Only One Life
A reunion between an estranged mother and daughter opens a world of secrets in a poignant novel by the bestselling author of Magnolia Nights. Julia Martin grew up wealthy, but it wasn’t until she met her husband, Jack, that she knew true happiness. He made her feel worthy and loved. Their marriage was also an escape from her sister’s bullying, her father’s scrutiny, and her chilly and enigmatic mother. But when tragedy strikes on the night she gives birth, Julia’s happiness is shattered. She has no choice but to return home to her family’s South Carolina mansion, where the grief and guilt buried in her mother’s past await her.As a young woman trapped in a bitter marriage, Julia’s mother, Iris, once needed her own means of escape. In Lily, she found a best friend. In the flower shop they opened, she discovered independence. Then came a transgression—unforgivable, unforgettable, and unresolved—that changed Iris’s life forever.Now, in Iris’s most desperate hour, her only hope is to regain the trust of the daughter she loves—and to share the secrets of the heart that could rebuild a family’s broken bonds.

Only One Life Details

TitleOnly One Life
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 23rd, 2019
PublisherLake Union Publishing
Rating
GenreFiction, Womens Fiction, Chick Lit

Only One Life Review

  • Lola
    January 1, 1970
    This is a ‘‘did not finish’’ from me. I did not stop reading it because reading it pained me mentally or because I did not understand one thing. I stopped my reading because I did not see the point of finishing it. There is nothing I found myself captivated by. Not the storyline, not the characters, not the writing or narration style. None of it is particularly interesting or impressive or well done. This is a pretty tragic story, and yet the way the author wrote the disheartening passages did This is a ‘‘did not finish’’ from me. I did not stop reading it because reading it pained me mentally or because I did not understand one thing. I stopped my reading because I did not see the point of finishing it. There is nothing I found myself captivated by. Not the storyline, not the characters, not the writing or narration style. None of it is particularly interesting or impressive or well done. This is a pretty tragic story, and yet the way the author wrote the disheartening passages did not make me feel sad. It made me feel shocked, but only because they happened very fast, as though the author preferred to deal with/write about the aftermath more than the action itself. I was not okay with that. It is rare for me not to like at least one character in a story, because usually more than four or five are featured, so feeling completely indifferent about that amount of people, or actually disliking them, does not make sense to me. There is often at least one secondary character I love and get attached to. But here, nothing. No one. Julia is a mess and she has every right to be but I could not relate to her situation at all. That is my problem, not the author’s, though. I am not a mother, nor a widow. Her mother, Iris, whose point of view is also included, is another protagonist I tried to sympathize with. Bus alas, I have little patience for people who know they are in a bad situation or are making a mistake but do little to try to change their circumstances. This, again, is my problem for not being more understanding and patient with fictional people and situations. Basically, I am simply not the right reader for this book. That or the author could work on making her writing more lyrical and affective and her characters easier to relate to. Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’
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  • Kathleen
    January 1, 1970
    "One can harbor secrets for only so long. One way or another, they eventually catch up with you."Special thanks to author Ashley Farley for writing this "page turning novel" and thanks to Lake Union Publishing, and NetGalley for an ARC of ONLY ONE LIFE. The thoughts expressed here are my own. This novel of family, friendship, love, sorrow and secrets is set in the small town Beaufort, South Carolina. Julia, Iris, Lily, Wiley, Gus and Jackson are my favourite characters, while Max and daughter "One can harbor secrets for only so long. One way or another, they eventually catch up with you."Special thanks to author Ashley Farley for writing this "page turning novel" and thanks to Lake Union Publishing, and NetGalley for an ARC of ONLY ONE LIFE. The thoughts expressed here are my own. This novel of family, friendship, love, sorrow and secrets is set in the small town Beaufort, South Carolina. Julia, Iris, Lily, Wiley, Gus and Jackson are my favourite characters, while Max and daughter Alex quickly lost my respect and favour. Ashley's talented writing style has once again captivated me and I read ONLY ONE LIFE TO LIVE in one afternoon. Although I did not want the book to end, I could not stop reading until I found out what would happen to Julia and her mother. 5 flowery stars ⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️Posted Goodreads April 23, 2019 Savvy Reader April 23, 2019 NetGalley April 24, 2019 iBooks April 24, 2019
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  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    I love a good southern fiction book and Only One Life was amazing! I loved the different viewpoints and learning about Iris and Julia's stories, layer by layer. I read this captivating story in one sitting...unputdownable! Grab a glass of sweet tea, pull up a chair on the porch and settle in with this book!
