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If You Could See What I See [Kindle Edition]

Cathy Lamb
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In this moving, insightful new novel, acclaimed author Cathy Lamb delves into the heart of going home again, the challenge of facing loss--and the freedom of finally letting go. . .

For decades, the women in Meggie O'Rourke's family have run Lace, Satin, and Baubles, a lingerie business that specializes in creations as exquisitely pretty as they are practical. The dynamic in Meggie's family, however, is perpetually dysfunctional. In fact, if Meggie weren't being summoned back to Portland, Oregon, by her grandmother, she'd be inclined to stay away all together.

Since her husband's death a year ago, Meggie's emotions have been in constant flux, and so has her career as a documentary film maker. Finding ways to keep the family business afloat--and dealing with her squabbling sister and cousin--will at least give her a temporary focus. To draw customers to their website, Meggie decides to interview relatives and employees about their first bras and favorite lingerie. She envisions something flip and funny, but the confessions that emerge are unexpectedly poignant. There are stories of first loves and aching regrets, passionate mistakes and surprising rendezvous. And as the revelations illuminate her family's past, Meggie begins to find her own way forward.

With warmth and unflinching humor, If You Could See What I See explores the tender truths we keep close--and what can happen when we find the courage to bare them to the world.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Cathy Lamb lives in Oregon. She is married with three children. She writes late at night when it’s just her and the moon and a few shooting stars.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1495 KB
  • Print Length: 449 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington (July 30, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,450 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I laughed, I cried, I loved July 31, 2013
This isn't the first novel I have read by Cathy Lamb, in 2011 I borrowed Henry's Sisters from the library and though I never wrote a full review I gave the book five stars and wrote "I would give it more if I could." When I finished If You Could See What I See, the first thing I did was make a note that read "I laughed, I cried, I loved!" and the second thing I did was to order the author's entire back list.

Articulating why I so adored this novel is difficult because I can't isolate one particular element that I can identify as extraordinary. There is just something about the way in which Lamb writes that works for me.

In simplistic terms, the story of If You Could See What I See begins when Meggie O'Rourke, still struggling with the fall out from her disastrous marriage, returns home to Oregon to rescue her beloved grandmother's failing lingerie company from financial ruin. Buffeted by her grandmother's indomitable will and her sisters rivalry, Meggie has to find a way to secure both herself, and Lace, Satin and Baubles, a future.

But If You Could See What I See offers so much more than this neat summary reveals. The shocking truth of Meggie's marriage, the complex dynamics of her family and their relationships, the foundation on which the company was built and the lives of the people who work for it, all create a story that is both hilarious and heartbreaking. Similarly, the characters will shock and surprise you, from Brianna O'Rourke's frank discussions about sexual satisfaction on national TV to Hayden's revelation that he is a girl stuck in a boy's body.

There is grief, pain and tragedy, deeply felt and sensitively explored, but all tempered by heart, humour and even romance. A story about love, family and courage, I laughed, I cried, I loved!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If You Could See What I See July 30, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Ladies, burn your beige bras! Wear purple lace; red satin with gold tassels; or even leather! But never again wear boring beige. NEVER!

Meggie O'Rourke is a mess. For the past year she's been traveling the globe trying to outrun the nightmares and daymares of her husband's death and her marriage. She is broken. It's time to go home to Portland, Oregon. The family's business, Lace, Satin and Baubles, a high-end lingerie company, started by her Grandmother, Regan O'Rourke is in trouble. Meggie's sisters, Lacey (CFO) and Tory (Chief Designer), are completely at odds and their fighting certainly isn't helping the company to stay afloat. Meggie needs a plan to save the company. Using her documentary filmmaking career skills, she comes up with one.

"...I would often think when I was filming...If you could see what I see..."

Lacey is the harried mother of three and the three children all have issues. Hayden is a girl stuck in a boy's body. Cassidy is a pot-smoking, sex addicted, baking obsessed, Prom Queen. Regan~~sweet Regan named after his Great Grandma~~he's the big-hearted boy with the big appetite who rescues every animal he finds.

Tory, who never quite felt like a "real O'Rourke woman", is a hot-tempered little spitfire adopted into the O'Rourke family at the age of five when her parents were killed in an auto accident; separated from her husband, Scotty; and, furious that he isn't trying harder to get her back. Think revenge in the form of a large male appendage mounted in the front lawn. (Oh Ms. Lamb, how do you come up with this stuff?)

