Sep 24, 2013

Review: Best Staged Plans by Claire Cook

Sandy Sullivan is a professional home stager, living in Boston with her tennis-loving husband and college graduate son who has moved into their basement and rarely comes out. Though she stages homes for a living she can't seem to get her own family on board when she wants to 'clean up' their family home so it can be put up for sale. After constant prodding, begging and bitching to no avail, Sandy is at her wits end. So when her best friend mentions that her new boyfriend just bought a hotel in Atlanta in desperate need of some updating, Sandy takes the job. Her family is stunned and can't believe she's actually going to Atlanta, even her newly married daughter who lives in Atlanta is shocked. Sandy's plan to stay with her daughter and son-in-law during this process is derailed when her daughter tells her she's headed back to Boston for some training for her job, leaving Sandy to stay there alone with Chance, her very southern son-in-law she barely knows.

Her motive for this plan was to force her family into action and that by the time she returned home, the house would be ready to put on the market. But she didn't plan on missing her family so much and feeling so disconnected from her own life, not to mention being in a city that is so different from Boston. To add to the stress, she thinks her best friend's boyfriend is cheating on her, which puts her in a very uncomfortable situation. The time she spends away from her loved ones and her experiences in Atlanta gives Sandy a fresh outlook on life and the people around her.

My Thoughts:

BEST STAGED PLANS is my first Claire Cook book and it is all that I thought it would be. Claire's characters seem like real people to me. They are certainly anything but perfect but they are good people. I liked Sandy Sullivan right away, especially her sense of humor. In fact, I know some people who are very similar to her in a lot of ways. I really enjoyed the friendship with her best friend. That is a special relationship for any woman and it came across very sincere and honest. The interaction with Chance was so realistic and comical at times. I really enjoyed those parts as well.

Throughout the book, Cook offers up simple anecdotes about friendship, marriage and tips for clearing up clutter in your own home and even how to properly pack a suitcase. These tips took me by surprise but I found myself making mental notes and I bookmarked each one.

I'm glad I finally took the time to read one of Claire's books. It was exactly what I was looking for at the time. It made me laugh and it made me think. I don't read a lot of chic lit but I plan to be entertained by Claire Cook again.

 BEST STAGED PLANS (Kindle Edition)
Author: Claire Cook
Publisher: Hyperion
Published: June 2011
Length: 256pp
Source: Purchased


  1. I thought this book was really cute too!

  2. I listened to the audio and enjoyed it like the rest of Claire Cook's books :)

  3. I read this when it first came out and remember enjoying it. I like Claire Cook's writing style.

  4. Claire Cook always makes me smile. I love reading her books.

  5. I have this on my shelf, maybe I'll put it on my read-a-thon pile!


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