Publisher: Mira Books
Publish Date: April 29, 2011
Synopsis: After nearly a decade as a sous-chef in a trendy eatery, Jenna is desperate for a change. She’s supported her ex-husband’s dreams for so long that she can’t even remember her own. Until she sees a for-lease sign near her parents’ home and envisions her very own cooking store.
Her crash course in business is aided by a streetwise store manager and Jenna’s adoptive mother. But just as she’s gaining a foothold in her new life, in walk her birth parents—aging hippies on a quest to reconnect with their firstborn.
Now Jenna must figure out how to reconcile the free-spirited Serenity and Tom with her traditional parents, deal with her feelings for a new love interest and decide what to do about her ex’s latest outrageous request. In the end, Jenna will find that there is no perfect family, only the people we love….
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I was drawn to Susan Mallery’s Already Home because of the cover. I know, I shouldn’t base my book choices on the cover, but could you blame me? It’s really pretty. And I fell in love with the story. It’s sweet, in every way imaginable. This story is a quick read.
Already Home tells the story of Jenna. Jenna has just gotten out of a terrible marriage and has moved home to pick up the pieces. Jenna’s adopted parents have welcomed her home and support her in any way that they can. Formerly a sous chef, Jenna has decided to open a cooking store, complete with every necessity needed for the shopper’s own kitchen.
Unfortunately, Jenna’s experience is in the kitchen, and she does not have any retail experience. With the help of new found friend and employee, Violet, they quickly turn the store into a success. But that’s not all, ladies! Jenna’s birth mother shows up and stirs the pot. Well, it’s not in a negative way, but it does throw things off.
Jenna had a husband who wanted to be #1 and took the spotlight and credit for Jenna’s talent. It’s no wonder that she has to build up her self-esteem. Jenna, despite her issues, is determined to make a life for herself and be happy doing so. Jenna is talented and knows her way around the kitchen, but she does have a control issue. Once she opens her heart, Jenna then finds her way to happiness.
The relationship dynamic that Jenna has between her adoptive mother and her birth mother are so different. I can see the personality traits, from each mother, reflect within Jenna. I felt really bad for Jenna’s adoptive mother. She was supportive and allowed for the relationship between Jenna and her birth mother to mature naturally. Jenna’s birth mother was a hurricane, quickly invading Jenna’s life and not aware of her actions. It was hard to read because the emotions were real and raw.
Another supporting character is Violet. While Violet is different from Jenna, they each had their similarities. They fall into a fast friendship that I think they both needed. I’m glad that Violet’s bubbly and uplifting personality rubbed off on Jenna, she definitely needed it.
Already Home is another reason why I love Mallery’s work. It is such an emotionally satisfying read that will resonate in my mind for a while. I laughed and I cried. And the best part of the story? Women took a lead and the romance wasn’t the show stopper. Although, I did love the Happily Ever After.
For a great read, filled with love between family and friends, pick up Already Home.