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  • ʚϊɞ Shelley ʚϊɞ
    January 1, 1970
    I absolutely loved Nell and Lady by Ashley Farley so when I saw another of her books on Netgalley I had to have it. Unfortunately this one didn't live up to my expectations. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a bad book but it just fell a little flat for me and everything just came too easy for the characters. I didn't appreciate the light it shone on mental illness, how easy it was for one character to get better. It doesn't happen that way in real life.I did really enjoy reading about Iris's I absolutely loved Nell and Lady by Ashley Farley so when I saw another of her books on Netgalley I had to have it. Unfortunately this one didn't live up to my expectations. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a bad book but it just fell a little flat for me and everything just came too easy for the characters. I didn't appreciate the light it shone on mental illness, how easy it was for one character to get better. It doesn't happen that way in real life.I did really enjoy reading about Iris's backstory. Those chapters were my favourite part of the book. Only One Life under general women's fiction for me. It's told from 2 separate points of view and encapsulates the vulnerabilities, pride, and strength in each of the female characters. It holds a spark here and there of romance but in not in a way that they romance dominates the story or the characters. I enjoyed it and fans of women's fiction will too.Thank you NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing and Ashley Farley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own.#OnlyOneLife #NetGalleyAll my reviews can be found on my blog: https://shelleyann01.blogspot.com/
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  • Christine Nolfi
    January 1, 1970
    A powerful, moving story of the dark secrets hidden beneath the veneer of wealth, and the healing power of love between a mother and her adult daughter. This is Southern fiction at its best.
  • Robin Ross
    January 1, 1970
    Meh... The characters were one dimensional, the dialogue trite and overused and the good guys suffer just enough to build character. Only the obvious bad guys have any real flaws and everything works out very nicely in the end. Blah...
  • Brenda
    January 1, 1970
    I received a digital advance copy of this book and loved it! Ashley Farley is a wonderful author and fabulous storyteller and is quickly becoming a new favorite author of mine :) I've read 8 (of Ashley's 12 (I think) books) and am now on a quest to read the other 4! Ashley tells a wonderful story about family and friendships through several generations. There is drama, romance, and a big dose of "can do" attitude to overcome difficult situations, all told with southern charm :) Wonderful book!
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  • abdulia ortiz-perez
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book for honest review. I'm ambassador this year for Spring I received my second #swiperightonreadingI'm so excited to be part of @booksparks for spring reading.#booksharkThe storyline was very good! The theme and setting was well put together. The characters was well put together in the story. Was so well put in the story. Everything all in one book. It was just perfect! What a great read! This had me hooked from the beginning. What a Rollercoaster! The sitting, theme, and the I received this book for honest review.📚🐝📚🐝📚🐝📚🐝📚🐝📚🐝📚🐝 I'm ambassador this year for Spring 🌻I received my second #swiperightonreadingI'm so excited to be part of @booksparks for spring reading.#booksharkThe storyline was very good! The theme and setting was well put together. The characters was well put together in the story. Was so well put in the story. Everything all in one book. It was just perfect! What a great read! This had me hooked from the beginning. What a Rollercoaster! The sitting, theme, and the Characters had me pulled so in. Everything was well put together and it was just perfect. This novel would have you guess and thinking all the way to the end. When the ending comes am on shock. I wouldn't of never believe or guess. Like OMG! Highly recommend everybody get this book and read it. Its so good! Can't wait for her next book.This book surpasses any expectation I might have had. Only One Life is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I love how Farley writes about relationships, the challenges and the satisfaction that they can bring. This book starts in the present day with Julia, who is the