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How I Came to Sparkle Again Hardcover – October 2, 2012

94 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“How I Came to Sparkle Again is a gem of a novel. I loved the fresh setting and quirky, endearing cast of characters. This novel is like a perfect run down a black diamond slope--fun and fast-moving and invigorating.” ―Kristin Hannah, bestselling author of Night Road

“How I Came to Sparkle is a generous and endearing novel of loss and reconnection, of friendship and love and finding your way home to a small town called Sparkle, where the ski bums have big hearts and name their dogs after beer, and just the right number of people grow up into adults.” ―Erica Bauermeister, bestselling author of Joy For Beginners and The School of Essential Ingredients

“In a small Colorado ski town called Sparkle, second chances come with the winter's fresh snow. And it's here that McLaren weaves a wonderfully tender story of three lives in search of love and healing that will leave you crying, laughing, and wanting for more. A true page-turner, How I Came to Sparkle Again, reads as fast as a run down the slopes!” ―Susan Gregg Gilmore, bestselling author of Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen and The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove

“This novel is filled with all of my favorite things: characters who are so real you want to reach out and give them a hug; a magical setting; enough surprises to keep the pages turning; heartbreak, laughter, crying, and sighing. Not to be missed!” ―Susan Wiggs, bestselling author of The Lakeshore Chronicles

“Kaya McLaren's How I Came to Sparkle Again is sad and funny and so much fun to read! Jill, Lisa and Cassie are wonderful, but what I loved most was learning about the innermost thoughts of those handsome ski bums who live in The Kennel. Sparkle is both entertaining and wise!” ―Nancy Thayer, bestselling author of Heat Wave

“How I Came To Sparkle Again weaves together the stories of two women and a young girl grappling with love and loss. Set in a ski town and featuring a cast of surprisingly hilarious supporting characters, this warm, satisfying novel is a treat.” ―Sarah Pekkanen, bestselling author of Skipping a Beat

About the Author

KAYA MCLAREN is also author of On The Divinity of Second Chances and Church of the Dog. She lives and teaches third and fourth graders on the east slope of Snoqualmie Pass in Washington State. When Kaya's not working, she likes to telemark ski, sit in hot springs, moonlight hike, and play in lakes with her dog, Big Cedar.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250013879
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250013873
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,685,625 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Nick VINE VOICE on July 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is my second book that I've read by Kaya McLaren, and I'm endlessly fascinated by the worlds that she can create. Her characters are perhaps the most human out of anyone I've read in quite some time. They're complex characters that reflect a hidden truth that we seem to have in all of us, showing that our still waters run deep. There's a remarkably tender soul at work behind these words, and one that deserves attention. McLaren's words will break your heart and heal your soul.

Jill, Lisa and Cassie all follow their own unique paths to Sparkle, a ski town in Colorado. One is running back home and away from a life in Texas and a philandering husband. Another is running away from herself. The three main characters are on a quest for hope and love, one that will certainly resonate with most readers.

I'm not much for skiing, but the depiction of Sparkle, CO makes me want to hop on the next plane there. The inhabitants are charming and quirky without being annoying, and people you'd want to spend time with if they existed outside of McLaren's imagination. They're downright funny and warm.

This book feels like you're on the precipice of something amazing: an author who could be mentioned along with Jodi Picoult in conjuring up rich worlds where grief and loss turn into hope and joy. Don't be surprised if this book ends up on the NY Times best seller list.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bluerose's Heart VINE VOICE on November 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
First of all, I have to let you know I didn't finish this book. While this has only happened a couple of times, I always mention the fact that I NEVER rate a book I haven't finished UNLESS I have to, because it's not fair to the author or the readers. I have to in this case. I apologize!

Why didn't I finish? I'm highly sensitive to language and sex scenes. I'm not telling anyone that it's wrong of them to read those things. For me, I'm just not comfortable with it, and I don't force myself to read it. Remember, we're all different. ;) If I could learn to take advantage of the wonderful "search inside this book" feature that Amazon offers, I would have known simply reading the prologue that this wasn't a book for me. I am mad at myself for not doing that!

I do think without the content I wasn't comfortable with, I could have found it enjoyable. Jill's uncle seemed like he could be a fun guy to read more about!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By L. Phipps on November 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I tried and tried to like this book, but after reading it and following the three characters the only one I cared about was the little girl Cassie who lost her Mother. Lisa was just in need of some self confidence and restrain herself from jumping in bed with anyone. As others have said Jill the heroine would not move into a trailer with pot smoking bachelors who are disgusting after living a very upper middle class life. The whole story was vulgar language and not that fun to read. Maybe I am not the right market for this story. I give three stars to anyone who can write a novel.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Trixie L on October 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Heartbreak, Divorce, Loss, and Confusion don't exactly sound like the makings of an uplifting story, but How I Came to Sparkle Again blends them all together in an intriguing novel. Centered around three strong female characters - Jill, Lisa, and Cassie - the novel centers around the healing and hope that follow great tragedy.

Jill, a mid-thirties delivery room nurse, comes home from her first day back at work after a late term miscarriage only to find her husband in bed with another woman. Not sure of where to go, she returns to the one place that she has felt was truly home: Sparkle, Colorado. There she reunites with her high school best friend, Lisa, who is going through confusion regarding her faith and her choice of relationships. The two, while working on the ski slopes, manage to gain a sense of who they are and begin looking for signs to guide them into the future. While working on ski patrol, Jill crosses paths with Mike, a thirty-something widower who lost his wife to breast cancer several months ago, and is looking for a babysitter for his young daughter Cassie who is having a hard time grappling with such a great loss. Jill, Lisa, and Cassie evolve as characters and begin to move forward after their individual losses. While I don't want to spoil the ending, the hope that is offered as they move forward is inspiring.

How I Came to Sparkle Again by Kaya McLaren is a hard book to categorize - it so many different unique elements which, when sewn together, make a beautiful quilt of a story. There are, however, moments in which the dialogue is a bit unrealistic, and within the first few chapters, most readers will be able to predict the ending. The characters are a bit inconsistent and cliched, yet undeniably interesting.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Nancy A. Spivey on October 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wanted to like this book. The story resonated, but was just so flawed that I couldn't stand it. Few of the main character's actions were believable, leading me to not really care what happened. What woman who had lived a comfortable, upscale life, would be willing to move into a grungy room in a trailer occupied by several frat-boy types? What woman would not at least think about what her husband owed her after he was caught cheating? It's all just too easy, and too unbelievable, and the romance part was pretty tame, too.
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