By Jennie Nash
Published February 2008 by Penguin Publishing
Free-lance writer April Newman has just found out that she is now five years cancer free. She should be celebrating. But April could not feel less like celebrating. She has yet to come to terms with her body, her marriage seems to be slipping away, she's dealing with a teen-aged daughter and the fabulous home her husband is building for them feels all wrong to April. Then, quite by chance, April finds that the last beach bungalow in Redondo Beach is for sale and becomes obsessed with it.
This book is about so much more than a house. It's really about the journey April takes to redefine her life after cancer but it's a journey that any woman can relate to. Along the way, the articles April is writing help her explore what she's going through as does a trip to the spa, and even a couple of shopping trips. As cool as the bungalow sounded, it was really just the symbol of an place April was trying to reach in herself, a place she would be able to reconcile the past and the present. The clerk in one of the stores says to April:
"Just that everyone is searching for peace, or seeing to pass it along, sometimes both at the same time, or both on the same day. No one ever gets to stop and be done with it. We're all in the mix, all the time."
As the mother of a teen-aged daughter, I really related to the point April and Jackie were at in their relationship.
"In the early years of parenting, you'll give anything for twenty minutes free and clear of your kids. You pray for nighttime, when the noise will stop, the hunger will stop, the accidents will stop, the incessant questions about the moon, the sky, the ocean, the cat next door, the cow on TV, the telephone and the toy in the bottom of the cereal box -- will stop. But in the teen years, you'll give anything for twenty minutes in the same room with your kids. You'll pay a ransom for a conversation, a bribe for just a little time."
There was much that spoke to me in this book. I found the characters to be very real, as well as the relationship between April and Rick (her husband) . I was very happy with the way this book ended and I would definitely recommend it.