estranged daughter of Max and Iris. She was kicked out of her home because she had chosen to marry a man Her dad felt was not good enough for her. The story jumps back a number of years to when Iris was a young woman who had been raised by an Aunt since she was eight years old because her parents died. Iris met Max while working in a department store. Max came from a wealthy, prominent family. His family felt Iris was quite beneath him so they eloped. The story evolves through many challenging circumstances this family faces, including dysfunction, secrets, illness, as well as forgiveness.I enjoyed this book. The book is told in three parts. Part One is the present with Julia and Jack. They have been married happily for 15 years, and after several miscarriages Julia is about to give birth to their first child. They are both ecstatic. They have a happy life, even though they have very little money. Then tragedy strikes, and Julia has to face the reality of leaving their home forever. Part Two focuses on Iris, from her childhood, meeting Max and their courtship, her friendship with Lily, and catching up to the present. Part Three is after Julia comes home. There is so much going on in this book. Julia feels betrayed by her mother's inaction when her father kicked her out when she was pregnant and wanted to marry Jack. She has no relationship with her father and sister Alex at all. Going home is hard, but she has no other choice. Her return is the catalyst for Iris to examine her life closely and make some difficult decisions. An event in Iris's past is still affecting her to this day. Julia and Gus, Lily's son, grow closer but questions must be answered before anyone can move on with their lives.This isn't a romance novel. If anything, it's a love story between mother and daughter, and also between best friends. Lily and Iris have a lifelong friendship that remains through some huge upsets, requiring forgiveness from both parties. Their bond is unshakable. I liked how Julia finally found her place in the world. Even though she and Jack were incredibly happy together, I had the impression something was still missing for Julia even before he died. Now she seems complete.
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  • Jennie Veazey
    January 1, 1970
    Beautiful story! This was definitely one of my favorite books written by Ashley Farley! She had me completely engrossed by the end of the first chapter. When the book begins we meet Julia and Jack Martin who are anxiously waiting for the birth of their baby. They have had a struggle in the past with pregnancy so this is a happy time for them. We find out early on that Julia grew up in a home with money but maybe not the happiest of homes, since she has been estranged from her family since Beautiful story! This was definitely one of my favorite books written by Ashley Farley! She had me completely engrossed by the end of the first chapter. When the book begins we meet Julia and Jack Martin who are anxiously waiting for the birth of their baby. They have had a struggle in the past with pregnancy so this is a happy time for them. We find out early on that Julia grew up in a home with money but maybe not the happiest of homes, since she has been estranged from her family since marrying Jack. They don’t have a lot of money and the struggle is real, but they don’t lack in love and devotion to each other. Jack is a great husband. And soon to be a great dad. Julia is anxious to become a mom and looking forward to raising a family together. Unfortunately tragedy strikes when Julia goes into labor and their lives are changed forever...Whether she wants to or not, Julia must now return home to her mother Iris and try to mend the broken relationship they once had. Mother and daughter learn so much about each other. Julia had no idea that Iris was trapped in a loveless marriage all these years. She still has to struggle with a sister her continues her bullying ways, never growing out of her bad behavior as a child. Julia also must face some real truths about her father. He is not the man she had hoped he was. Together, her mother and her forge a new bond and begin to heal together. I love how this book explores all of their lives and even goes back in time when Julia and her sister were young. Ashley has a way of weaving a beautiful story that keeps you engrossed and wanting to know more. This book is suspenseful, dramatic, heartfelt, and loving. I loved the characters as well as the setting. I fully intend to listen to the audible version as well. This was a beautifully written novel! Thank you Ms. Ashley!
