A Simple Thing, by Kathleen McCleary (Review & Giveaway!)

Contest Over!!! 

5 Stars!!!!! (with a heart!)

When Susannah Delaney discovers her young son is being bullied and her adolescent daughter is spinning out of control, she moves them to remote, rustic Sounder Island to live for a year. A simple island existence—with no computers or electricity and only a one-room schoolhouse—is just what her over scheduled East Coast kids need to learn what's really important in life. But the move threatens her marriage to the man she's loved since childhood, and her very sense of self.

For Betty Pavalak, who moved to Sounder to save her own troubled marriage, the island has been a haven for fifty years. But Betty also knows the guilt of living with choices made long ago and actions that cannot be undone. The unlikely friendship between Susannah and Betty ignites a journey of self-discovery for both women and brings them both home to what they love most. A Simple Thing moves beyond friendship, children, and marriages to look deeply into what it means to love and forgive—yourself.


Kathleen McCleary teaches writing at American University. A former columnist for HGTV.com, Kathleen’s writing has appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post, USA WEEKEND, Good Housekeeping, More, Health, and Ladies’ Home Journal. She lives in northern Virginia with her husband and two daughters.
Visit her at her website - HERE
*She also wrote "House and Home" which I just ordered for my nook!

I think this is going to be my favorite book of the year! This was an amazing story in so many ways. If you were to ask me "What kinds of books do you like?" I say - this kind! Beautiful writing, excellent character development, outstanding scenery descriptions! Absolutely couldn't get any better than this for me. I loved this book! I just read and read but didn't want it to end. This book kind of reminded me of another one of my favorite books - "Still Life With chickens" which I have read twice! I have a feeling I will be re-reading this one sometime.

This book was just about - life. I got it, I understood it, I agreed with it! I am a real "scenery type person". I want to feel like I can just walk into the book, I want to feel like I am right there. I want  to look it up on a map and know that I could go there and actually feel like I had been there before. This book made me feel all those things. I did look up those islands on Google maps and found them. I even looked up houses for sale in the area just to get a feel for what it was like. I know, I know I'm a strange person! But that's what I do for fun! LOL
This story really made me feel like I had been there. I could very easily picture everything, the cabins, the shore, the boats, the people, the kitchens, everything. 

There are so many great lines in this book!
"You can only be as happy as your unhappiest child."
"Teenagers... Raised one of 'em, now have a couple of twerps for grandchildren. I'd be happy to just skip from twelve to eighteen. That's when they become human again."
 "I am not like my mom!" Katie said.
 "You are', said barefoot... 'I'll tell you, its only when I learned to accept that I was a lot like my mother that I began to be happier. I suspect you'll find that to be true yourself. Our Mothers are the most influential in making us who we are. As long as you regard your mother with distaste, its not possible to view  yourself charitably, with kindness, and self-acceptance so essential to personal happiness. I suggest you practice standing in your mother's shoes and seeing the world, including yourself, from her perspective. If you do, you might begin to be happier and leave behind the miseries and discomforts that plague all of us in adolescence."   - WOW! I am going to save this line for my grandchildren!
All through the book Susannah kept thinking that she was a terrible mother. And everyone else kept saying that she was too overprotective. But I didn't think that at all! If I found my 14 yr. old daughter passed out drunk and had to take her to the hospital, or if I found her with a boy's hand up her shirt - I would take them all to an Island too! I don't think she was too over protective at all. I think she was just right. This book really made me think about the choices I made as a mother. I think I would have done all the same things as Susannah did. I would have done anything to save my family, to save my daughter.
The character development for the teen daughter, Katie, was excellent! I have never believed in hitting kids, but I would have found it very difficult to resist smacking the heck out of that girl! Seriously! What a brat - with a mouth (the worst kind!). The author got it just right. Katie really seemed like a snotty know-it-all sassy teenage girl! And then... the ending... well I am not going to give it away! But I do begin to like her a little better.

At one point in the book I had to stop reading - I knew it was going to be sad and it was just not a good time for me to be crying! So I put the book down then picked it up later and had a good cry.
As I read on, I thought I was going to be disappointed in the ending - but I wasn't - the ending was great! Sad, and with a twist!

I am going to say - that if you like books about life, if you like books about family, about starting over, about island life, or about friends helping each other - this is the Must read of the year!
Slight warning - some swearing, and adult situations. But I just don't think a teenager would be interested in reading this, it is definitely a woman type book.

Thank you "Librarything Early Reviewers"  for sending me this wonderful book to read and review! The best book I have gotten yet!

Get it from B&N - HERE 
or from Amazon - HERE

I am giving away my copy of this book.
To enter to win this book - fill out the form below.
* Please US & Canada only.
And please only enter once -  (I go through and delete double entries).
* Winner will be chosen on Aug. 27th.
* Winner will have 48 hrs. to respond.


  1. Sounds good. I love the quotes about motherhood. Those are awesome.

    Especially that last one.


    I'm going to save it too.

    Thanks for the great review.
    (not an entry)

  2. I like books that make you feel as if you are right there with the characters, so this one sounds like a winner to me. This was a really great review. I enjoyed it, and am glad that you fell in love with the story!

  3. I enjoyed House and Home and want to read this one as well.

  4. Those quotes are great, and this looks like an awesome book. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us and for the chance to win the book.

  5. The story line sounds amazing! I can't wait to get a copy of this book.

  6. This book does sound really good. Thanks for the chance to win!

    By the way, I found you because of Vonnie's Reading Corner blog. She speaks very highly of your blog and I can see why :)

    Have a great weekend!

  7. I love that feeling when I find a book that just has me so excited. Thanks for introducing me to this one.