this is an uplifting feel-good story with relatable characters and a lot of humor!*** Big thanks to Lake Union for my copy of this book ***
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  • Brandice
    January 1, 1970
    This book was such a fun, heartwarming story! In The Overdue Life of Amy Byler, librarian Amy finds herself face-to-face with her separated husband John, who’s requesting permission to visit their children, Cori and Joe, after abandoning the family 3 years earlier. Amy is torn: dealing with her own unresolved feelings about John, and considering what’s truly best for their children. After discussions with the kids, Amy agrees to let John spend time with them in rural PA now that it’s summer. Whi This book was such a fun, heartwarming story! In The Overdue Life of Amy Byler, librarian Amy finds herself face-to-face with her separated husband John, who’s requesting permission to visit their children, Cori and Joe, after abandoning the family 3 years earlier. Amy is torn: dealing with her own unresolved feelings about John, and considering what’s truly best for their children. After discussions with the kids, Amy agrees to let John spend time with them in rural PA now that it’s summer. While John catches up on dad duties, Amy goes to New York City to attend an educational conference and visit an old friend. She’s been out of the game, both socially and romantically, but attempts to come (back) into her own, slowly but surely. A few of my favorite quotes from the book:-”He looks like that dad from a diversely cast CW show. In short: dreamy.”-”Look at me throwing around my money like an oil heiress...”-”I get this now. I get now that you can love what you have, love your kids and your life and your friends, and still want more. I get that it’s ok to go out out and get more, more love, more friendship, more fulfillment, and still be a wonderful mom.”Though I’m not a mom, there were a lot of relatable elements in Amy’s story and I liked her as a character. The Overdue Life of Amy Byler is cute and funny yet also fairly realistic. The truth is, we all just need a break sometimes! Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for providing an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Kristy Harvey
    January 1, 1970
    Quit reading this review and go read this book! It is laugh-out-loud hilarious and I still can't figure out how Harms can so seamlessly transition from writing a snarky but charming teenager to writing a full grown woman in the midst of her #momspringa (Don't know what that is? Well, GO READ THE BOOK.) in a matter of a page. I could not put this book down!! I'd give it 10 stars if I could!
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  • Carolyn
    January 1, 1970
    Kelly Harms has written a light, fun read about a middle aged librarian who gets a chance to have a summer to herself while her estranged husband re-bonds with his children.When Amy Byler's husband went on a business trip to Hong Kong three years ago and never returned, she suddenly found herself a single, unemployed mother of two children with a large mortgage and no child support. Life gradually got better once she got herself a job as a school librarian and re-mortgaged the house, but she and Kelly Harms has written a light, fun read about a middle aged librarian who gets a chance to have a summer to herself while her estranged husband re-bonds with his children.When Amy Byler's husband went on a business trip to Hong Kong three years ago and never returned, she suddenly found herself a single, unemployed mother of two children with a large mortgage and no child support. Life gradually got better once she got herself a job as a school librarian and re-mortgaged the house, but she and the kids have had to budget carefully and she has got used to being a single parent, always on call as driver, carer and worrier.Out of the blue, her husband has returned with a wish to spend the summer reconnecting with the kids. Angry at first and then hesitant about handing over her kids, Amy goes to stay with her old college friend Talia in New York who is editor of a fashion and lifestyle magazine. She's looking forward to spending some time on her own sleeping in and reading books but Talia decides Amy needs a makeover, an agenda of activities and some hot dates. Talia calls it the 'momspringa' (like the Amish rumspringa) and decides to feature it in the magazine as something all mothers need now and again. Reluctant at first but with encouragement from Talia, her best friend ex-nun Lena and Daniel, the hot librarian she befriends at a librarians convention, Amy soon finds that she is enjoying her new improved self and breaking out of the stasis she has been in for the past three years.This was an engaging read with interesting characters who love talking about books and plays. Beware though, it may make you want to have a 'momspringa of your own!With thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for a digital ARC to read
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  • Theresa Alan
    January 1, 1970
    Amy was forced to be a single mother when her husband abandoned her and their two kids three years earlier. She cut back expenses, got a job as a school librarian, and survived without the help of any child support. When her husband abruptly shows up and wants to catch up with the kids over the summer, she agrees because she wants the children to have a good relationship with him even if she doesn’t.Her old friend Talia lives in New York City and works at a fashion magazine, so Amy heads to New Amy was forced to be a single mother when her husband abandoned her and their two kids three years earlier. She cut back expenses, got a job as a school librarian, and survived without the help of any child support. When her husband abruptly shows up and wants to catch up with the kids over the summer, she agrees because she wants the children to have a good relationship with him even if she doesn’t.Her old friend Talia lives in New York City and works at a fashion magazine, so Amy heads to New York to attend a librarian conference and hang out with Talia. Talia’s assistant Matt basically forces Amy to undergo a makeover. What I really liked was that Amy never thought her life would magically get better with a cool haircut and fashionable clothes. She likes herself as the simple book-reading mom that she is. She does discover, however, that she likes really good bras that fit properly.A little romance plus agreeing to a little risk helps Amy grow emotionally over the summer to realize that time off from being a single mom who also works full time outside the home helps her be a better mother. This book is a lot of fun.
