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The Way Life Should Be

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3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  1,960 ratings  ·  371 reviews

Angela Russo is thirty-three years old and single, stuck in a job she doesn't love and a life that seems, somehow, to have just happened. Though she inherited a flair for Italian cooking from her grandmother, she never has the time; for the past six months, her oven has held only sweaters. Tacked to her office bulletin board is a picture torn from a magazine of a cottage o

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Kindle Edition, Reprint Edition, 306 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published July 31st 2007)
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Karetchko
I signed this book out of the library because I remembered really liking an earlier book by the author (Sweet Water). This one starts off feeling like a fairly predictable chick lit book but gets better as it goes along. In fact, I sort of wish it had kept going. I got to the point where I felt like I was just getting to know some of the more peripheral characters and then it was done.
Gina
Sweet, easy read. Basic plot line revolves around a woman who is trying to figure out what to do with her life- she ends up on a little island in Maine (in winter no less- can't imagine how cold that must be!) because something just feels right. The author does a nice job of intertwining this journey with her relationship with her Italian grandmother, who is of course, a fantastic cook.I'm always pleased when an author cna successfully include cooking into a good story. Definitely would recommen ...more
Ruth
I was excited to get an email advertising another book by Christina Baker Kline. I had read Orphan Train and loved it and recommended it to many friends.

In this novel we meet Angela, a 33 year old event planner living in NYC. After a major mishap at one of the events that she has planned, she loses her job. At the same time, Angela has started to use online dating and has recently met a man from Maine, who seems to good to be true. When she tells him that she has lost her job, he casually invite
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Jen
Exactly the kind of read I needed --- a "breezy easy" book about a gal in her early 30s living in NYC, has a career crisis, and moves to Maine. My only wish is that the author gave us a little bit more depth to the characters. What she did was fine but left me wanting more. Which I guess is better than the alternative. :)
Anna
Angelo Russo is a 33 year old event planner in NYC. She is feeling in a bit of a rut, and on a whim clicks on an online dating site. She finds her "dream" man, a sailing instructor living on Mount Desert Island in Maine. She pictures an idyllic beach cottage, a dog and the perfect life. When she losses her job after a disaster at an event she had planned, she leaves her life behind and moves in with her "dream" man. But she soon discovers that the perfect, quaint picture she created is not reali ...more
Missy
This is not typical of the kinds of books that I read. It is a romance (sort of) but there is more than that going on. Angela Russo sets her sights on a man that she meets on the internet. Things do not work out between them, BUT....that is a good thing for Angela. It gives her the chance to do what heart tells her to do.

Angela's love for cooking she inherits from her Italian grandmother (Nonna). Nonna lives with Angela's father and stepmother, and teaches Angela many lessons. Nonna confides in
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Beth
Really loved this well told story of a young woman trying to find her "soul mate" and figure out what direction her life should go in. Wonderful descriptions of the art of cooking and the love of good food, relationships, the beautiful Maine coast in winter.

So lovely except I felt the ending fell short - sort of abrupt the way the book ended, as is the author just got tired of writing and decided to move on to another project - she left us hanging. I really wanted to know what happened to Angela
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M. Lynn
Dec 10, 2014 M. Lynn rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who's on a life journey like myself & the main character. Also loves food, family etc.
Recommended to M. Lynn by: Found here on Goodreads
The Way Life Should Be by Christina Baker Kline by Christina Baker Kline

Just finished: May 24, 2014. My copy has 292 pages which includes "A conversation with Christina Baker Kline", "a reading group guide", and "a sneak preview of "Four Way Stop" so the page count is different than what's on the GR's page.

Thank you to Goodreads, William Morrow Publisher who listed this giveaway, and Harper (the publisher on this edition) for the opportunity to read this through the Goodreads first reads program for an honest review.

Wonderful story, very
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Allison
I almost quit reading this book so many times, and finally just skimmed ahead until the cliche chick-lit parts were mostly over. The beginning chapters are pure cliche: the heroine is unlucky in love, epically screws up her job, risks her job in pursuit of a guy . . . but luckily, she has a Special Gift and Unique Cultural Background! Sigh. Other reviewers were right, though - once in Maine, it got a lot better and there were some very nice chapters about food and community and community and foo ...more
Jayna
I was given a copy to review via Goodreads First Reads.

