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The Sock Wars

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Lucy Tuttle is a workaholic financial planner whose biggest worry is how to line up the sticky notes on her desk just so, until her free-spirited, vivacious aunt dies in a car accident halfway across the world.

With her last remaining family member gone, a landmark birthday approaching, domestication closing in, and her faltering biological clock a never-ending reminder of the time she isn't spending building a family, Lucy attempts to make a home for herself in the house she's inherited. But as she struggles to settle into a life of cohabitation, organic lentils, and sock thievery, she starts to wonder how she ended up there--and when she'll feel alive again.

As she works through her grief and tries to find somewhere to belong, Lucy begins to understand that sometimes, realizing one dream means giving up another. Can a person who spends her time fixing other people's lives learn to let go enough to live her own?

The Sock Wars is a poignant, funny reminder that there's one thing harder than living up to other people's expectations; facing your own.

The Sock Wars has been a top 100 digital bestseller.

Reach Maia online at www.maiasepp.com.

196 pages, Paperback

First published December 2, 2012

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About the author

Maia Sepp

6 books59 followers
Maia Sepp is an author of humorous contemporary and dystopian fiction. She left the tech sector to write about sock thievery, migraines, and the future.

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5 stars
75 (13%)
4 stars
175 (31%)
3 stars
219 (39%)
2 stars
71 (12%)
1 star
20 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 83 reviews
Profile Image for Obsidian.
2,734 reviews938 followers
March 24, 2016
So I dithered about a star rating before deciding on a 3.5. There was a lot that bugged me about this book. Considering that it is only 196 pages it got draggy in a lot of places. It also didn't help that the book's message shifted more than halfway through to a conclusion that did feel right to me, but it came completely out of left field.

The main character Lucy Tuttle is a puzzle to me. She's almost 30 when this story begins and is knocked for a loop when her Aunt Maren dies in an accident. Losing Maren suddenly has Lucy questioning everything that she thought she wanted out of life which is a home and 2.5 kids with her boyfriend Oliver.

I initially thought this book was about grief, about how to accept it when you lose someone you love and how you manage to put yourself back together. Well it seemed to me as a reader that Lucy never really gets there. I felt like the character was way too dull and passive and it drove me crazy that even though several other characters remarked about how she was depressed that no one did more than that.

It also became readily apparent that Lucy had a lot of other issues that the author does not take time to explore besides having Lucy remark upon them. And it became apparent to me based on how Lucy relieved tension by counting things, slats in tables, number of steps, that she could possibly be OCD. It was a an odd characteristic to give her since that wasn't addressed by the author either. Heck I wanted someone somewhere to say that Lucy needed to see someone, because she didn't sound great and it sounded like she also lost a ton of weight.

Suddenly towards the end the book shifts its focus to Lucy deciding whether she is ready to take that next step with her boyfriend Oliver (next step being marriage and kids) and there were a lot of messages being thrown Lucy's way in this book. It's an interesting discussion to have to remain child free in this book because as Lucy found in this book you are made to feel not normal and or selfish if you choose to not have kids. So that part worked for me. I guess it didn't feel organic to me because you just have Lucy all of a sudden switch to a possible game changer in her life and not discussing it with her boyfriend.

Speaking of Lucy's boyfriend I really didn't get much of a sense of him in this book. He was younger than Lucy and apparently very into everything green/organic.

In fact, I didn't get much of a sense of anyone. Lucy has a quirky best friend that shows up randomly, but who she doesn't seem to interact with beyond that.

The writing I found to be a bit repetitive after a while. I think that's because we keep hearing how Lucy misses Maren and how she's about to fall apart and isn't sleeping for pages and pages. And as much as I love books that deal with a character renovating a house, this one bored me to tears. There was no real description of the house and how it got changed up at all.

The flow was not great either. I really couldn't figure out seasons/months except for a few written cues here and there (they had a party in September on a pagan holiday, it was October but they were doing Secret Santa at her office). I needed some more descriptions of the weather, how hot she felt, how sweaty, how nice a breeze felt, anything. The book just felt very static to me.

