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Best Staged Plans

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3.43  ·  Rating Details ·  1,921 Ratings  ·  316 Reviews

As a professional home stager, Sandy Sullivan is an expert at transforming cluttered rooms into attractive houses ready for sale. If only reinventing her life were as easy as choosing the perfect paint color. She's eager to put her family's suburban Boston home on the market, to downsize, and to simplify her own life. But she must first deal with her foot-dragging husband

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Hardcover, 256 pages
Published June 7th 2011 by Hachette Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Blue Coyote Motel by Dianne HarmanThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. RowlingNumber 13 by M.G. Wells
Beach Reads 2012
220 books — 167 voters
Jump by Marianne AckermanAlice Alone by Amanda BrookfieldThe Mother's Day Garden by Kimberly CatesThe Gap Year by Sarah BirdBest Staged Plans by Claire Cook
Empty Nest
30 books — 1 voter


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Christine
Aug 18, 2011 Christine rated it really liked it
Loved this book!!!!!!!!!
Not so much the story but the witty tips and trader joe secrets ;)
Barbara Sissel
Jan 20, 2012 Barbara Sissel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book last fall and have been meaning to review it ever since. The title says so much. Who hasn’t had a best-staged plan? In Sandy Sullivan’s case, best staged can be taken literally. Sandy’s a professional home stager, an expert on interior design. That intrigued me. It’s something I can imagine myself doing, but what hooked me was the opening scene, where Sandy has accidently wrapped her reading glasses in with a package she mailed. That’s something I can see myself doing too, to my ...more
Carolyn West
May 10, 2011 Carolyn West rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate that Claire Cook let me read her book prior to it's June 7th release date. As an aspiring writer myself, I love finding an author who reads like I think. If I could write a book, I would want it to sound like a Claire Cook book.

So I'm sitting in my bedroom reading and I'm getting kind of creeped out because it was as if I was reading about my life. How on earth did Claire know so much about me? The main character of the story is Sandy, a middle-age home stager. Me? I'm Carolyn, a
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Ruth
Jul 03, 2011 Ruth rated it really liked it
With her typical humorous outlook on the everyday things in life, Claire Cook introduces us to Sandi Sullivan. Sandi stages homes in the hopes of getting them sold. This also branches out to helping people stage homes that they are going to stay in.

Sandi's husband is now retired and spends his days playing tennis and running. Sandi's son lives in the basement, which she refers to as the "bat cave". They have decided that it is time to sell their huge, old home and move on but don't know where t
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Bonnie
May 09, 2011 Bonnie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads, fiction, 2011
Claire Cook saw into my soul, pulled my life out of the air and wrote it down in page after page of uncanny insight. Each person in the storyline is someone I already know and, with a couple changes here and there, Sandy could be me.

Best Staged Plans is about professional home stager Sandy Sullivan, a married, mid-life, empty-nester, mother of 2. We have son Luke, who has no reason to leave home since his job is computer portable, so turns the basement into his personal fortress, and daughter,
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Jackie
Claire Cook is back with another gift for beach readers and book clubs everywhere--Best Staged Plans. This is a fun romp involving a woman trying to get her nest emptied and sold so that she and her husband can start their next stage of life (whatever that may be). Unfortunately, the son in the basement and the husband on the tennis court aren't really helping with the project. Sandy is a professional home stager (the person who pretties up a home to help it sell), but she just can't get her own ...more
Jeanne
Dec 25, 2012 Jeanne rated it really liked it
Well, I like a nice cozy book, just right for reading when life is more difficult than usual, but I got much more than I imagined possible in Best Staged Plans. I can thank Claire Cook for her gentle prods to actually see homeless persons -- and there are two men, drinking on the street in the cold Washington DC drizzle, that can thank her as well.

As I was negotiating the rain, the closing pharmacy, no parking and people jaywalking in the dark rainy night, two guys in the next doorway pointed o
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Agnes
Jun 07, 2011 Agnes rated it liked it
This was a great short story to read. I did enjoy it but there really wasn't anything that captured my attention to not be able to put it down. We have a woman that stages other people's homes but can't seem to stange her own life. Annoyed with her husband's lack of motivation to put their house on the market she takes a job out of town and leaves. While staging a boutique hotel she finds her best friend's boyfriend cheating and a homeless woman that she takes under her wing to help. This is pre ...more
Leslie Haney
Apr 18, 2015 Leslie Haney rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading this book as it was light and uplifting. Nothing depressing but a nice story with some much appreciated humor and a few good tips from Trader Joes cooking to decorating and a bit of lifes lessons. Being the same vintage as the main character, I so understood where she was in life and her struggles. Great uplifting mini story (no spoilers here) and motivated me to look for similar opportunities. Cant remember the last time I read a book in only two seatings. Only gave it three s ...more
Brenda
Nov 17, 2015 Brenda rated it it was amazing
Sandra's adapted to career changes along life's journey & hung onto her husband, Greg, raised 2 kids, but hanging on to their big old house is something she needs to change and she can't do it alone.