I wasn't sure about this book when I first started reading, but I totally fell in love. I guess I can relate- a thirty-something who feels like they still haven't found their place in life. This is a book about discovery and finding yourself. I do love that the characters in this book are in their thirties. I've read books where a 22 year old character feels 'lost' in life. No one knows anything at 22! Anyway, the characters are all relatabl
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Karen
Great book. Goes deeper than the usual romance books. Follow your passion. Loved her relationship with her Nonna.
Maureen
simple and relaxing book to read
Lorraine
I received this book from the publisher via Librarything.com as an Early Reviewer. I was very interested to read this as I loved Orphan Train also by Christina Baker Kline.



Angela Russo was raised by her dad and Italian nonna in New Jersey and remain close to them. Now single gal in her early thirties living in New York and an event planner for a museum. She seems to have it all but love and a soul mate. Taking a chance she gives online dating a try, she sets her sights on a man from Maine and im
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Jill
This book falls into the category of cooking-school-find-yourself-romance books, with a Maine setting and a lot of recipes for Italian dishes.

Angela Russo, 33, is fired from her job as an events planner in New York City, and on a whim, packs up her things and drives to Maine. She had always been intrigued by the idea of a romantic cottage on the Maine coast, and had even initiated a real-life relationship with a guy she discovered through an online dating service calling himself “MaineCatch.” Sh
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Kathleen (Kat) Smith
Being single and living in New York with a busy Italian family can be difficult enough as Angela Russo already knows. In her family, they always want what is best for her and have no problems letting her know their opinions. As an event planner, she is waiting to make her mark in her job so that she can take on bigger projects. That is why it is critical that she pulls this one off without a hitch. Not only that but her best friend Lindsey has found her soul mate through the wonders of internet ...more
Diane
The first Christina Baker Kline novel I read, like most people, was Orphan Train. I found the story so engrossing, and I was surprised that I had never heard of the orphan trains before.

After that, I read Sweet Water by Ms. Kline and was happy to report that I enjoyed that one as well. I just finished another book from Kline's backlist, The Way Life Should Be, and I found this book the best of the three.

Angela is a 33 year-old single woman living in Manhattan, with a burgeoning career as an even
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Louise
HarperCollins|September 8, 2014|Trade Paperback|ISBN # 978-0-06-236354-1
''Thirty-three-year-old New Yorker, Angela Russo, dissatisfied with a career that amounts to gliding across a smooth plateau of predictability and fed up with abysmal blind dates, responds to an online personal ad written by Rich, a sailing instructor from Mount Desert Island, Maine. Angela begins to fall in love with the idea of Maine life just as much as she finds herself falling for Rich, and when her career suddenly goes
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Sara Strand
'm not even the reader who enjoys chick lit so much, but something about these books just hooks me in and I don't put it down until the end. And this one was no different.

Angela leads a ho-hum life. She's got her job which she doesn't love, but isn't awful at. (Well, until the fire eater pulls out all of the stops to screw his cousin over and it's clear Angela forgot a really key step in party planning 101 and that goes all to hell.) She has her family that is alright, but she loves her dear Gr
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Denise
I enjoyed this book. Angela Russo is a thirty-three year old Jersey girl living in Manhattan working as an event planner for a small museum. She is bored and her love life is pitiful. She has a somewhat troubled family life, a wonderful Italian immigrant grandmother, a loving but weak father and a step-mother who is a bit of nightmare. Her best friend just met a guy she is crazy about on an on-line dating site.

Ill prepared, Angela launches herself into an on-line relationship with a sailing inst
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Lynettemountaincloud Fox
In compliance with FTC guidelines, please disclose in your review that you received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Title: The way Life should be
by Christina Baker Kline
ISBN 978-0-06-079892-5
Genre: Fiction

I was born in Maine and really did not like how people from Maine were portrayed. But this book was easy read all in all.

Angela has always admired the hallmark picture of a quaint Maine cottage . On Impulse Angie joins an online dating service by recommendation of a friend and
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Cheryl
This women's fiction held my attention all the way through.