The setting of this book really takes place at Maren's home that she leaves Lucy. Besides everyone saying she was leaving Manhattan for Queens I could not tell you beyond that this book tells place in New York. Once again the lack of description drove me crazy. We hear later about how Lucy's commute is okay, but it would have been nice to read about it. One gets tired of reading about her and her valium she was taking, or that she had to count the number of slats in tables, or steps up the stairs.

The ending was a surprise, I thought the book would go one way, but went another. That is the main reason why I gave it a 3.5 stars.
Profile Image for Mindy Conde.
378 reviews12 followers
September 27, 2013
I got this ebook from NetGalley, it was the first time I'd received a book this way and was excited to dig into this book that sounded so intriguing. In some ways I really enjoyed this book, but unfortunately, most of the rest of the time was spent hoping I was almost at the end. It was interesting, but the main character's struggles with grief just got so monotonous that it got a bit wearing. I know that sounds harsh, people grieve in their own time and I know that. Its just that I don't feel the author fully explored Lucy's journey. It felt redundant, as if we just saw the same pain manifested in slightly different ways. I don't know, maybe if I hadn't just finished a really fantastically well done novel about the journey through grief, I would have liked this piece more, but as it is, this one just couldn't hold up in comparison (I'm talking about "Tell the Wolves I'm Home" by Carol Rifka Brunt,which you should most certainly read if you haven't already).

Lucy is a fastidious financial planner who loses her dear Aunt Maren, her only remaining family and a woman who we find out was really her anchor and probably best friend in life. Lucy soon discovers that her aunt left her a house, the only financially responsible decision the spontaneous, fun-loving, Maren made, apparently. Lucy moves in at the insistence of her hippy, free-spirited boyfriend, Oliver, who follows not far behind her. The two embark on renovating the house and begin planning their lives together: getting married, having kids, being a family.It sounds very clean and happy, but Lucy has a really difficult time finding her way after losing Maren.

Eventually she begins to question some of the things she assumed were set, namely becoming a mother. I think this is where Lucy really starts to develop as a character. Up until this point she really just goes along with life, letting others make decisions for her. Now though, she begins questioning and evaluating. She actually starts to show a little bit more of who she is, getting out of her rut and moving forward. Now, I'm not 100% sold that this was an intentional shift on the author's part, to have Lucy's development as a character mirror her progress through her grief. It would be clever, but I still don't think it would be entirely effective, since most of the novel I just found Lucy to be sad and rather flat.

So many of the other characters are so much more developed than Lucy. I felt like I knew Maren better - and she's dead the entire novel. I did have a few moments where I could relate to Lucy, but that really only came at the last quarter or so of the book when she finally gained some agency and stopped being so whiny. Part of this is also hard for me because I have experienced grief like this, I know that pain, but I felt like she wasn't fighting it at all. She gave in to her pain and everyone around her allowed her to. It was irritating to watch her fall apart and I didn't have the sympathy I think the author was counting on. I'd be interested to read about Lucy after she gets past this point in her life and finds who she is. But this section of her story just didn't do it for me.
Profile Image for Debbie Young.
Author 35 books208 followers
December 26, 2012
I came across this book by chance here on GoodReads and was intrigued by the catchy title and cute cover. I read it to wind down for the Christmas holidays - a great choice.

It's a witty, observant and poignant story of how financial consultant Lucy Tuttle, about to hit the big 3 0, comes to terms with the loss of her only relative, a much-loved, unconventional aunt. The late Aunt Maren is a little like the aunt in Graham Greene's wonderful "Travels with my Aunt" but in New York in the 21st century. In doing so, she discovers much about herself that she never realised or dared to recognise, having for so long sought comfort and distraction in financial-led safety mechanisms, such as counting to her favourite high number to calm her nerves.