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  • Melki
    January 1, 1970
    Look at me. I am a modern woman! I am Gloria Steinem and Helen Gurley Brown and the slutty one from Sex and the City all wrapped up in one.A straitlaced librarian mother of two gets to experience the glamorous life when her AWOL husband returns to entertain the kids for a few weeks. Her momspringa turns into a voyage of self discovery, makes her a minor celebrity, and instills a sassy new attitude in our plucky heroine. There's no doubt that the film rights have already been sold, and with a few Look at me. I am a modern woman! I am Gloria Steinem and Helen Gurley Brown and the slutty one from Sex and the City all wrapped up in one.A straitlaced librarian mother of two gets to experience the glamorous life when her AWOL husband returns to entertain the kids for a few weeks. Her momspringa turns into a voyage of self discovery, makes her a minor celebrity, and instills a sassy new attitude in our plucky heroine. There's no doubt that the film rights have already been sold, and with a few tweeks, this could be the next Melissa McCarthy vehicle.This is not the type of book I'd normally read, but I must admit I'm a sucker for tales of librarians gone wild. Though the writing is decent, and there's some great dialogue, it's really only a three-star read. However, I'm tacking on an extra twinkler as I think the author delivered exactly what was promised - an enjoyable, innocuous, rom-com romp.
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  • Bridgett
    January 1, 1970
    I'm in the minority on this one. The Overdue Life of Amy Byler is a cute, quick, predictable read. What you expect to happen is exactly what happens. It's a character driven novel, which is fine...I don't need constant action when books are well-written. Unfortunately, the characters seemed very much like characters, and not actual people. The dialogue reminded me of an 80s sitcom where everyone spews one-liners...even the 12 year old. The voices of Amy (the mother) and Cori (her 15 year old da I'm in the minority on this one. The Overdue Life of Amy Byler is a cute, quick, predictable read. What you expect to happen is exactly what happens. It's a character driven novel, which is fine...I don't need constant action when books are well-written. Unfortunately, the characters seemed very much like characters, and not actual people. The dialogue reminded me of an 80s sitcom where everyone spews one-liners...even the 12 year old. The voices of Amy (the mother) and Cori (her 15 year old daughter) were virtually indistinguishable. And the constant corny jokes eventually became trite and tiresome. Neither negative, nor positive thoughts about this story abound...which sums the book up pretty well for me. It's an unmemorable, completely average novel. 2.5 stars**I received a free, advanced copy of this book through Amazon's Kindle First program. All opinions are my own.
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  • Tina
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 STARSWhat a wonderful story to escape in! Amy is a single mother of 2 teenaged children. Her husband up and left the family 3 years ago. He now returns to make amends and wants to spend the summer with the kids and Amy goes off on an adventure...(first unwanted)...to NYC.I loved Amy! This story is very heartwarming and easy to follow. The writing is wonderful. You are rooting for Amy all throughout the story. She is quite endearing!! For fellow book lovers there are many nods to popular book 4.5 STARSWhat a wonderful story to escape in! Amy is a single mother of 2 teenaged children. Her husband up and left the family 3 years ago. He now returns to make amends and wants to spend the summer with the kids and Amy goes off on an adventure...(first unwanted)...to NYC.I loved Amy! This story is very heartwarming and easy to follow. The writing is wonderful. You are rooting for Amy all throughout the story. She is quite endearing!! For fellow book lovers there are many nods to popular books in the story as Amy is a librarian. I thought the intro to each chapter when Amy's daughter is writing in her journal was very clever. Oh and the title was perfect!Thank-you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for granting me access to this Advanced Reader Copy. It was a joy to read!
