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Best Staged Plans Hardcover – Bargain Price, June 7, 2011
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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 wrote her first book in her minivan outside her daughter's swim practice and is now the bestselling author of Seven Year Switch, The Wildwater Walking Club, Summer Blowout, Life's a Beach, Multiple Choice, Must Love Dogs, and Ready to Fall. She lives in Scituate, Massachusetts, often called the Irish Riviera, with her family, and shares tips about writing and reinvention on her Web site, ClaireCook.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
Enter author Claire Cook. At first, I thought "Best Staged Plans" looked like just another cute chick lit book. I was pleased to find not only a new kind of "chick lit" - one I can recommend to my mom and her friends, but one I enjoyed as well. Sandy Sullivan is ready to move to the next stage of life with her husband: they'd dreamed of selling the big New England house that they restored while raising their children, and moving to a fun beach condo. Though she continues doing some business as a home-stager for other people selling their houses, on her own homefront, Sandy's dream of downsizing is thwarted by the heel-dragging of her adult son who moves back home to inhabit their basement, and her retired husband who is too busy playing tennis and going jogging to help with home repairs.
Frustrated by their lack of cooperation, Sandy decides to fly to Atlanta to help her best friend's boyfriend redecorate a newly acquired boutique hotel. Since Sandy's newly-married daughter lives in Atlanta, she plans on having some great girl-time with her daughter, earning some money and professional satisfaction, helping out her best friend, and showing the men of her family her displeasure, but the best-made plans .... Though self-confessed control-freak Sandy is flustered and anxious with the turn of events in Atlanta, in meeting a homeless woman who sleeps under the hotel's dumpster, Sandy soon finds out that there are much worse life changes than being left alone with an overly-polite son-in-law or dealing with her best friend's probable cheating boyfriend. Though Best Staged Plans starts out with characters who seemed a little shallow to me, Cook uses this to pave the way for a gentle but satisfying life lesson to be grateful for what we have.
As a highly talented home stager living on the outskirts of Boston, Sandy has made a successful career out of sprucing up other people's homes in order to snag a premium price tag. Despite the tanked economy, Sandy uses her flair and finesse to bring out the best in even the dreariest of homes. From painting accent walls to accessorizing with bargain-hunted finds, Sandy stops at nothing to get the job done.
Yet when her lovable hubby Greg takes a snail's approach to making the change, Sandy gets fed up and accepts a three month staging job at a boutique hotel in Atlanta. As luck would have it, her newly married daughter and son-in-law happen to live in the area, making the design challenge a welcome reprieve. Fully anticipating recharging and then reloading, Sandy comes to learn that change is not as easy as she had initially envisioned.
BEST STAGED PLANS is the eighth novel by the bestselling author Claire Cook. As her readers have come to expect, she delivers a fun, summer read perfect for the beach or pool. What sets this novel apart from the others is her no-nonsense personal advice peppered throughout the storyline. From paint color recommendations to yummy menu ideas, it feels as if Cook has welcomed the reader right into her home.