Thursday 15 October 2015

Book ~ "House Trained" (2015) Jackie Bouchard

From Goodreads ~ Alex Halstad, a childless-by-choice interior designer and dog mom, is a true perfectionist. But her orderly life turns chaotic when the teenage daughter her husband, Barry, never knew he had shows up on their doorstep ... with a baby girl of her own in tow. 

While Alex’s dog enthusiastically welcomes the new arrivals, Alex struggles with the loss of her steady routine. She desperately needs peace and quiet to get her business back on track before Barry finds out she’s spent most of their savings. 

Meanwhile, the arrival of the girls stirs up old insecurities, and Alex can’t help but worry that Barry’s ex will make an entrance too. 

With her tidy life a distant memory, will Alex be able to learn from her dog the true meaning of love and acceptance?

Alex and Barry are in their forties and neither of them wanted children ... they have a dog named Marie, which they love.  Barry is a librarian and Alex has recently started her own interior design business.  Her business isn't going well, though, and she has started to dip into their savings to keep the business going.  She hasn't told Barry because she hopes business will pick up, she'll replace the money and Barry will never know.

One day Wren, the 18 year-old daughter Barry never knew he had, shows up with her 15-month-old daughter, Ruthie (Wren's just discovered that Barry exists too).  They need a place to stay for the summer and are wondering if they can stay with Alex and Barry.   Alex begrudgingly agrees, which adds another level of stress to her life.

This is the second book I've read by this author and I liked it.  I liked the writing style and found it well-paced.  It is written in first person perspective in Alex's voice.  As a head's up, there is swearing.

Like Alex, I am child-free by choice and I too prefer dogs and cats.  I've never had to change a diaper and I'm okay with that.  I can't imagine what it would be like to have shaken up by a surprise love child and grandchild!

Alex and Barry had been together for about 15 years and it was too bad that she didn't feel comfortable enough to tell him that she had been using their savings for her business.  Plus, even all these years, she still felt like she was the runner-up to Jade, Wren's mother and apparently the love of Barry's life.  Alex is the oldest of the two and always felt that her sister was her parents' favourite, especially since she has three kids.  She let these insecurities eat away at her and went on about them a bit much.  She doesn't really seem to have any friends or support system.

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