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  • Trish at Between My Lines
    January 1, 1970
    I’m spilling over with love for this book. There is a very bookish theme, sparkling banter between the characters, including in-depth discussions on books. And there is food porn, there was so much food consumed that I was constantly hungry. And there was journaling. And a New York setting. And all the humour, literally laugh out loud moments.And, and, and.I could keep whispering sweet nothings about this book, but I rather you discover the joys of it yourself.If you love books bursting with wit I’m spilling over with love for this book. There is a very bookish theme, sparkling banter between the characters, including in-depth discussions on books. And there is food porn, there was so much food consumed that I was constantly hungry. And there was journaling. And a New York setting. And all the humour, literally laugh out loud moments.And, and, and.I could keep whispering sweet nothings about this book, but I rather you discover the joys of it yourself.If you love books bursting with wit, and highlighting the power of female friendships, and the joy of finding yourself, then I highly recommend this gem of a book to you.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    Author Kelly Harms has started a thing with Amy Byler and her #momspringa and every mom is going to want one! Read about it here!SUMMARYAmy Byler lives in a small town in Pennsylvania and is utterly shocked when she sees her missing husband, John, in her neighborhood drugstore. Three years ago, John went to Hong Kong and never came home. But, he is back now, and wants to spend a week with the children he abandoned: Cori, 15, and Joe, 11. He wants to fix things, make things right and be the fathe Author Kelly Harms has started a thing with Amy Byler and her #momspringa and every mom is going to want one! Read about it here!SUMMARYAmy Byler lives in a small town in Pennsylvania and is utterly shocked when she sees her missing husband, John, in her neighborhood drugstore. Three years ago, John went to Hong Kong and never came home. But, he is back now, and wants to spend a week with the children he abandoned: Cori, 15, and Joe, 11. He wants to fix things, make things right and be the father he should have always been. After a tumultuous family meeting, the kids agree to hang with their dad for a week. Amy decides to take advantage of the week by attending a library educators’ conference and visiting a friend in NYC. She meets a "hot librarian" Daniel Seong-Eason, while at the conference and sparks fly. When John's week with Cori and Joe turns into a month, Amy stays in NYC, where she gets a new wardrobe and hairstyle and is featured in a fashion magazine managed by her college friend Talia, who also offers Amy her apartment, rent-free, for the summer. The magazine arranges a series of tantalizing dates for Amy’s “#momspringa” NYC adventure, which is trending on social media. Amy is soon torn between her glamorous life in New York and the needs of her children at home. REVIEWThis book is absolutely adorable. It’s light and laugh out loud funny and will capture your attention as well as your imagination. I couldn’t put it down. It’s easy and fun to read, and particularly would appeal to those hard-working mom’s that never seem to get a break. The Overdue Life of Amy Byler is clever and gives us all something to think about. I was drawn to Kelly Harms’ librarian humor and book references, especially the shout out to Ann Patchett, my favorite author; and salt and vinegar potato chips, my favorite snack. How did she know! Amy’s friends, Talia and Lena were the best, and I loved, loved, loved their text exchanges. Totally agree with Amy that every mom should have a #momspringa! Oh, and by the way...I’m attending a library conference in Florida in two weeks! Lol! Author Kelly Harms is an author, a mother and a big dreamer. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with her sparkling son, Griffin; her fluffy dog, Scout; and her beloved Irishman, Chris. Before this midwestern life, she lived in New York City and worked with many of her author-heroes as an editor at HarperCollins, and then as a literary agent. at the Jane Rotrosen Agency.Publisher Lake UnionPublished May 1, 2019Review www.bluestockingreviews.com
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  • Nicole ❤
    January 1, 1970
    "And yes , it makes me crazy to think that my kids can go days— or maybe weeks—without me. If I’m not needed, if I’m not busy, if I’m not an overstretched, overwhelmed, underslept, underpaid single mother… What exactly am I?" 📖The Overdue Life of Amy Byler📖🖋Kelly Harms Much thanks to NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing and Kelly Harms for this complimentary copy. This review is voluntary and opinions are fully my own.BUY THE BOOK : Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Book Depository📚 Series: No📚 Genr "And yes , it makes me crazy to think that my kids can go days— or maybe weeks—without me. If I’m not needed, if I’m not busy, if I’m not an overstretched, overwhelmed, underslept, underpaid single mother… What exactly am I?" 📖The Overdue Life of Amy Byler📖🖋Kelly Harms Much thanks to NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing and Kelly Harms for this complimentary copy. This review is voluntary and opinions are fully my own.BUY THE BOOK : Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Book Depository📚 Series: No📚 Genre: General Fiction / Romance📚 POV: First person.📚 Cliffhanger: No.⚠ Content Warnings: Cheating. Divorce. Accident/Surgery on a minor character.