The Life List - Lori Nelson Spielman

4 Stars!

1. Go to Paris
2. Have a baby, maybe two
3. Fall in love

Brett Bohlinger seems to have it all: a plum job, a spacious loft, an irresistibly handsome boyfriend. All in all, a charmed life. That is, until her beloved mother passes away, leaving behind a will with one big stipulation: In order to receive her inheritance, Brett must first complete the life list of goals she’d written when she was a naive girl of fourteen. Grief-stricken, Brett can barely make sense of her mother’s decision—her childhood dreams don’t resemble her ambitions at age thirty-four in the slightest. Some seem impossible. How can she possibly have a relationship with a father who died seven years ago? Other goals (Be an awesome teacher!) would require her to reinvent her entire future. As Brett reluctantly embarks on a perplexing journey in search of her adolescent dreams, one thing becomes clear. Sometimes life’s sweetest gifts can be found in the most unexpected places.

Lori Nelson Spielman, a former speech pathologist and guidance counselor, currently works as a home-bound teacher for inner-city students. She enjoys sailing, running, and reading, though writing is her passion. She lives in Michigan with her husband and a very spoiled cat.
(any author who has a very spoiled cat is a friend of mine!)

Visit her at her website - HERE

Very well done! This book flows right along and makes you want to keep reading.
The story line, having to complete a list before getting your inheritance, is not exactly a new idea, but there was plenty of new ideas in this book to make it a very good read.

At first I thought, this poor woman, how unfair to have to complete this bucket list right after her Mother's death. I didn't think I was going to like it at first. But the list became very real, the list itself almost became a separate character that you wanted to hate or love at times.

Even though the mom has already passed away before you start reading the book, you get to know her through her letters to Brett. She was a very good mom and a very smart lady. She sure knew what was good for her only daughter and you can see how her love continues on even after her passing.

I thought the character development was very good. There were a couple of characters that I thought, at the time, could have been developed better, but now I think maybe we were not meant to get too close to them.
The main character, Brett, you got to know very well. I really liked her. She seemed a bit spoiled and selfish at first, but her inner heart came out and she really grew on me. Brett became a home-bound teacher to complete one of the items on her list. This was my favorite part of the book. I loved getting to know the kids she was seeing. Each had such a unique personality. I thought this part was very well done... then I read that the Author herself was a home-bound teacher! A-ha, no wonder. It is a very good idea to write about something you know.

You all know I love sad books. This book is sad in spots, but also heartwarming, suspenseful, and interesting. I read this book while vacationing on the coast pf Maine . At one point I thought I was gonna start tearing-up. That would have been embarrassing on a bus in front of 40 other people, but I held it together!

And - I love the cover! Isn't it gorgeous, I just love daises.
I really hope this author continues writing, I would love to read more by her.

Here is a quote from the book. This is from one of the letters her mother left her.
"I only want you to be happy. If indeed you are convinced Andrew is your love, then share this list with him. If he is willing to be your partner in accomplishing these goals, I underestimated your love, and his, and you can consider this goal achieved. But whatever the outcome, please know that love is the one thing on which you should never compromise. Come back when you've found your love, my darling. It'll be worth it."
Thank you "Librarything Early Reviewers" for sending me this book to read and give my honest review.

Get yours at B&N - HERE
or from Amazon - HERE


  1. Sounds realllly good. (Love your confession about loving sad books. I do too sometimes.)

    That list sounds tough.

    Great review.

  2. Thanks so much for reviewing The Life List on your wonderful blog! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!