Angela, the heroine, is thirty-three and single but looking for a love she can settle down with.

She wanted to study the culinary arts because she developed a love for cooking from her Italian grandmother, but her parents talked her out of it. Now she's an event-planner for a NY museum, a job she's so good at, she can do it with her eyes closed.

When her best friend finds a significant other online, Angela is timid about giving it a try bu
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Carla

***** This is a First Reads, Thank You Goodreads *****

Angela Russo, a New York girl (well technically from New Jersey), Italian, event planner just got fired. Apparently some fire eaters have beefs with jugglers and are willing to burn down part of a museum to make a point. Good thing she met someone online, that he just happens to live in Maine, and has offered for her to come up on vacation and stay.
That's how Angela finds herself on Mount Desert Island - away from her family, working in a cof
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Michelle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Edith S
I absolutely loved this book. Angela Russo hated her job, felt she had no direction in life, and on a whim signed up for an Internet dating site. Answered the first blurb she saw. He lived in Maine. By chance they met in Boston. She lost her job (a great comic relief), and ventured out to move in with her Maine date. Of course, in real life, that's a dangerous thing to do. But Angela was ready for an adventure. Naturally, the love affair didn't work out. However, the journey to Maine made Angela ...more
Kristi
I absolutely loved this book! I don't know if I just happened to stumble upon it at just the right time in life or what but something about this book moved me. Whatever the reason, the characters called to me, and the beautifully understated story was wonderful. It made me want to pick up my life and move to Maine. I forced the hubby to read it and it's saying alot that he too enjoyed this book and read the entire thing without complaint. A very touching story indeed.
Melinda
The only other book by Christina Baker Kline that I had read before this was Orphan Train, which I loved. The Way Life Should Be is an entirely different kind of book. It is firmly in the women's fiction genre, bordering on chick lit. I don't say that derisively, as I feel both are valid types of reading material. So, it became clear to me early on reading this book that I had to banish Orphan Train from my mind in order to give The Way Life Should Be a fair shake.

I definitely find this book to
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Vox
I’ve always told my students that authors never give their characters the age of thirty-three accidentally. That is a purposeful age, heavy with allusion. Jesus was thirty-three when he was crucified, and ever since, the age has tremendous literary (not to mention religious) symbolism. When a writer tells us that a character is thirty-three, we must expect cataclysmic, significant changes to occur.

Angela Russo is thirty-three.

She’s also a woman desperate for – even if she isn’t perhaps aware of
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Deb
Review Excerpt:

This is my third Christina Baker Kline reprint review and my favorite of her books so far, mostly because of all of the food. Angela cooks like I do with il regalo as her grandmother or Nonna calls it, loving to take the bones of a recipe and instinctively making changes that make it your own. I devoured the food she made from both from her own recipes and ideas, and those of her Nonna. I love a good start-life-over-and-change-your-destiny story and this book delivers. Angela is l
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Laura Bryant
This is the third book I've read by Christina Baker Kline and I like her more and more as I read. This particular book was truly enjoyable. It's hard to explain what the book is about without giving away the story so I won't try. I will say that the main character, Angela Russo, is so relatable. When I finished the book, I just wished I could know more about everyone in the book, their lives and what happens next. The characters are wonderfully loveable. I even found myself liking to read about ...more
Christine
It was just what I needed, an easy read with a really enjoyable story. I will admit that I had a hard time putting it down and as I was narrowing towards the end, I was taking a little more time. It is a funny, heartwarming, and delightful read. Oh, and all the talk of Italian food will be sure to give you cravings.
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Christina Baker Kline, the author of five novels, grew up in Maine, England, and the American South. She is married to a Midwesterner whose family history inspired her new novel, Orphan Train (April). Set in present-day Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train highlights the real-life story of the trains that between 1854 and 1929 carried more than 200,000 abandoned children from the East ...more
More about Christina Baker Kline...
Orphan Train Sweet Water Bird in Hand Desire Lines Child of Mine: Original Essays on Becoming a Mother

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“Every decision I make is determined solely by the spark and limitations of my own perspective” 4 likes
“I have found that the biggest moments in life, the ones that change everything, usually catch you by surprise.” 1 likes
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