⚠ Read if: you feel like you are underappreciated and need a break. Or, if you are looking for a light fun read.Amy Byler is an overworked and underpaid single mom of two children (Cori, 15 and Joe, 12) whose (common law ex-)husband went to Hong Kong and disappeared for three years.Out of nowhere, John (the ex husband) returns and wants to make amends with her and the kids. He offers to take care of them for the summer, and suddenly Amy is handed a whole lot of time in her hands.. and for the first time, nothing to do and no kids to think about.School librarian Amy suddenly decided to go to New York for a library conference. Reuniting with her college friend also led her to be part a "momspringa". At the prospect of being alone, Amy now has time to think her life over and make decisions on her marriage. If life suddenly gives her the opportunity for a whole lot of change in mindset and new love prospect, then, hey, let her take it. "Can forgiving him and enjoying time with him now actually make you feel better than holding a grudge against him for the rest of your lives? In other words, is punishing him what’s truly best for you?” Amy Byler is so likeable and relatable and made me appreciate my mom even more. I was rooting for her all the while and felt very happy with how life turned out for her.Her support system were lovable. We're here for girls supporting girls! The whole "momspringa" journey was so fun, it definitely felt like I was watching a movie!Her love interest is swoonworthy and perfectly written for her. I was nervous at first but now extremely happy with what happend in the end.I loved all the bits of literary references, too. The nerd in me was swimming in happiness!This book, in its entirety, is very charming and so funny you might laugh out loud, but also a very thought provoking and heart warming read.☁ THE CRITERIA ☁🌻 Blurb:⭐⭐⭐⭐🌻 Hero:⭐⭐⭐⭐🌻 Heroine:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐🌻 Support Characters:⭐⭐⭐⭐🌻 Writing Style:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐🌻 Character Development:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐🌻 Romance:⭐⭐⭐⭐🌻 Pacing:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐🌻 Ending:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐🌻 Page Turner:⭐⭐⭐⭐🌻 Book Cover:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ☁FINAL VERDICT: 4.63/5 ☁
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  • Gail C.
    January 1, 1970
    In THE OVERDUE LIFE OF AMY BYLER by Kelly Harris, Amy has devoted all her life so far to the raising and care of her children. When they were nine and thirteen, her husband left, moving to Korea to get himself more emotionally stable and do what was right for him. Now, after three years he wants to come back and spend a week with the children he abandoned. He prefaces his proposal by apologizing for the hurt he’s caused and saying he wants to repair some of the damage.When Amy first hears the i In THE OVERDUE LIFE OF AMY BYLER by Kelly Harris, Amy has devoted all her life so far to the raising and care of her children. When they were nine and thirteen, her husband left, moving to Korea to get himself more emotionally stable and do what was right for him. Now, after three years he wants to come back and spend a week with the children he abandoned. He prefaces his proposal by apologizing for the hurt he’s caused and saying he wants to repair some of the damage.When Amy first hears the idea, she is absolutely against the plan. How can she trust him to take care of them after three years of being a single parent? How can she forgive him for the strife she has endured for these three years? What will she do if she take time for only herself? Yet, as her husband shows every possibility for actually being able to manage a week of single parenting she is encouraged by her friends to take the time for herself.Once she agrees, Amy finds herself in New York, going to a librarian’s conference and rooming with an old friend from her single days, Talia. Talia encourages her to get rid of her mom jeans, put on some clothes from the designer closet belonging to the magazine where Talia works, and spread her wings a little while in the city.Amy agrees and is suddenly swept up in a whirlwind with Talia’s assistant, that he has dubbed her “momspringa”. She gets a complete makeover, experiences some fancy New York restaurants, and is reminded of the person she was before she became “A MOM”. She has a great time at the conference, sharing a new reading plan with other librarians and making new friends including a “hot librarian.”As the week comes to an end, her husband and children petition her to give them the entire summer. He has shown himself capable of parenting, plus has offered them camp experiences that are “once in a lifetime” opportunities; diving camp for their teenage daughter and space camp for their almost tween son. With no concrete evidence that this will do irreparable harm to either of the children coupled with the pull of a summer filled with experiences she has denied herself for the past few years, Amy agrees. She is still reluctant to think of it as a momspringa, but she is agreeable to having a few more exciting adventures before she returns home to begin full-time parenting again.The book, the experiences, Amy reactions were all fully satisfying. This is a book every mother could benefit from reading, even if it doesn’t lead to a full-blown momspringa for them. Even for those moms who have no need to reconnect with another part of themselves, if those moms exist, there is plenty of entertainment and encouragement here. In short, it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read, even though I’m well past the age of seeing it as a guide or challenge to my own life. If there’s nothing in the book for you personally, it’s one you will likely still enjoy just to read about Amy’s experiences.My thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for providing me with an advanced read copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. It’s a book I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys a well-told tale and especially for anyone wanting to read about someone embarking on new experiences.
