Paul, Marissa and Pansy Price lived a good life in New York City. Paul and Marissa were successful in their business life and their daughter Pansy excelled in school. When Paul is offered a position in Hawaii, Marissa remembers how great their honeymoon was there but concerns about quitting her job and transferring Pansy to a new school mar her view of this opportunity. However, she agrees to visit HI with Paul and Pansy to see if they could find a school, a house and could live there. What they find is not the HI they remembered and a tight housing market. Regardless, Paul agrees to the transfer and then tells Marissa of his decision without her input. They end up buying a house via the Internet and make the move to HI.
HI isn't what the Price's expected nor is their life style. The wonderful house that they bought is actually a fixer upper. While it has great views, there are cows next to the backyard. The roof leaks and nothing seems to work correctly. Pansy is bored in school and doesn't seem to be able to make any new friends. Marissa has quit work to be a stay at home mom but is bored and she doesn't seem to be able to make any new friends either! Paul is enjoying his job and keeps very busy. He doesn't understand Marissa's discontent nor why things aren't getting done.
Everything comes to a head on Valentine's Day. Marissa has big plans and has even arranged babysitting for Pansy. She wants things to get better between her and Paul. Paul tells her that he needs time and space resulting in Marissa throwing him out of the family home. Marissa doesn't understand how things could get so bad so fast.
With bills to pay and no job, Marissa has to make some decisions. Her first option of selling the house and moving back to NY is not doable as the house is not sellable in its current condition. So, now she also has to figure out how to make the repairs.
Salvation comes in the form of three very special women who not only need a place to live but are willing to help with the house. These women with Marissa form their own family.
But what about Paul? Marissa has to make some decisions about him. She loves him but he wanted out or did he really? Tom, the great looking guy on a neighboring ranch seems interested but Marissa isn't sure she is ready for anything like that. And HI seems to be growing on Marissa and Pansy. Is she sure she wants to return to NY?
This book is divided into three sections. These sections are representative of the process Marissa is going through. The first is arriving in HI, then the moving on and finally reasalution. Each section is logical and gives you a fairly good idea of what is going on at that time.
I liked the interaction of the women. When Pansy decided that she'd like to be homeschooled, each woman gave her honest opinion to Marissa. They were able to show her the pros and cons of this and then were able to step back allowing her to make up her own mind. Marissa knew that even though she was given opinions, regardless of what she decided, these women would respect her decision.
Marissa was changing and developing herself. She learned that she could look at things and see how they could be. She also came to the realization that she had prejudices that she didn't know she had. When she met someone she automatically decided if they were her peer or someone "beneath" her. She doesn't realize that she does this until one of her new housemates tells her. Watching her struggle to change this outlook was enlightening.
The storyline was very good. The story didn't drag and all the events seemed logical. The only part that I had problems with was the prelude which was set on Valentine's Day and then the first chapter starts with them living in New York. I did not see the need for this prelude and thought it should have been incorporated in the regular part of the book.
The characters were likable and well developed. Marissa's bewilderment was understandable. She didn't understand why Paul wanted space as he'd already had what she called his middle life crisis and she couldn't understand why she couldn't make new friends, though she didn't see many people she thought were her "kind" of people.
When her husband gets a new job, Marissa Price, 40, leaves the island of Manhattan for the island of Hawaii. Paradise seems like the perfect place to find herself, save her marriage, and reconnect with her daughter. But Marissa that her new life is less about beaches and beautiful sunsets and more about cows and lava flows. Their new "home" is a fixer-upper at best, and her brilliant daughter suddenly wants to be homeschooled. But what needs fixing the most--her marriage--is the first thing to crumble when her husband announces he wants time apart to find himself. Pulled in opposite directions, Marissa is faced with the most important decision of her life--a choice that will define who she is, what she wants, and where her happiness lies.