A Scattered Life
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A Scattered Life

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3.22 of 5 stars 3.22  ·  rating details  ·  3,070 ratings  ·  424 reviews
When free-spirited Skyla marries proper and predictable Thomas Plinka, she finally finds the love and stability she’s craved since childhood. She also acquires a new family: mother-in-law Audrey, disapproving and suspicious of Skyla’s nomadic past; father-in-law Walt, gruff but kind; and Thomas’s brothers, sofa-bound Jeffrey, and Dennis, who moved across the country seemin...more
Paperback, 267 pages
Published August 23rd 2011 by Mariner Books (first published August 10th 2010)
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Misty Baker
There was a period in my life where I felt the need to be detached. Not physically… being AROUND people was not the issue for me, the “emotional connection” is what I feared. I had been forced to face a string of emotional torture and as a result I was (almost) irrevocably damaged. I did not like to talk, I did not form attachments of any kind. I avoided social situations, and more importantly convinced myself that not caring was the easiest path that life had to offer. Thankfully I recognized m...more
Brian
I bought this book because it was one listed on AmazonEncore as a good review. This is a program designed to let new authors have a spotlight. I had read a previous book by her and dubbed it was pure trashy chick lit, so I'm gonna be honest and say that I was dreading reading this book, which I had purchased prior. I wanted to get it over with..and let me tell you, BLECH!!! Skyla is married to Thomas, who is a real jerk. Her mother in law is also a jerk. She befriends the very trashy Roxanne who...more
Brooke
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nenette
Skyla - that's the name of the main character, and hers was a scattered life (until she got married that is). I looked up this rather unique name and learned that its meaning is "fugitive". How appropriate!

Skyla lost her mother when she was a little girl, and she was swept from one place to another while her father always tried to adjust to, but always didn't get the hang of things. She was completely orphaned when she was 19, and was given a stable life only after she married Thomas, a man who...more
Barbara
Sep 05, 2010 Barbara rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: lovers of women's relational fiction
Recommended to Barbara by: AmazonEncore - many positive reviews
A book I stumbled upon. I just bought my first kindle and was online looking for an inexpensive or even free book to try out. I found AmazonEncore, which I had never heard of before. I liked the concept so loaded this book on my kindle. Yesterday. I read the entire book in one sitting.

The story is mostly told from the perspective of Skyla who lost her mother at a young age and traveled the country with an unsettled father. She meets Thomas and marries him, and a good portion of the book is also...more
Alicia
I almost gave this book a 3-star ("average") rating, but decided against it because I felt that there was a great deal missing from it. The characters could have been more fully developed, and over all it was just lacking something. There were wonderful, descriptive narratives that led nowhere, too. Also, the story often progressed without the reader knowing what amount of time had passed - a week? Six months? It was a good story, an excellent message, but I was left with a void; everything coul...more
Amanda
I really wanted to like this book. I wanted it to be a shining example of all the potential that e-books have opened up for independent authors and readers alike.

I didn't. It felt....uncomfortable. I've read novels where the characters were small town narrow-minded people that felt comfortable. They were either still sympathetic characters or clearly not. These were... not sympathetic but felt as if the author thought they might be. And while there was some attempt at a redemption near the end,...more
Loida
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Susan
I wanted to like this book, but I didn't. The characters were likeable, but lacked the depth needed to tell a story -- as this one set out to do -- about relationships. Not a lot happens in this book until the end, so it relies almost solely on the characters. which as I've said, fall flat. The author shows potential, though, because although I didn't like it I kept reading to the end.
Stacielynn
I enjoyed reading this book. Great literature? No. Deep philosophical impact? No.
Fascinating character study? No. Enjoyable and affecting read? Absolutely!

Generally, I found the characters to be more flesh and blood than one-dimensional -- they were a bit of a type, but then it was necessary to create the tensions in the book. Not everyone was likable or even understandable -- which is what made them so believable.

I wanted to find the book trite and pedestrian, but little things tugged at me -...more
dina
Like other reviewers, I also wanted to like this independently published novel. I actually purchased it thinking I might identify with a character - seemingly my age - who found herself in a marriage and life that wasn't what she had envisioned for herself.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Without the occasional pop culture references to Nickelodeon, I would have thought this novel was set in the 50s with all the “Mercy me”, “Heaven only knows” and “Any normal family” phrases that permea...more
Katie O'Rourke
Karen McQuestion's debut novel was the first self-published Kindle book to be optioned for a movie. And here's why: her characters are like real people.

The plot of A Scattered Life moves a bit slowly. I got the impression that nothing was really happening. But the characters are so believable and likable that I didn't really mind. I was content just to be in their company, listening to their conversations and finding truth and familiarity in the more mundane dramas of real life: A husband who do...more
Linda
Karen McQuestion writes for those of us women who need to identify with other women who don't talk about how much they make, women who didn't set aside their promising editorial careers for family and whine about it, women who don't have summer homes "in the Cape", women who spy on their overky successful but gloriously egocentric cheating husbands, and so on. When you search high and low for a book that you can identify with, laugh with, cry, dream, and become a part of, Karen McQuestion is the...more
Laura
There's something in Karen McQuestion's novel that's reminiscent in both the style and family drama found in some of Anne Tyler's novels and Judith Guest's Ordinary People.