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  • Kate ☀️ Olson
    January 1, 1970
    (free review copy) As a school librarian and a 38-year-old mom of 3, I feel like I'm the EXACT target audience for this book! I related to so much of the story and I loved all the nerdy bookish references. So much fabulous humor in the journal entries and emails from Amy's teen daughters, as well as in her interactions with her 2 friends via text and in person. All around a perfect fun read for any mom you know! Great Mother's Day present.
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  • Victoria
    January 1, 1970
    Entertaining and escapist summer read with a good message for mothers or any woman who feels she needs to be the ‘all’ for others at the expense of her own life.
  • abby
    January 1, 1970
    I needed something quick and fun to read, and this book fit the bill. It's pretty stereotypical chick-lit. The woman has been wronged by a man who comes back to make amends and gets a fun vacation to NY out of the deal where every guy is either her gay best friend or wants to sleep with her. Confused feelings about the men in her life, conflicted about what she wants out of life, cue in some deepish thoughts. Happy endings all around.The one knock I have about this book is the way the teenage ch I needed something quick and fun to read, and this book fit the bill. It's pretty stereotypical chick-lit. The woman has been wronged by a man who comes back to make amends and gets a fun vacation to NY out of the deal where every guy is either her gay best friend or wants to sleep with her. Confused feelings about the men in her life, conflicted about what she wants out of life, cue in some deepish thoughts. Happy endings all around.The one knock I have about this book is the way the teenage character talk and interact with their parents. A 12 year old boy uses the word "darling" unironically for one example. An adult man introduces his girlfriend to his teen daughter by calling her "sexy." When I was fifteen, I would have vomited if my father had called my own mother sexy, much less some woman I've never met before but deep down know my father is sleeping with. Look, I know it's 2019 and every parents wants to be woke (after they Google what that's supposed to mean) and the cool mom or dad, but teens are still teens and they still hide periods from their dad and the fact that their new boyfriend felt them up from their moms. It just felt unnatural. A lot of the dialogue did.Ask me in a week what this book was about and I probably won't be able to remember. But I had fun reading it, and that's all I wanted.
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  • Lindsey Gandhi
    January 1, 1970
    This is the book to read for any and all moms!!!!! Momspringa will become the newest trend I guarantee it. As a mom of a 7-year old I could totally relate to Amy. We don't get enough sleep, take enough showers, take care of ourselves or even have "me" time. What mom doesn't joke that we look forward to having to use the bathroom so we can get five minutes of peace and quiet. This book is brilliant!! Kelly Harms really knocked it out of the park big time with this book. The characters are all fan This is the book to read for any and all moms!!!!! Momspringa will become the newest trend I guarantee it. As a mom of a 7-year old I could totally relate to Amy. We don't get enough sleep, take enough showers, take care of ourselves or even have "me" time. What mom doesn't joke that we look forward to having to use the bathroom so we can get five minutes of peace and quiet. This book is brilliant!! Kelly Harms really knocked it out of the park big time with this book. The characters are all fantastic, the story is beautifully executed and I loved her quirky writing style with the journal entries. It's hip, it transforms you just like Amy gets transformed on her momspringa. This book is absolutely hilarious, it's entertaining, it was delightful, it's engaging, it's encouraging, it has so much heart, but more important it's perfectly relevant and relatable to all moms, single or married. This is a quick and fun read you won't be able to put down. I literally laughed out loud on so many occasions, cried at a few and was high-fiving Amy as she rediscovered herself. Just like the book and the title, Amy has a lot of sass that was so enjoyable to read and get to know. I'm so in love with this book, I want to buy copies for all my mom friends. Pick it up and read it, you won't be disappointed!!!! Now I'm off to plan my momspringa!!!!My thanks to Kelly Harms, Lake Union Publishing and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Sonja Yoerg
    January 1, 1970
    Amy Byler's husband ditched her and their kids three years ago, so when he shows up, full of reget, we can forgive her for being less than welcoming. Still, she could use a break--and a life.What follows is so engaging, I had to clear my calendar. Harms dances on the knife edge between snort-your-coffee humor and bull's-eye insights, often in the same sentence. As a card-carrying curmudgeon, I resist such tactics, but here I never felt played. Instead, I was swept up in Amy's Everymom dilemma, h Amy Byler's husband ditched her and their kids three years ago, so when he shows up, full of reget, we can forgive her for being less than welcoming. Still, she could use a break--and a life.What follows is so engaging, I had to clear my calendar. Harms dances on the knife edge between snort-your-coffee humor and bull's-eye insights, often in the same sentence. As a card-carrying curmudgeon, I resist such tactics, but here I never felt played. Instead, I was swept up in Amy's Everymom dilemma, her quest for a full life without sinking into the swamp of selfishness.Whip-smart and honest to the core, THE OVERDUE LIFE OF AMY BYLER is a thoughtful, nimble charmer. Did I mention the hot librarian?