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  • Michele
    January 1, 1970
    In Only One Life, Ashley Farley weaves a beautiful and bittersweet tale of family and friendship over the years. In this small southern town, there are secrets buried that could destroy several people. At the heart of the book is the recurring theme of love in all of its different shades. It can beautiful, encouraging and build people up or it can be dark, jealous and ultimately destructive. Sometimes love makes the hard decision to protect others when they don't even realize they need the In Only One Life, Ashley Farley weaves a beautiful and bittersweet tale of family and friendship over the years. In this small southern town, there are secrets buried that could destroy several people. At the heart of the book is the recurring theme of love in all of its different shades. It can beautiful, encouraging and build people up or it can be dark, jealous and ultimately destructive. Sometimes love makes the hard decision to protect others when they don't even realize they need the protection. There were so many different relationships in this book. There was the sweetness that seemed to exist between Julia and Jack. Of course, Lily and Iris' lifetime friendship was also quite touching. Then later, Julia and Gus' evolving friendship made my heart squeeze. Naturally, there were also the dysfunctional relationships between Iris and Max, Iris and Alex and Alex and Julia and so on. Those were brutal and some of those people were downright hateful. Overall, the relationship between Iris and Julia - the mother and daughter relationship that was able to overcome years of being kept apart - - was by far the most spectacular one of all.I just don't know if my words can give proper credence to how lovely this book was. As one who has frequented the low country of South Carolina, I found it to feel quite authentic. Not only were the descriptions of the area spot on, some of the characterizations of the people were typical of southerners as well. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Donna Hines
    January 1, 1970
    Who knows where life will lead?Sometimes it goes full circle, sometimes you're left spinning wheels, sometimes you're left moving forward alone.What life gives you is based upon how you treat others around you and your belief system is what you deserve.Julia is facing a tough set of choices: Family-Love-Money.We know what her sis Alex would choose as she lives a life of misery chasing money but for Julia she's always been a 'go-getter'.Julia has always chased after her heart and followed her Who knows where life will lead?Sometimes it goes full circle, sometimes you're left spinning wheels, sometimes you're left moving forward alone.What life gives you is based upon how you treat others around you and your belief system is what you deserve.Julia is facing a tough set of choices: Family-Love-Money.We know what her sis Alex would choose as she lives a life of misery chasing money but for Julia she's always been a 'go-getter'.Julia has always chased after her heart and followed her emotions wearing them on her sleeves. She happily married Jack, had a baby, and dropped out of college -none of which she later regrets.Her mother had a similar trial and error lifestyle in which nothing ever was easy. She was trapped in loveless marriage, had a best friend named Lily whom she opened a flower shop with, and has perhaps finally found her spot in life.It has been quite a wild ride with a beginning in dysfunction, exhaustion, and distance but perhaps this family will finally come to terms with all that has happened especially that stormy night in Edisto Island.Thank you to Ashley, the publisher, NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.
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  • Kathleen
    January 1, 1970
    This is an emotionally powerful story about family, love, friendship, tragedy and secrets n a small town in South Carolina and Ashley Farley packs this story with characters you will love and dislike very much. Julia has come home after a tragic night that takes the love of her life, but bring a new life, whom she will love just as much, her son Jackson. Julia did not want to move home to Beaufort and ask her parents for help, but her firstt priority was Jackson and she would do anything to This is an emotionally powerful story about family, love, friendship, tragedy and secrets n a small town in South Carolina and Ashley Farley packs this story with characters you will love and dislike very much. Julia has come home after a tragic night that takes the love of her life, but bring a new life, whom she will love just as much, her son Jackson. Julia did not want to move home to Beaufort and ask her parents for help, but her firstt priority was Jackson and she would do anything to protect her child. Even if it means coming back home to a house filled with cold and unfeeling people in her father ,and a sister who has bullied Julia all her life. The only saving grace is her mother, who stood up to her husband and made sure that Julia, and Jackson were safe. But there are many secrets in this walls of this house and as Julia searches to find her peace, she and her mother become close and those secrets start to unravel so that both woman will find the life they both always wanted to live. And find that love really does give you that life. I finished this book in less that a day. I could not put it down. This is my 3rd Ashely Farley book and I can't wait to read all she has written. For me this was a 5+++ Star book.
