REVIEW: THE LIFE SHE WANTS, BY ROBYN CARR

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Emma Shay Compton was blindsided by her husband’s fraudulent Ponzi scheme, his crooked ways that had upended their wealthy, upscale Manhattan lives.

Emma cooperated with the authorities, maintaining her ignorance of her husband’s actions, but the agents did not quite believe her. In the end, she refused any kind of settlement from the government once they had concluded their investigation. Then when Richard killed himself in their apartment, just before he was due for imprisonment, Emma knew that it would never be over.

Left with nothing but the few thousand dollars she brought into the marriage, Emma headed back to Sonoma County, where she grew up, and where her best friend Lyle and his partner Ethan ran a floral shop.

But going home also will resurrect old pain. The losses of her teenage years, like her father’s death; the loss of her best friend Riley, who hooked up with her boyfriend Jock, while she was away at college; and the final piece of sadness: Riley had gotten pregnant with Jock, too. Now, years later, she has a teenage daughter, Maddie.

The Life She Wants pulled me in from the very beginning, and I loved the characters, several of whom alternately narrated the story. Will Riley and Emma patch up their friendship? What will happen with Adam, Riley’s brother, who has carried the torch for Emma all these years? And will Emma find a home at last?

I loved watching the characters and rooted for them to find their way to healing. A feel-good story that brought tears of joy in the end.

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