Goodreads ~ Can a book change your life? Yes, when it's Simplicity, Muriel Sterling's guide to plain living. In fact, it inspires Jen Heath to leave her stressful, overcommitted life in Seattle and move to Icicle Falls, where she rents a lovely little cottage on Juniper Ridge. And where she can enjoy simple pleasures—like joining the local book club—and complicated ones, like falling in love with her sexy landlord, Garrett Armstrong.
Her sister Toni is ready for a change, too. She's got a teenage daughter who's constantly texting her friends, a husband who's more involved with his computer than he is with her, and a son who's consumed by video games. Toni wants her family to grow closer—to return to a simpler way of life.
Other women in town, like Stacy Thomas, are also inspired to unload their excess stuff and some of the extra responsibilities they've taken on.
But as they all discover, sometimes life simply happens. It doesn't always happen simply!
Jen hates her life in Seattle. Recently divorced, she's working two jobs to pay her bills.
She reads a book about simplifying her life and takes the words to heart. She quits her jobs, rents out her condo and moves to the small town of Icicle Falls, where the author of the book is from. She rents a small cottage from Garrett. They are attracted to each other. But Garrett is dating Tilda, a cop, and Jen doesn't want to "poach" another woman's man. Garrett is still reeling from a bitter divorce and sees Jen as an irresponsible flake like his ex-wife.
As Jen settles in, she becomes friends with some women in town who are part of a bookclub and who have just read that same book on simplifying their lives. We see the changes they make as a result of this book.
Toni is Jen's sister. She thinks Jen is crazy when she gives up her life in Seattle (she also lives there) but as she visits and gets to know Icicle Falls, she sees what the attraction is. Toni's kids are getting older and don't need her anymore and her husband spends more time on his laptop than with her. Something has to change.
This is the fourth book I've read by this author (and the third in the four Icicle Falls series that I've read) and I liked it. Written in third person perspective, I liked the writing style and found that it was easy to read. As a head's up, there is some mild swearing.
I liked the characters and storylines. It sounds like a nice town with some great people who look out for each other. I applauded Jen in making the changes in her life ... not just giving up everything in Seattle to move to Icicle Falls (and not knowing anyone) but she embraced her new life and tried to learn how to make bread, pies, candles, etc. to not-so-stellar results (some recipes are included as part of Jen's blog). Toni could feel her family life slipping away and was determined to do whatever she could to hang onto it. Jen's new friends in town all had things going on it their lives. Garrett is conflicted ... should he stay with solid dependable Tilda or go with his heart with Jen and perhaps repeat the past?
I'd recommend this book if you are looking for a nice "feel good" story.