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  • J
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC from NetGalley and I read this book in ones afternoon because it just captured me and I had to keep reading. Julia, fell in love and became pregnant when she was in college. Her father disowned her and forced her mother to do so too. As I read the book, I kept thinking you really don't know what goes on behind closed doors. Ashley Farley opened the doors and let us inside to see what does go on. Julia had many miscarriages before being able to carry a baby to term. The night I received an ARC from NetGalley and I read this book in ones afternoon because it just captured me and I had to keep reading. Julia, fell in love and became pregnant when she was in college. Her father disowned her and forced her mother to do so too. As I read the book, I kept thinking you really don't know what goes on behind closed doors. Ashley Farley opened the doors and let us inside to see what does go on. Julia had many miscarriages before being able to carry a baby to term. The night that she went into labor there was a bad storm and a tree fell on their car. Her husband Jack didn't make it. Without Jack's income, their home was foreclosed and she was forced to eventually go back to her parent's house. Her father didn't want her and her son there but her mother stood up to him. After she moved back in she learned a lot about her family. There is what you think from the outside looking in and then there is what is really going on when the doors are open and the light is shed on it. It was an amazing book.
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  • Norma
    January 1, 1970
    Ashley Farley did it again with another best seller coming out.Netgalley had given me the opportunity to discover this wonderful author with her last book ,Nell and LAdy.I knew she would have another Woman's Fiction that can tell a story of love family and freindship, and have a romance involved as well.I love the way Ashley can go back telling a life story's past, and bring it back into the present to hold a reader's interest . We have women heroines who show their strength and will to hold up Ashley Farley did it again with another best seller coming out.Netgalley had given me the opportunity to discover this wonderful author with her last book ,Nell and LAdy.I knew she would have another Woman's Fiction that can tell a story of love family and freindship, and have a romance involved as well.I love the way Ashley can go back telling a life story's past, and bring it back into the present to hold a reader's interest . We have women heroines who show their strength and will to hold up a survival.A young Iris, who marries Max, and her marriage turns into a bitter relationship that she hangs unto for survival and finding a best friend in Lily, together they open up a flower shop and this is what keeps Iris alive and blooming in her own silent pain. There is a mystery of broken loves and a crime that only Iris bears to stay alive,but when her daughter Julia is kicked out of the house by her father Max, due to an unplanned pregnancy, Iris still keeps tabs on Julia by sneaking to the town she is living in.Julia's marriage is tore apart after 15 years, by a terrible circumstance that also brings a child into Julia's world.Iris's best friend Lily,who has always been spoiled and stubborn, has her own marital issues and because of running away from it all, Iris finds a good freind in Lily's husband.This novel is full of surprises, and heartaches,I couldnt put it down.Ashley has the gift of feeling a woman's pain and happiness during their most crucial moments of life.Owning Only One Life is a good title for this book., because when you have only one life, one has to make it happen for love and laughter and happiness.Thank you NetGalley for giving me this book to read and look forward to catching up reading the rest of Ashley Farley's books.
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  • Noreen
    January 1, 1970
    How do you live with such secrets for so long without it eating at your soul. This story takes place in the south with a wealthy family. If you're not from a respected family then you're not good enough. Sometimes love has a different path. There is heart break, joy, love and hope throughout this story. I couldn't put the book down once I started. I really enjoy this author's work as she has a talent of bringing a story to life so you feel you are immersed from the beginning.Thank you to How do you live with such secrets for so long without it eating at your soul. This story takes place in the south with a wealthy family. If you're not from a respected family then you're not good enough. Sometimes love has a different path. There is heart break, joy, love and hope throughout this story. I couldn't put the book down once I started. I really enjoy this author's work as she has a talent of bringing a story to life so you feel you are immersed from the beginning.Thank you to NetGalley and the author for an ARC of this book. This review is in my own words.