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  • Whitney
    January 1, 1970
    Overall: a fun and light beach read with interesting characters and plot. This is a nice and easy and enjoyable read! 3.5/5Summary: Amy is a single mom of two middle school to teenage kids. Her husband up and left three years ago and by chance she comes across him in the local drug store. He wants a chance back with his kids and offers her the opportunity to get away for a summer while he builds that relationship. Amy accepts and goes to New York City on a #momspringa which includes a makeover, Overall: a fun and light beach read with interesting characters and plot. This is a nice and easy and enjoyable read! 3.5/5Summary: Amy is a single mom of two middle school to teenage kids. Her husband up and left three years ago and by chance she comes across him in the local drug store. He wants a chance back with his kids and offers her the opportunity to get away for a summer while he builds that relationship. Amy accepts and goes to New York City on a #momspringa which includes a makeover, lots of dates, cocktails, and Amy getting back in touch with herself.The Good: This is a very fun, fast-paced read. Very light plot and all associated material so I was surprised at the character development throughout. You get to know and like Amy and her kids plus many of the other supporting characters throughout. A nice and easy escape that kept me pretty engaged throughout.The Bad: This book is soooooo predictable. Like, I knew the entire plot from a few chapter in. That being said, still found it enjoyable though quiet unbelievable. The #momspringa got quite obnoxious from an early stage but if you can put that and the predictability aside, this is a great and fun beach read.
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  • Sherry Mabry
    January 1, 1970
    I have been slogging through a really difficult, and not particularly rewarding, book. So I thought this would be a light, amusing read - a nice break from the other book. Whew - I went from the arcane to the inane. She lost me at "Flexthology" - the main character's terribly named program to get kids to read, which we are supposed to believe just wowed a room full of educators and librarians (including, of course, the one-in-a-million hot librarian who presumably falls for her on the basis of f I have been slogging through a really difficult, and not particularly rewarding, book. So I thought this would be a light, amusing read - a nice break from the other book. Whew - I went from the arcane to the inane. She lost me at "Flexthology" - the main character's terribly named program to get kids to read, which we are supposed to believe just wowed a room full of educators and librarians (including, of course, the one-in-a-million hot librarian who presumably falls for her on the basis of flexthology). To sum up the program...give kids a choice of what to read. Well...duh. If flexthology wasn't bad enough...I cringed every time I read "momspringa"...literally cringed. Yes, yes...I've been a busy mom myself. We all need a break. But we don't get a magical Cinderella fairy tale of going away for the summer and by chance getting all our expenses paid. The plot was ridiculous. Here was my biggest issue...her "ex" seems to have some money. He abandoned her and her kids for 3 years! Despite the horrific psychologic damage you could reasonably assume would happen to all of them, there was also significant financial damage. ...except he didn't seem to totally abandon them. You come to realize there was SOME contact. And during that contact Amy didn't think to say, "HEY LOSER...I'M STRUGGLING TO MAKE ENDS MEET HERE - SEND SOME CHILD SUPPORT!" Come on. She didn't even ASK for him to live up to his responsibilities. And yet, when he shows up, he seems to be bending over backward to hand out money? And lucky Amy, not only does she go to NYC for the summer, she accidentally ends up with an apartment, an all expenses paid makeover, food tabs picked up, etc., etc., AND a hot librarian, who is kind, understanding, funny, great in bed and generally all around perfect. Except, alas, he shares custody of his teenage daughter and Amy has two teenagers in PA, and how EVER could they make that work. Really? Really? These are two college-educated grown ass adults madly in love and the only options they can come up with are just be friends or break up at the end of the summer? Because ya know...NY to PA...just insurmountable. It just didn't make sense and was all so, so unrealistic. It's enough to send me back to my serious, but boring book.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    2 1/2 stars. This was my second book from Amazon Prime first reads, and it's probably a good indication that I should stick to well vetted and recommended reads. While the author touches on realistic issues (marriage problems, abandonment, struggles with the demands of motherhood), many of the proposed solutions to said issues (casual sex, drinking, getting makeovers, being "free") seem shallow and unlikely to actually fill the real needs of connection and purpose. Additionally, despite being "i 2 1/2 stars. This was my second book from Amazon Prime first reads, and it's probably a good indication that I should stick to well vetted and recommended reads. While the author touches on realistic issues (marriage problems, abandonment, struggles with the demands of motherhood), many of the proposed solutions to said issues (casual sex, drinking, getting makeovers, being "free") seem shallow and unlikely to actually fill the real needs of connection and purpose. Additionally, despite being "in the trenches" of motherhood, the humor fell flat for me. I did enjoy the literary references.