Brianna O'Rourke, Meggie, Lacey and Tory's Mother, is a nationally known sex therapist. (That may explain the large male appendage mounted on the front lawn.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars How many problems can you cram in a book August 25, 2013
By Isolina
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the first time I've read anything from this author and I thought the time spent in reading it was a waste. It seemed like the author was determined to bring in as many problems as possible: spousal abuse, suicide, rape, several rapes in fact, promiscuity,sex confusion,stalking,etc. The adult males were the only ones who were anywhere normal. I just kept thinking, oh come on you've got to be kidding. I read all genres and I have favorites in all and I'm willing to give any writer a chance but this was beyond ridiculous. I seriously doubt that I will every read anything of hers again.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
I thought nothing would ever beat Ms. Lamb's last book, "A Different Kind of Normal". Boy, was I wrong! In this latest heart-wrenching, roller-coaster ride of a story, we travel to Portland, Oregon and meet Meggie O'Rourke, a beautiful but bedraggled documentary film maker with low self esteem. Meggie has been summoned back to Portland by her small in stature, but mighty in will Grandma, Regan O'Rourke, founder and owner of the lingerie co., "Lace, Satin and Baubles". Meggie takes up residence in a tree house and is reunited with her Sisters, family-oriented Lacey and spicy and spirited Tory. Their Grandmother hopes, with Meggie's return, that her faltering company can turn around and that the Sisters can unite as a family. What a tall order! Especially with the personality clashes between Lacey and Tory and troubles surrounding the employees. The Sister/Company turmoil is not all Meggie must cope with, as she must fight the demons that invade her nightmares and daymares. Her mental as well as physical health is affected, plus her ability to trust, love and enjoy the life she once knew. Perhaps a handsome hunk of a Police Chief who lives across the street could be of assistance? Maybe not.
We add to the already chaotic mix, Meggie, Lacey and Tory's Mother, Brianna O'Rourke, who is a famous outspoken Sex Therapist and loyal, lovable and sweet but blunt Kalani Noe, who owns/manages the factory in Sri Lanke with an iron hand--only to find out she has a story of her own to tell as well. Through it all, age-old secrets are revealed and love thought lost may be found. The Author handles difficult topics like suicide, transgender and bullying with tact and tenderness, but, above all we are subtly reminded not to judge another until you have walked a mile in their shoes.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Wonderful read.
Published 2 days ago by T. Elverson
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is Phenominal
This book is phenominal. You immediately are immersed in Meggie's world. Cathy Lamb's grasp of feminine psychology is sharp and insightful. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Theresa Dansie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Lots of layers
Published 6 days ago by Lynn Lawless
4.0 out of 5 stars She combines many characters and their stories into a wonderful novel...
I recently discovered Cathy Lamb novels. She combines many characters and their stories into a wonderful novel about family. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Susan Downey
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the best read.
The book was dragging on. Very repetitive descriptions. Characters felt forcefully developed to feel "different" or exciting but in fact were very dull, predictable, and cliche.
Published 25 days ago by D. Ciliano
5.0 out of 5 stars ... my cruise next week - Cathy Lamb's books are amazing, hard to put...
Taking this book on my cruise next week - Cathy Lamb's books are amazing, hard to put down.
Published 1 month ago by Sheila
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed seeing women through the eyes of woman who design ...
I enjoyed seeing women through the eyes of woman who design lingerie, and how such a personal piece of clothing can really define who we are as individuals. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Michelle Jockers
5.0 out of 5 stars Vacation Read
Read this while on vacation during the kids' Winter Break and loved the unique stories. I actually shed a tear- you will too!
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fun, Colorful Break from "Literature"
It isn’t great literature, that’s for sure. But it’s not supposed to be. It is commercial, women’s fiction, a fun, captivating read that has a multitude of stories going on, all of... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mary George
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok
A bit long and wordy. A good story that could have been told just as well with fewer words and less repeating.
Published 2 months ago by Nancy
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More About the Author

Cathy Lamb was born in Newport Beach, California. As a child, she mastered the art of skateboarding, catching butterflies in bottles, and riding her bike with no hands. When she was 10, her parents moved her, two sisters, a brother, and two poorly behaved dogs to Oregon before she could fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a surfer bum.

She then embarked on her notable academic career where she earned good grades now and then, spent a great deal of time daydreaming, ran wild with a number of friends, and landed on the newspaper staff in high school. When she saw her byline above an article about people making out in the hallways of the high school, she knew she had found her true calling.

After two years of partying at the University of Oregon, she settled down for the next three years and earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in education, and became a fourth grade teacher. It was difficult for her to become proper and conservative but she threw out her red cowboy boots and persevered. She had no choice. She had to eat, and health insurance is expensive.

She met her husband on a blind date. A mutual friend who was an undercover vice cop busting drug dealers set them up. It was love at third sight.

Teaching children about the Oregon Trail and multiplication facts amused her until she became so gigantically pregnant with twins she looked like a small cow and could barely walk. With a three year old at home, she decided it was time to make a graceful exit and waddle on out. She left school one day and never went back. She likes to think her students missed her.

When Cathy was no longer smothered in diapers and pacifiers, she took a turn onto the hazardous road of freelance writing and wrote about 200 articles on homes, home décor, people and fashion for a local newspaper. As she is not fashionable and can hardly stand to shop, it was an eye opener for her to find that some women actually do obsess about what to wear. She also learned it would probably be more relaxing to slam a hammer against one's forehead than engage in a large and costly home remodeling project.

Cathy suffers from, "I Would Rather Play Than Work Disease" which prevents her from getting much work done unless she has a threatening deadline. She likes to hang with family and friends, walk, eat chocolate, camp, travel, and is slightly obsessive about the types of books she reads. She also likes to be left alone a lot so she can hear all the odd characters in her head talk to each other and then transfer that oddness to paper. The characters usually don't start to talk until 10:00 at night, however, so she is often up 'til 2:00 in the morning with them. That is her excuse for being cranky.

She adores her children and husband, except when he refuses to take his dirty shoes off and walks on the carpet. She will ski because her children insist, but she secretly doesn't like it at all. Too cold and she falls all the time.

She is currently working on her next book and isn't sleeping much.

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