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  • Jennie Veazey
    January 1, 1970
    Beautiful story! This was definitely one of my favorite books written by Ashley Farley! She had me completely engrossed by the end of the first chapter. When the book begins we meet Julia and Jack Martin who are anxiously waiting for the birth of their baby. They have had a struggle in the past with pregnancy so this is a happy time for them. We find out early on that Julia grew up in a home with money but maybe not the happiest of homes, since she has been estranged from her family since Beautiful story! This was definitely one of my favorite books written by Ashley Farley! She had me completely engrossed by the end of the first chapter. When the book begins we meet Julia and Jack Martin who are anxiously waiting for the birth of their baby. They have had a struggle in the past with pregnancy so this is a happy time for them. We find out early on that Julia grew up in a home with money but maybe not the happiest of homes, since she has been estranged from her family since marrying Jack. They don’t have a lot of money and the struggle is real, but they don’t lack in love and devotion to each other. Jack is a great husband. And soon to be a great dad. Julia is anxious to become a mom and looking forward to raising a family together. Unfortunately tragedy strikes when Julia goes into labor and their lives are changed forever...Whether she wants to or not, Julia must now return home to her mother Iris and try to mend the broken relationship they once had. Mother and daughter learn so much about each other. Julia had no idea that Iris was trapped in a loveless marriage all these years. She still has to struggle with a sister her continues her bullying ways, never growing out of her bad behavior as a child. Julia also must face some real truths about her father. He is not the man she had hoped he was. Together, her mother and her forge a new bond and begin to heal together. I love how this book explores all of their lives and even goes back in time when Julia and her sister were young. Ashley has a way of weaving a beautiful story that keeps you engrossed and wanting to know more. This book is suspenseful, dramatic, heartfelt, and loving. I loved the characters as well as the setting. I fully intend to listen to the audible version as well. This was a beautifully written novel! Thank you Ms. Ashley!
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  • Ruth
    January 1, 1970
    Along with so many other Lake Union authors, Ashley Farley has quickly become a must-read for me. Her stories and characters are the type that I can easily relate to and immerse myself in. I would describe her books as a "comfort-food" read. Thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Ashley Farley's latest book. I look forward to many more from her.
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  • Jenelle Rodenbaugh
    January 1, 1970
    I love her books. They are the perfect read for me. Always multigenerational that has a story, not just a mention. This book in particular tells the story of two generations but does it skip back and forth every chapter like some books do. I gives you time to relish the story.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    I started this book last night and was up late reading as I could not find a place to stop. I was pulled into this story.This is an amazingly, heart tugging, moving story about family secrets that have been hidden and wealth. Can the family heal? Can a mother and daughter reconcile? A story of family life, how those on the outside looking in see this family, and the reality of what is really happening behind closed doors.Thank you NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity to read I started this book last night and was up late reading as I could not find a place to stop. I was pulled into this story.This is an amazingly, heart tugging, moving story about family secrets that have been hidden and wealth. Can the family heal? Can a mother and daughter reconcile? A story of family life, how those on the outside looking in see this family, and the reality of what is really happening behind closed doors.Thank you NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity to read this book.
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  • Tracy Fleming-Swehla
    January 1, 1970
    Enjoyed this, but it didn't evoke any intense feelings. Julia was kicked out of her home when she didn't marry the right guy. After several miscarriages her and her wonderful husband are having a baby when he's killed in a car accident. She returns to her family home with her baby and is still rejected by her father. Her mother and her make amends. It all wrapped up like a Lifetime movie. It was an ok read, slightly boring, but a good solid story.
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  • Corlyn Riverside Reader
    January 1, 1970
    Only One Life by @ashleyhfarley was fabulous! I just finished it after starting it last night. It’s a great story from alternating perspectives about relationships between mothers and daughters as well as best friends. I loved it!
  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    When I pick up an Ashley Farley book I know I am in for a wonderful and emotionally moving story. Only One Life is a beautiful and heartfelt story about family and frienships that is sure to keep you thinking long after you have finished it.If I could give this book more than 5 stars I most certainly would. I found it captivated my attention from the start and left me sad that had to end. I was given an advanced readers copy and this is my honest opinion. I loved Only One Life so much, I have When I pick up an Ashley Farley book I know I am in for a wonderful and emotionally moving story. Only One Life is a beautiful and heartfelt story about family and frienships that is sure to keep you thinking long after you have finished it.If I could give this book more than 5 stars I most certainly would. I found it captivated my attention from the start and left me sad that had to end. I was given an advanced readers copy and this is my honest opinion. I loved Only One Life so much, I have since pre-ordered a copy.