Taking on staging a boutique hotel in Atlanta for her BFF, Denise's, new boyfriend, Sandra leaves Greg & Luke to get the house in shape while she stays with her daughter Shannon and new son-in-law Chance.

Great home staging & decorator tips, a look a homelessness with a face, light hearted
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Anita Johnson
Aug 16, 2011 Anita Johnson rated it liked it
I enjoyed this very real sounding account of a woman who is frustrated by her family's lack of cooperation in getting their home ready to put on the market. She has a career as a stager and is constantly learning that you can change a room to be what you envision a whole lot more easily than you can a person. Claire Cook always shares her humor with the reader while focusing on some real life issues.
Patty
Jun 14, 2011 Patty rated it really liked it
Fun...learned tons of stuff about organizing a house and a life!!! On a mission to find Lysol Linen Scent spray
for everything!!! Learned how to pack a suitcase so that it looks like a pack of cigarettes!!!
Jean
Jun 08, 2012 Jean rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
Met Claire Cook at an author event on June 7, 2012. She is as warm and charming as her books. Definitely recommend her work for a light but heartfelt summer read.
Jaxmarie
Mar 31, 2011 Jaxmarie rated it really liked it
Shelves: wishlist
Another great book by Claire Cook. Amazing how it always seems I'm reading about me in her books.
Julie
Dec 19, 2015 Julie rated it did not like it
Chick lit. Main character is a bit hard to take. The plot of the novel is hard to understand"," why doesn't she just talk to her husband about where they're going?
Jenny Mandeville
Another quirky and fun novel by Claire Cook.
Susan
Jan 28, 2017 Susan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
I enjoy Clair Cook...but I didn't really care of this one.
Michelle Robinson
Apr 13, 2012 Michelle Robinson rated it did not like it
Shelves: wallbangers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathleen
Jun 28, 2011 Kathleen rated it it was amazing
As soon as I started reading The Best Staged Plans, I knew that I was going to love this book! This is the first book that I have read from author Claire Cook, and she didn't leave me disappointed. The way she setup the storyline with characters such as Sandy and Denise makes it so easy to relate to them, it's as if Ms. Cook had been looking into my life! I found myself laughing so hard throughout the book, it made it really hard to put the book down, I just had to finish reading it! Sandy's int ...more
Bonnie
Jul 24, 2011 Bonnie rated it really liked it
Claire Cook is a writer that can weave a story with wit and wisdom and touch on topics that are true to a woman's heart. Best Staged Plans is Claire's 8th book and is definitely another winner. It has become a welcome tradition for me to read a Claire Cook novel every summer. The main character is Sandy who has reached a crossroads of sorts in her own life. Professionally, she is a home stager, changing and re-arranging others homes to draw the perfect buyer to close a sale. She realizes that he ...more
Lydia Laceby
Jul 18, 2012 Lydia Laceby rated it it was amazing
Originally Reviewed at Novel Escapes

I really enjoyed this novel. It was easy to read with warm characters, snappy dialogue and a story line I found interesting and somehow relatable, even without having any knowledge or experience with empty nest syndrome.

I loved Sandy’s character. She was warm and funny and never takes herself too seriously, which always leads to humorous situations. Even with not being a huge fan of TV design shows, I found her career interesting and liked the home decorating
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Susan
May 30, 2011 Susan rated it really liked it
I have been anticipating all the new summer" Beach Reads", this summer. I can't wait to dive into each of them. Claire Cook's, Best Staged Plans is one of them. I recieved the ARC. I don't read chick lit most of the time. I reserve them mostly for the summer, and when I finish school, or what to read something that you don't have to think.