A Scattered Life brings together people looking for stability — or at least that's what they initially believe — and those who live fully, and damned what the neighbors think.

Not a one of the characters is without flaw. There's Skyla, resentfully suppressing her own nature to accommodate her husband's practical side. There's...more
Barbara Sissel
Sep 04, 2011 Barbara Sissel added it  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: All fans of fiction about women, mothers & daughters, friendships, love and relationships
I so admire this for an opening sentence: Skyla’s earliest memory of Thomas was linked with the smell of beer and the taste of blood. This is how Karen McQuestion begins her e-novel, A Scattered Life. I was hooked from the start. Skyla ends up marrying Thomas and within a few years, they have a daughter Nora and settle into regular life. But life is never regular and neither are people and Skyla and Thomas are no exception. They watch with interest, and a good deal of consternation on Thomas’s p...more
Deanna
I read all the reviews for A Scattered Life before I bought it and I was a little anxious. There are some extremely negative reviews, but most failed to say why they didn't like the book, so I bought it anyway.

I sat down to read it and couldn't put it down. The prose is amazing, the characters are well-developed and believeable with all their very human frailties. The author managed to take a storyline and present it from three different points of view and didn't falter once.

Skyla, a rootless...more
Michele
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Pirate
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Sarah
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Alexis
I'm going to give this book an "E" for effort. I felt a bit more respect for it when I learned the author had published it herself as an eBook and was the first of such picked up by Kindle (or something like that). Learning that also answered some of my questions, mainly "How the hell did this thing get published??" and "Where was the editor???" I think there was a good, sweet story line that had very little substance to back it up. There is not much character development, and several (ok, almos...more
Karin
Three stars for being brave enough to self-publish your book. I thought the story started out very well. The characters and their relationships were intriguing (especially the mother-in-law). I also enjoyed all the Wisconsin references. I did not like the ending. It seemed rushed and overly melodramatic. I am a big fan of editors and I think this book could have been better if it had been professionally edited.
Kathi
The basic story is interesting (sort of) but the work is so underdeveloped and the characters are so anemic that I can't give it more than one star. This author needs an firm handed editor in the worst way--someone who can hand her work back with the comment "nice outline, now make a novel out of it..."
Jennifer
This is a very disjointed story. Few, if any, of the characters are particularly likeable and their situations don't seem very realistic. I spent most of the book WAITING for something to happen and when it finally pulled you in and picked up steam, it was simply to wrap up.
Mich
wow... what a GREAT free kindle book. i am SOOOO glad i got this one!! toward the end i could relate to the book very much so and well...
just a really great story about women/friendship/relationships
wow
Jennifer
I read this book in one sitting and really enjoyed the story and the characters. There were several topics that were introduced that I don't feel received enough attention but overall, I liked it.
Dianne
Not terrible...just another chick lit book. Somewhat interesting relationships, a rather contrived tearjerker ending. Good beach reading.
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Peggy
This was a great book, it is the story of two housewives, Skyla who lives a quiet and ordered life and Roxanne, whose life is chaos and craziness.

Skyla Plinka lives in a quiet house iwht her 5 year old daughter, Norah, and her teacher husband, Thomas. Thomas's family is quiet, ordered and very much repressed. This is how he expects Skyla to live.

Enter the Bear Family who move next door to Skyla and Thomas. Their life is chaos, disorder and just plain crazy. With 5 sons and a husband, poor Roxa...more
Beth Peninger
This debut book by Karen McQuestion was well written but lacked depth in her characters. She was reaching for it but never made it quite there. As I was reading it I felt like something was missing and I think it was depth. However, that being said, it was a good storyline and the idea of the book was good. I'm not sure the title was great for the book but it works out okay. While the book is supposed to be about 3 women I really see it as about 1.5. Sklya, Audrey (her mother-in-law), and Roxann...more
Carrol
I first read about this book in the Wall Street Journal. The author had had difficulty finding a publisher and worked out a deal w/ Amazon to have if first published as a Kindle book. I found that concept intriguing and since she was a woman from WI I decided it give it a try. (It also is one of the more reasonably priced Kindle books at $2.99)

I wouldn't say it was a "great" book but I certainly enjoyed it and will probably read her other books at some time. It is a fast read. It's set in WI and...more
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National best-selling author Karen McQuestion writes books for adults as well as for kids and teens. Her novels regularly place in the top 100 Kindle books, and each successive novel has added to her ever growing fan base, making her one of the preeminent Amazon Publishing authors. McQuestion lives in Wisconsin with her family and is always working on her next novel.

Her website:www.karenmcquestion...more
More about Karen McQuestion...
Easily Amused The Long Way Home Favorite Edgewood (Edgewood, #1) Lies I Told My Children

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“Seems like sometimes life gives you what you need instead of what you want, if you know what I mean” 2 likes
“It's good to plan, but don't let the planning take the place of doing.” 2 likes
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