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  • Dawn Triola
    January 1, 1970
    A beautifully written book about a very dysfunctional family.
  • Heather Sullivan
    January 1, 1970
    Thoroughly enjoyed this!I really hate giving reviews. If I give one book 5 stars because the writing was superb, I struggle to give another book 5 stars when the writing style is not beautiful. Still, in this book I really loved the characters of Iris and Julia and Iris’s story from the 70s in Beaufort, SC. This is women’s fiction and I really enjoyed reading it.
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  • Irene
    January 1, 1970
    Only One Life by Ashley Farley. The story wasn't quite what I was expecting from the blurb, it was so much more. Love, loss and family. Loved most of the characters but for two and those two were quite vile and nasty. Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley for the opportunity to preview the book.
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  • Harriett Thornton
    January 1, 1970
    This book was very enjoyable, and a great story. It's mostly focused on the women in a Southern family and small town, and their relationships. I plan to read more of Ashley Farley's books!
  • Mama's
    January 1, 1970
    Ashley Farley describes herself as writing books about women, for women, and this description certainly rings true. Not long ago, I may have described this particular type of novel as "chick-lit", but I have more recently come to understand that as a pejorative term. I honestly believe that authors of this genre deserve more respect than that. There is clearly an audience for this type of novel, where serious matters are discussed with a sense of levity that provides comfort and knowledge that Ashley Farley describes herself as writing books about women, for women, and this description certainly rings true. Not long ago, I may have described this particular type of novel as "chick-lit", but I have more recently come to understand that as a pejorative term. I honestly believe that authors of this genre deserve more respect than that. There is clearly an audience for this type of novel, where serious matters are discussed with a sense of levity that provides comfort and knowledge that ultimately everything will work out just fine. For me, personally, there is a bit too much serendipity in the story line, but sometimes, that's just what readers are looking for: the idea that despite unfortunate events in life, there is always hope for a brighter tomorrow. Ms. Farley has managed to accomplish just that, and I can tell that she cares about her characters and topics. Overall, the novel moved along at a good clip and certainly had enough family dysfunction to keep the reader curious and entertained.Many thanks to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for gifting me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review.This title will be released on April 23, 2019.https://mamasgottaread.blogspot.com/
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  • Annette
    January 1, 1970
    This book was so good! I couldn’t put it down!Loved it! Thanks to Netgalley for the early copy
  • Donna J
    January 1, 1970
    ‘Only One Life’ should have been named “One Life to Live” soap opera‘Only One Life’ should be called every soap opera that were on TV! This should have been called the good old ABC “ONE LIFE TO LIVE”! I will try to NOT give away any spoilers..it’ll be hard but I’ll use hints... First , the so called Romance books that have come out lately make a woman look like they are idiots! I hated a few characters & other characters, they just didn’t have a real sense of who they were by the author ‘Only One Life’ should have been named “One Life to Live” soap opera‘Only One Life’ should be called every soap opera that were on TV! This should have been called the good old ABC “ONE LIFE TO LIVE”! I will try to NOT give away any spoilers..it’ll be hard but I’ll use hints... First , the so called Romance books that have come out lately make a woman look like they are idiots! I hated a few characters & other characters, they just didn’t have a real sense of who they were by the author either. The book never came out as I expected. I never really liked anyone! Also with all woman’s convictions these days about being abused mentally, physically by men who think they’re gods, made me sick! My biggest pet peeve...I had an abusive husband weekly, he was arrested but should have been kicked out by ME for ‘reasons only known by abusive women’! sooner than later! So I was a single mom of 3 children under 4 years old, but in ‘Only One Life’ I was disgusted that one of the characters was not only ridiculed by her husband’s family for NOT being ‘their kind’, never had any sense of an enjoyable sexual relationship due to his 1 minute of enjoyment & then, literally ABUSED her for 41 years..physically, mentally, and more than one rape! She had a severe nervous breakdown because the ‘straw that brought her back’ came after the 41 years! 