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  • Starr (AKA Bam Bam) Rivers
    January 1, 1970
    So, this was not so much a romance as a new age, new adult contemporary fiction novel, so romance lovers be forewarned. No sexy times at all, tho sex is mentioned.I wasn't expecting any sexy times (look at that non-sexy cover!), but I was expecting more humor. There's some. Mostly intelligent wit by Cori, the heroine (Amy)'s daughter. I thought Daniel, the hot librarian, was the best - mature, understanding, smart, AND hot. Amy was... OK. I would have liked her to have more personality. The whol So, this was not so much a romance as a new age, new adult contemporary fiction novel, so romance lovers be forewarned. No sexy times at all, tho sex is mentioned.I wasn't expecting any sexy times (look at that non-sexy cover!), but I was expecting more humor. There's some. Mostly intelligent wit by Cori, the heroine (Amy)'s daughter. I thought Daniel, the hot librarian, was the best - mature, understanding, smart, AND hot. Amy was... OK. I would have liked her to have more personality. The whole premise is that Amy is a single mom (dickwad John left her after 18 years of marriage, just up and went off to Hong Kong and said he wasn't coming back, best of luck to her. They didn't even get divorced. He never even paid child support, just LEFT! And went to bang a younger woman, and his career, etc. left her with 2 kids. And after 3 years, he came back wanting to reinsert himself into his kids' lives...)Amy is a SAINT. She's so unbelievably saintly, I want to kick her ass up and down the street. Are you shitting me??? Your husband leaves you high and dry without MONEY, without a JOB, with 2 KIDs and mortgage and bills, etc., and you don't hire an assassin or at least a very large thug to beat his selfish, flaky ass into next Sunday? You just make do like a martyr and suck it up and don't even get divorced??? Sure, it cost money, was not a priority, etc. BUT. If you filed for divorce in a situation like this, he would have been legally required to PAY you! Rather than just being AWOL and leave you to handle all the shit!!You can see I'm not a fan of Amy's lack of backbone and thirst for vengeance. AND, the whole 3 years she never got laid. Never dated anyone. Cuz she didn't want to be "unfaithful." Huh?????? While her HUSBAND is in Hong Kong boinking a woman named Mariska or some such thing.(Later, the wonderful John called his 3 year relationship with the woman an "aberration." Nice guy)So. I am not fond of Amy for being such a doormat.It got kinda boring after a while, and I skipped around a bit. Thankfully, it was free. Writing isn't at all bad, just didn't resonate with me. If this is "literary fiction" I'll probably be staying away for a good long while...
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  • Misty
    January 1, 1970
    This light-hearted novel is the story of Amy Byler, a high school librarian, abandoned by her husband, John, and left alone to raise her two young children. When John suddenly reappears three years later and wants to reestablish a relationship with his kids, Amy reluctantly agrees to allow him to spend a week alone with daughter Cori and son Joe, while she attends a librarian conference in NYC. What begins as a short trip blossoms into a full-blown “momspringa”, as Amy rediscovers herself and fi This light-hearted novel is the story of Amy Byler, a high school librarian, abandoned by her husband, John, and left alone to raise her two young children. When John suddenly reappears three years later and wants to reestablish a relationship with his kids, Amy reluctantly agrees to allow him to spend a week alone with daughter Cori and son Joe, while she attends a librarian conference in NYC. What begins as a short trip blossoms into a full-blown “momspringa”, as Amy rediscovers herself and finally realizes what is truly important. The format of the novel is at once a bit confusing and brilliant. Chapters alternate between those told in first person from Amy’s perspective, and those written as reading journal entries from the point of view of teenage daughter Cori. The voices are well-developed and unique, capturing the essence of both a brooding, witty and sarcastic teen and a harried mom in search of herself. This novel may be a niche piece, as much of the enjoyment comes from the ability to catch the literary references. Well-versed readers will delight in the Latin puns and jokes, as well as the clever nods to John Dewey, and those with an affinity for YA lit (especially those who teach it) will find the subplots relatable and perhaps even enlightening and educational. There are a few things here that I will certainly attempt to implement in my own classroom next fall.My only misgivings about the book relate directly to the conclusion. It seemed almost “soap-operaesque”, overly affected and a bit melodramatic for my tastes, but considering the laugh-out-loud moments sprinkled throughout, the sappy conclusion can almost be forgiven. Overall, this is a must read for librarians and English teachers, though it is also a pretty good beach read for anyone with a sense of humor.
