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Sweet Life Paperback – September 2, 2008
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Marissa and Paul Price are living the fast-paced life in Manhattan. They have prestigious jobs, and their eight-year-old daughter, Pansy, has a nanny and is enrolled in the right school. When Paul is offered a management position at a resort on Hawaii’s Big Island, they decide to move to paradise, but it is not what they expect. For the first time, Marissa becomes a stay-at-home mom in a house that unexpectedly turns out to be a fixer-upper. Paul absolutely loves his new life, while Marissa is miserable. The cracks in their marriage widen, and when Paul tells her that he needs time away from her negativity, Marissa suspects another woman. Supporting two homes creates financial hardship, so Marissa takes in female tenants and starts repairing the house, intending to sell it and return to New York. But then she starts bonding with her roommates and the island. A truly delightful read by the author of Good Things (2007) that highlights the nontourist Hawaii and incorporates King’s trademark recipes. --Patty Engelmann
This is a breezy read, perfect for a "stay-cation" at home if you are dreaming of a Hawaiian vacation this year. King captures the atmosphere of the island beautifully. She infuses relaxing descriptions of island life-relaxed clothes, tropical flowers, the terrain, and local cuisine-to balance out the Price family drama. There are even some bonus Hawaiian recipes in the back of the book, perfect for cooking up your own Hawaiian experience without the travel costs.
Top customer reviews
A fantastic book club read!
An easy read with good character development.
Also, the lead female character shows her strength and tenacity through the entire story.
I absolutely loved this book. I really enjoyed the format of having the book start with a prologue letting readers know that Marissa had a disasterous Valentine's Day and that her marriage is falling apart. The first chapter takes us back in time to see how her life ended up the way it is. After her husband received an offer to immediately transfer to Hawaii Marissa struggled with being ready to leave behind her career. As a reader I knew that they obviously ended up going and that it was a disaster. I was constantly trying to put the puzzle pieces together to undestand how everything fit together.
In the back of the book there are also recipes that complement different scenes from the book. I love to skim material at the back of books, but I realized that it was not such a good idea in this case because the titles of the recipes give away a bit of information, so I tore myself away from them before seeing any more details too soon. After finishing the book it was fun to read through the titles and descriptions again. It was perfect because it was like looking through a photo album from a memorable experience, prompting on reflections of the ups and downs.
After the first few pages, I have to admit, I started thinking what do I have in common with the main character Marissa. She was living the wealthy life, working full time, and letting a nanny take care of her daughter. But I am so happy I stuck with it, because that was exactly the point of the whole novel. It was Marissa discovering what her true happiness could be and it took her husband leaving her to find it. I loved the storyline, especially that Sweet Life was set in Hawaii. It was interesting to learn about the customs and sights and especially the food.
Marissa has to take in tenants after her husband leaves to pay bills and the women that come to live with her are fun and strong women. This part is where the book really took off for me. One of them cooks a lot which leads to another thing I loved about Sweet Life, the recipes that Mia King includes at the end of the book. Some of the ones included are Chocolate Lava Cake and Guava Grilled Steaks. The themes covered in Sweet Life include marriage, motherhood, friendship and most importantly, self-discovery.
This fiction story did wrap up a bit too perfectly but it was a truly enjoyable read. There were some wonderfully funny moments as well as an awesome moment at the airport that every woman would love (You'll have to read it to see what I mean). I recommend you grab a copy of Sweet Life, make some Chocolate Lava Cake, and enjoy this delicious book!