The characters and settings are well drawn. Indeed, the whole book is well written, with realistic conversation, atmospheric description and scene-setting and a plausible, likeable narrator.

I'd recommend it to anyone who is:

(a) recently bereaved (having been widowed some years ago, I found this a touching, realistic portrait of the grieving process)
(b) approaching 30 - or any other big birthday - and having a crisis about where they're going with their lives
(c) worried about her biological clock and not sure what it's telling them
(d) interested in the New York City lifestyle
(e) in need of a simple, good, entertaining contemporary story about modern life

Although I'm old enough to be the heroine's mother (yikes!), this book rang lots of bells with me and made me think about my own life choices (about which I'm currently very happy, I should add!)

Incidentally, the parallel to Graham Greene's great book never entered my head till I started writing this review, and I'm not suggesting for a moment that The Sock Wars is derivative or imitative. But there are lots of pleasing similarities,including a very satisfying ending that will have you punching the air with delight.

Why 4 stars instead of 5? Well, there were a few clunky plot moments where there could have been a bit more "showing" instead of "telling", as they say - e.g. characters telling Lucy what to do and how to lead her life which were necessary to move the plot on to the next stage. These didn't quite ring true (or maybe other people's friends and relations are more direct than mine!) But the quality of the writing is top notch - a very good start for this new young writer who is definitely one to watch.
Profile Image for Dixiane Hallaj.
Author 18 books10 followers
December 25, 2012
Lucy keeps her life in perfect order—no surprises, nothing out of place. She looks forward to being part of the "perfect family" she missed as the child of a single mother forced to work long hours in her often-vain attempts to keep food on the table and the lights on. When her only relative, an unconventional and untidy aunt dies, Lucy tries to cope with a host of unsettling changes. Along the way, she meets many of her aunt’s friends and gradually realizes that perfection has different meanings for different people.
As a former accountant who still counts ceiling tiles while sitting in the dentist chair, I found Lucy a very lovable character. Her sometimes frenetic search for the happy ending had me sharing her emotional ups and downs and laughing while trying to give her advice.
1 review4 followers
February 7, 2013
This was a very enjoyable book with believable, likeable characters and a story that is easy to relate to. The story is a thoughtful exploration of scripts people find themselves living out and measuring themselves by, and what happens when the script doesn't fit anymore. I read the first chapter as a short story (Irish Drinking Socks) distributed for free on Kobo, and I wanted to know what happened next enough to buy the rest of the book. I would highly recommend picking up the free short story, to see if you would enjoy it too.
Profile Image for T.R..
Author 5 books24 followers
March 15, 2013
This is a beautiful story of one woman's journey towards self-discovery, conquering grief and past pain, and healing her inner wounds. The tale unfolds slowly, almost poetically, and the ending is refreshingly unconventional. While the title and cover suggest that this is more along the lines of a cute, chick-lit-y read, this is not the case. The Sock Wars is an intelligent, highly enjoyable work of psychological fiction which will have readers entirely engrossed in the life of the main character, the lovably flawed Lucy.
Profile Image for Cindy.
444 reviews
February 24, 2013
I purchased this book from Amazon because I love books with a story centered around fixing up an old house. I also loved the title and the cover of the book!! OK, shallow I know....but sometimes covers draw you in!!

The inheritance of the house by Lucy following the death of her beloved aunt and how her and her boyfriend subsequently move in to the house seemed like a good premise. I became interested in the story quickly as I was trying to relate to everything Lucy was feeling.

The other characters introduced were interesting and in some cases funny and eccentric. Eccentric is also the word I will use to describe Lucy's departed aunt. The path Lucy was on during this story was one we all have to relate to in one way or another during our lives. The questions of life, goals, dreams, ambitions, our path....these all come into play during the period of transition following a death. Moving to her aunt's house and Oliver moving in with her for the first time, these additional stressors could not have happened at a worse time for Lucy.

Though there were parts of the book that annoyed me, I am giving this book 4 stars for the message it contains. A great message that many people should follow.