Best Staged Plans, are about Sandy, and her husband Greg living in the suburbs of Boston. Their young adult son still lives with them in the "bat cave". They a
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Colleen Turner
Feb 10, 2011 Colleen Turner rated it liked it
This review originally posted at www.readerunboxed.com:

Best Staged Plans was an entertaining exploration of a woman going through her very own “mid life crisis”. Regardless of whether you personally have made it to this stage in life or not, everyone can relate to coming to a crossroads and feeling the urge to change those things which we interpret as stagnant. For Sandy this is her home, her life, possibly even her husband. If I only had one word to describe Sandy it would be “determined”!

For m
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Tiffany
May 24, 2011 Tiffany rated it really liked it
4.5 stars - reviewed for http://acozyreaderscorner.blogspot.com

Best Staged Plans is Claire Cook’s delightful and entertaining new novel! This book is simply one of the most relatable stories I have ever read. The characters are realistic, down to earth, everyday people that I felt I could be friends with. They reminded me of neighbors and family. The novel has a very natural feel to it. It is evident that Claire did her homework with this novel.

The story takes place in the Northeast and the Sou
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Pam Barton
Jan 30, 2011 Pam Barton rated it it was amazing

I can always count on Claire Cook to get my summer reading off to a good start and Best Staged Plans did that again for me this summer. Sandy Sullivan stages houses, (gets houses ready for selling). As she looks toward retiring herself, she wants to get her house in order and gets frustrated with her family because she seems to be the only one who wants to get the house in Boston ready for selling. Getting frustrated with everything she takes a job in Atlanta to stage a new hotel for her best f
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Laurel-Rain
Jul 08, 2011 Laurel-Rain rated it it was amazing
If life is a stage, and it's all about presentation, Sandra Sullivan is an expert. Especially in a tough real estate market, when "staging a home" for sale is extremely important.

Too bad that reinventing one's own life is not nearly as easy.

Just when Sandra thinks that she and her husband can finally sell their huge Victorian home and move somewhere simpler for the next chapter of their lives, she meets one obstacle after another. First, her husband and grown son would rather play and procrastin
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Krystal
Apr 20, 2012 Krystal rated it liked it
Sandy Sullivan can easily “stage” a home, transforming its décor into appealing rooms which more quickly sell houses. Her problem, (a mid-life crisis?), seems to be that she cannot transform her own life in a direction she would like to go. Her retired husband cannot be motivated to update their own home for sale; her grown son has career trouble and has moved back into their lives. In order to get away from a home situation that she feels has stagnated, she accepts a job to renovate a hotel tha ...more
Aimee
Jun 16, 2011 Aimee rated it really liked it
Claire Cook has written a funny, warm, entertaining book that is a perfect summer read. It is the story of Sandy Sullivan, a home stager who works at getting client's homes ready to sell. She declutters, organizes and freshens homes up to look there best. We find out that she is also getting ready to sell her own home that she shares with her tennis playing husband and her son, who has recently finished college and lives in the basement. Sandy is the only one in a hurry to get things ready and b ...more
Rebecca
Oct 07, 2011 Rebecca rated it liked it
Shelves: chicklit
Even if I don't like the author, but I know the books are easy, I'll pick it up. That was the case with this one. From the same author of "Must Love Dogs" (kill me now) comes another lame-ish story! An "I'm cool" older women with grown children and a loving husband acts all quirky. HILARIOUS! Just so not for me at this time in my life.

Anyway. Woman has a staging business, where she cleans up and stages houses that are for sale. A decent, but totally 'burb-type job. She lives in the Northeast (Bo
...more
Mary
Jun 03, 2011 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bought, ebook
Home stager Sandy Sullivan is ready for the next chapter in her life. Her daughter is married, her son is out of college (but still lives at home), and her husband took early retirement. Sandy wants to sell their big Victorian and downsize – maybe move to a 55+ community. Hubby and son say they’re going to help get the house ready to sell but one seems more interested in his tennis games with his buddies and the other would rather hide out in the basement and play video games. Sandy’s tired of n ...more
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I wrote my first novel in my minivan at 45. At 50, I walked the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere of the adaptation of my second novel, Must Love Dogs, starring Diane Lane and John Cusack. I'm now the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of 16 books. If you have a buried dream, take it from me, it is NEVER too late!

I've reinvented myself once again by turning Must Lov
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“What do I want? What kind of question is that? I want what everybody wants. I want someone who has my back. I want someone's name to put in the space after "in an emergecy please call." I want someone who will drink the other half of the bottle of wine so I don't. And someone to make it worth sitting down at an actual table to eat. I want someone who's dying to get home after a long day because I'm going to be there.” 27 likes
“You just pick someone who has your back and wants the same things as you do, and then you make it work.” 0 likes
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