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Best Staged Plans Hardcover – June 7, 2011
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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"[A] crowd-pleaser for empty nesters."―Publishers Weekly
"Fans of HGTV and of Cook's previous charming fiction (Seven Year Switch; Must Love Dogs) will adore this light, funny read."―Library Journal (Starred Review)
"Ms. Cook's writing only gets better with each new book."―New York Journal of Books
"Addicts to HGTV marathons will drool . . . well paced all the way to a genuinely delightful conclusion."―Booklist
"Cook knows the territory of secret longing and snappy dialog."―Publishers Weekly
"Claire Cook's characters aren't rich or glamorous--they're physically imperfect, emotionally insecure, and deeply familiar."―Tom Perrotta, author of Little Children
"Reading Claire Cook might be the most fun you have all summer."―Elin Hilderbrand, author of The Castaways
"Claire Cook has an original voice, sparkling style, and a window into family life that will make you laugh and cry."―Adriana Trigiani, author of Big Stone Gap
"Charming, engagingly quirky, and full of fun, Claire Cook just gets it."―Meg Cabot, author of The Princess Diaries
"Claire Cook has knocked it out of the park with BEST STAGED PLANS! Everything she has written previously has been entertaining, fun, and funny, but this novel made me cry as well, then laugh again. Every page of this story of an almost-empty nester "Home Stager" trying to sell her own home is filled with humor, warmth, insight and humanity. Plus great tips and tricks! ... And a homeless woman named Naomi will steal your heart. I loved it!"―Joan Lang, Front Street Book Shop, Scituate MA
"Claire Cook is back with another gift for beach readers and book clubs everywhere--BEST STAGED PLANS....you'll find fun, heart and hilarity from cover to cover. This is yet another winner for Cook, most certainly."
―Jackie Blem, Tattered Cover, Denver, CO
"BEST STAGED PLANS is jam-packed with trademark Claire Cook wit and wry observations on those everyday situations that would be really comical if you could just slow down and view them from afar - or if they were happening to, well, someone else! You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll tell all your girlfriends that BEST STAGED PLANS is THE beach read of the summer. I know we are!"―Jill Miner, Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI
"Another wise and witty novel from Claire Cook. There are some real nuggets of knowledge here on home staging, clearing your life of clutter and 'recipes' for creations made from prepared foods from Trader Joe's. I know this will make for some lively book club discussions for ladies of a particular 'stage' of life!"―Karen Vail, Titcomb's Bookshop, Sandwich, MA
"In true 'Claire Cook form' BEST STAGED PLANS is thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish...fun, light-hearted but moving at the same time. An uplifting and fun read."―Lisa Kennally, R. J. Julia, Madison, CT
"At the beginning of bestselling author Claire Cook's newest novel, professional homestager Sandy Sullivan has reached a mid-life crossroads, realizing that while she spends her time making other people's homes look picture-perfect, her own life could use some rearranging. Desperate for a change but with her husband dragging his feet, she takes on a job out of town staging a new hotel acquired by her best friend's boyfriend. But even the best staged plans are never perfect, leaving Sandy living with her son-in-law (minus her daughter) and wondering if her best friend's man is straying. Claire Cook has done it again with another fantastic, breezy summer read!"―Whitney Spotts, Schuler Books and Music, MI
"I'm really looking forward to recommending "Best Staged Plans" as well as your other titles, especially to our summer tourist crowd. Though I'm not a "reader in readers" quite yet, the novel spoke to me in ways I didn't expect when I read the first chapter. You provided a richness and a message within a story, subtle and powerful, without beating people over the head with a moral. Nice job!"―Kasey Cox, From My Shelf Books, Wellsboro, PA
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Claire Cook is the best-selling author of the novels The Wildwater Walking Club, Summer Blowout, Life's a Beach, Must Love Dogs, Ready to Fall, and Multiple Choice. Formerly a teacher of physical fitness and creative writing, she has also had stints as a copywriter, radio continuity director, garden designer, dance and aerobics choreographer. She lives in Scituate, Massachusetts, often called the Irish Riviera, with her family.
Top customer reviews
Sandy Sullivan is a professional home stager, something I knew nothing about, but I ended up wanting to redorate my entire home after reading BEST STAGED PLANS. Basically Sandy creates the environment for houses, or hotels in this case, for sales appeal to buyers.
But most importantly, it's about relationships between women. What resonated most for me was toward the end of the novel when Sandy met Naomi, a homeless woman. I have to say up to that point, Sandy kind of annoyed me. I found her somewhat shallow and bossy with her family, friend Denise and the hotel workers. When she came across Naomi, she finally stopped, took a breath and talked about meaningful life issues. Up until that point, home staging was a metaphor for her life; it was a stage. I like how she began to slowly change, making the next move.
I look foward to Claire Cook's next novel.Kindle 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 3G Works Globally, Graphite, 6" Display with New E Ink Pearl Technology
Too bad that reinventing one's own life is not nearly as easy.
Just when Sandra thinks that she and her husband can finally sell their huge Victorian home and move somewhere simpler for the next chapter of their lives, she meets one obstacle after another. First, her husband and grown son would rather play and procrastinate than do the work. And Sandra is at a point in her life when the little things, like this foot-dragging behavior and finding the right reading glasses--especially since she's just accidentally wrapped her favorite pair and sent them off in the mail to her daughter--can make or break the journey.
So what is a woman to do? Well, Sandra accepts that staging job in Atlanta...the one offered by her best friend's boyfriend. And when she packs and leaves home, her message to the guys: don't call me until the house is ready.
What Sandra meets at her destination will change her life in a whole new direction.
Full of colorful, lively characters and lots of laugh-out-loud moments, we also find those serious issues, like how one can suddenly find gratitude where one least expects to discover it. And how changing one's perspective on things can come in the blink of an eye. And how, sometimes, life dishes out something really unexpected that forces you to change how you view everything. Best Staged Plans is a blissful, highly recommended read which I've awarded five stars.
Disappointed w/this book.