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  • Andrea
    January 1, 1970
    If you’re a mom (any mom...single, married), this is YOUR fantasy. It may even inspire you to make such a thing happen.
  • Melody Kimmons-Allen
    January 1, 1970
    The Overdue Life of Amy BrylerI'm so glad I took a chance on a new author. I really enjoyed this read. At first, I didn't think I would. It felt a bit wordy for my liking but considering the main character is the biggest brain I think I've read in a book that Penny Reid didn't write, it makes perfect sense. Eventually the dialogue grew on me. There's so much to talk about. It was definitely a book of great content and I think any married mother who has ever felt like the last on the things to do The Overdue Life of Amy BrylerI'm so glad I took a chance on a new author. I really enjoyed this read. At first, I didn't think I would. It felt a bit wordy for my liking but considering the main character is the biggest brain I think I've read in a book that Penny Reid didn't write, it makes perfect sense. Eventually the dialogue grew on me. There's so much to talk about. It was definitely a book of great content and I think any married mother who has ever felt like the last on the things to do list, should read this. Amy Bryler is a strong, intelligent mother of two, who's husband skipped out on her 3 years prior. He fled to Hong Kong with his mistress and gave his wife and two children the deuce. He re-enters the picture at the start of the book in hopes to right his wrongs with his children and spend time with them so he can try mending their broken relationship. After mulling it over Amy allows this and is convinced by her close friends to take a much needed mom-cation. She flees to New York for the summer to take a continuing education class and stays with an old college roommate who also happens to work for a magazine that wants to document her new independence. Amy is reluctant but agrees. The magazine lays a plan for her to follow: Get a total makeover, explore New York, take up exercising, date anything with a penis and relax.During her summer class Amy meets a handsome librarian name Daniel. They really hit it off but decide to stay friends because Amy is still secretly hoping her husband didn't just come back for the kids, but for her as well. Plus, Daniel knows that Amy wont be a permanent New York resident and doesn't want to get invested if she leaves. The online coverage of the article takes off and Amy is suddenly a household name. While her children are getting to know their father, Amy is rediscovering who she is. And it was quite beautiful to read. Her journey is refreshing and relatable. It speaks to how mothers neglect themselves in order to make sure their children have the best lives. Like Amy, we tend to forget that life is short and one day those children will be adults, leave the nest and start their own lives. When that happens...what's next for us?This story reminds us that it is totally OK to put yourself first. After all, if you're not happy, you'll have a hell of a time trying to make someone else happy.
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  • Booksandchinooks (Laurie)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Kathleen Carter Communications, Amazon Publishing, and Lake Union Authors for a free copy of this book for review. What a charming story! This was such an entertaining book I would have liked to continue on longer with Amy Byler. Amy’s husband has unexpectantly returned from his three year vacation from his wife and children. Well maybe not a complete vacation since he was going to his job in Hong Kong. He just unfortunately completely ignored his family and left Amy high and dry with Thank you Kathleen Carter Communications, Amazon Publishing, and Lake Union Authors for a free copy of this book for review. What a charming story! This was such an entertaining book I would have liked to continue on longer with Amy Byler. Amy’s husband has unexpectantly returned from his three year vacation from his wife and children. Well maybe not a complete vacation since he was going to his job in Hong Kong. He just unfortunately completely ignored his family and left Amy high and dry with no income and two children to support. After becoming a single working mother and looking after all the finances, childcare, etc guess who shows up wanting to be a dad? He convinces Amy he wants to look after the kids, for a week, on his own and she can take a short vacation to NYC. While skeptical and filled with anxiety over whether he can be capable and trustworthy enough to look after the children Amy heads to NYC. After her trip gets extended Amy has some tough decisions to make, a lot of soul searching to do, and a lot of fun adventures. Amy is such a great main character you cheer her on every step of the way. I love books about family dynamics, romance, and of course NYC so this one was a 5⭐️ for me.
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  • Eileen Goudge
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this book. The style is breezy and humorous, despite the somewhat serious subject, and I loved the heroine who goes on a Momspringa and rediscovers herself in the process. Will definitely recommend and It should find many fans with readers of this type of fiction.
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