Kathleen (Kat) Smith's Reviews > Once Upon A List

Once Upon A List by Robin  Gold
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Clara Black felt like her life had come to the end of the road. I guess for most of us, we would look at Clara, her situation and give her some time to grieve but then expect her to move forward. And she tried, really she did. She sought out professional ways to help her find her way out of the blackest, deepest pit of despair and depression but nothing seemed to work. Nothing would ever be the same again and just managing to take a breath alone was more work than it should be.

Just eight days before her life would change in ways she had dreamed of since she was a little girl, that dream turned into a nightmare. It began with a simple phone call telling her that her soon-to-be husband, Sebastian was dead, an accident had claimed his life and he wouldn't be coming home to her again, EVER!

She put up the walls and kept people at a distance, even so much that her boss told her to take some time off. He didn't want her jeopardizing any more clients with his firm as an Account Executive and to come back when she felt ready. Would she ever be ready for life again?

Answering a phone call from her brother Leo, he managed to persuade her to return home with him to their mom's home for Thanksgiving. Libby would be able to find a way to get her daughter out of her depression. She had written a jingle for almost every other product in the world and was hoping that between the two of them, they might find a way to reach Clara. However, Clara's help arrived in a surprising cardboard box awaiting her return home. In it would hold the answers that she would need to begin the rebuilding process. A project a 5th grade, Clara worked on and was being returned to her. A time capsule, that 2o years later, would be the turning point in her life. It contained a simple list of the things she had hoped to accomplish before she turned 35, and now just a few months remained before this list of unfulfilled wants and desires would be considered null and void.

That's when Clara decided to take a leap of faith and put her brother's challenge to the test and see just how many of these items she could complete before her 35th birthday. Will she be able to do it, or will her grief beat her to the finish line? To find out, you'll have to pick up Robin Gold's latest novel, Once Upon A List.

I received this delightful novel compliments of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review and completely fell in love with Clara's character. I couldn't imagine the amount of grief she felt and could see myself responding in similar ways when people came around to help. Unless you've experienced it first hand, it's hard to know what to do or say to help. Robin Gold did an amazing job of putting you write in the heart of things and feeling all the emotions she had to endure during this book of putting her life back in order. I think it's genuine because it was no short order process and there were so many times that Clara fell back into her old ways and grew frustrated. She didn't want to be that way, but there were those old habits and feelings. I admire her courage to keep getting back up and trying again and think this list worked out perfectly for her along with her brother Leo to encourage her along the way.

This makes for the perfect summer read to experience life through Clara's eyes. It truly does put life back into perspective and shows us all how quickly it can change and there is nothing we can do to prevent that from happening. I rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars. It does contain some profanity and adult situations but given the subject matter of the book, I think Robin did an exceptional job at keeping this one real.
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