41 years of being ABUSED?! YET within a week she’s completely fine?! Sorry I don’t think this author knows if any woman abused for over 20 years will just ‘come out of it’!! That’s a soap opera!! Why was it necessary for the author to make this character look like she had no mind?! And was completely in ‘his power’ I didn’t expect a book where in the summary it describes a mother & daughter finding each other again—well they did, but I hated reading so much anger, & not by the Nom & daughter! But by control of a MAN!!Unfortunately I’m ahead of myself..and will now slow down. I am also not exaggerating either, it was a complete Soap Opera beginning, middle, and the usual ‘predictable’ ending, that literally ENDED in the Epilogue! “5 months later...blah blah blah..oh I’m so happy Mom! We’re best friends & everything worked out in the end!” This was not the exact wording but you get my drift. The abuse, the anger from the other nasty character related to the main character, was the biggest bitch ever! I mean it was like a bad 1800’s ‘I am man and will make you pay..’ even though his anger was unjustified! Another thing...the story went on & on & on and if you broke down each chapter, maybe, 3 out of 10 were okay, the rest I couldn’t stand that these intelligent WOMEN were NOT using their INTELLIGENCE! Sorry I won’t give you the details where I was really angry..except this one *hint* If you were accused of cheating & saw someone about to kill that person or you..would you:1. Run and get help or call 911...or2. Never report that person for... I wasn’t completely sure..?Just read if you’re not sure...but I was very unimpressed! And I wanted to love it for Moms & daughter relationships...
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  • Linda Rogers
    January 1, 1970
    There is so much hurt in this family, one wonders how any of them can go on with their lives. To start with the marriage of the parents was doomed from the very beginning, but for various reasons they stay together. Daughter #1 is twice divorced and is living at home in their guest cottage with more problems than anyone should have. She and Dad are a team and together they are downright mean to the mother, yet mom takes it all from them. Daughter #2 was kicked out when she returned from college There is so much hurt in this family, one wonders how any of them can go on with their lives. To start with the marriage of the parents was doomed from the very beginning, but for various reasons they stay together. Daughter #1 is twice divorced and is living at home in their guest cottage with more problems than anyone should have. She and Dad are a team and together they are downright mean to the mother, yet mom takes it all from them. Daughter #2 was kicked out when she returned from college pregnant and it love with someone the dad feels is" below her." Now fifteen years later, she has been living a happy life with her husband, but struggling to make ends meet. After a series of miscarriages, the husband is killed on the way to the hospital for the wife to deliver their long awaited child. Heartbroken, she at first does not want to see the baby, but when she does, she falls instantly in love with him and for six months she tries to work as a waitress, but unable to pay her mortgage, she decides to return home unannounced. Her husbands old truck runs out of gas just as she gets to her parents estate. The mother lets her in, the father and sister are not happy about it and their unkindness hurts them all. and , which makes the sister even meaner. The mother has an emotional breakdown and is hospitalized. Daughter #2 decides she can't stay in the home any longer, so moves in with an old family friend temporally. After the hospitalization, the mother also moves into the Inn with sister #2. The father has a massive heart attack and while at the hospital, mother and sister #2 arrive and shortly thereafter the doctor tells them all that the father didn't make it, Daughter #1 goes back and drinks herself into a real state, screams at the mother and sister #2 and tells them to leave "her" property, as the dad has turned it all over to her, even though the parents have been married for 41 years. While the mother has been making all the arrangements for the funeral and other things that needed to done. When mom and Sister #2 try to see sister #1 try to make amends, they are told they cannot attend the funeral. However they plan to go anyway and the morning of the actual funeral, they come to the church and the mom goes up and sits with sister #1, but they don't go to the reception at the house or to the actual burial. Now skip forward six months, Sister #1 has sold the house, something she said she would never do. Mom and sister #2 are ab out to open an expanded floral business Mom had and together hare expanded it and because all books like this end well, Mom has an new love interest and Sister #2 gets engaged to her old childhood friend who wants to adopt her son. The story is both happy and sad, is well written and easy to read and when you are through reading it make you happy to have read it.
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