Profile Image for Jessie.
79 reviews11 followers
July 5, 2013
I received The Sock Wars after entering a giveaway here on Goodreads. The Sock Wars tells Lucy's story in the aftermath of the unexpected death of her beloved aunt. I think most people who have lost a loved one can relate to Lucy's story of being uprooted from their "normal" life and the confusion of coping with such a sudden, drastic change to their life. While I read The Sock Wars, I found myself feeling frustrated with Lucy because she was so clearly not living the life she was really meant to live. At the same time, I totally understand how she could get caught up in what society expects her to do with her life and struggle to find what her life was really supposed to be about. I wanted to jump into the book and shake her for letting everyone walk all over her at times instead of standing her ground on what she wanted. While some of these instances turned out for the better in the end of the book, it still bothered me that she couldn't be more assertive about what she wanted in life; and later when she does assert herself, she is called selfish! Even though this bothered me, it is probably because it is such a reality in my own life and in the lives of many of the people I know. Everyday I see people going with the flow of the life that society has told them they want and it was so refreshing for Lucy to come to terms with this and learn to live her life for her. Overall, I really enjoyed this read and it was definitely a change of pace from some of the other books I have read lately. This book made me want to confront the ways that I myself am going along my life as if it is some script that was written before I was even born, instead of really embracing and living the one life I get! I'd definitely recommend this book, especially if you, like me and Lucy, feel that you are perhaps not living your life to the fullest or are being restricted by what everyone else expects of us. :)
Author 11 books3 followers
August 20, 2013
I started reading this book this afternoon, and had to keep reading. I loved all of the characters, as well as the descriptions of New York, that added just the right touch.

The thing I loved most about this book was that although I am old enough to be Lucy's mother (or another aunt0, I can identify with everything Lucy is going through, especially recently. My friend and I found my parents on the floor of the home they've owned for almost sixty years, dehydrated and pretty sick. They had to move into a nursing home and since I am an only child, selling the house and all of that responsibility now falls on me. I felt a real connection with Lucy when she was going through the house, and everything she did triggered memories of her aunt.

This is a beautiful, touching story, and I look forward to more from this author.
Profile Image for Janet.
1,544 reviews14 followers
September 23, 2013
This novel by Ms. Sepp really struck quite a few notes with me. Her writing is quite good - she uses the technique of having the main character tell the story; and she utilizes that technique well. I believe that displays quite a bit of talent and bravery for a novelist. I found the situations believable, the dialogue realistic, the settings charming and interesting, and the characters engaging and sympathetic. I found myself emotionally involved in the outcome of Lucy's journey, and quite pleased in the ending. There were some issues with pacing for me, I thought the book dragged a bit during the opening chapters, but the story premise and characters were enough to keep me reading - a light, gentle, worthwhile read.
*I received my copy from NetGalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Samhy.
89 reviews6 followers
May 29, 2013
Lucy Tuttle's world changes suddenly when her beloved aunt dies. With no relative left, she has to figure her life on her own. Is she going to give up on her flat in Manhattan to a house in Queens? Is her boyfriend going to move in with her? What is she going to do with her job? Is her life the life she really wants to live?

I really liked The Sock Wars because somehow it rings true. It was nice and pleasant to read. I think anyone around their thirties, or feeling maybe they're not following everybody's else way of life, can enjoy it.
63 reviews16 followers
July 28, 2013
What an unexpected delight this book was! It's the story of a young woman who has carefully planned and organized every aspect of her life as a way of coping with a tumultuous childhood and a lot of anxiety. When her beloved aunt dies and leaves her her house, it changes everything for her -- how she sees herself, what she thought she wanted, what her life is and how she defines family. The book is beautifully written, with wonderful turns of phrase and poignant humor and such warmth. I cannot wait to read more by this talented writer.
Profile Image for Sarah W..
17 reviews3 followers
February 17, 2013
*first reads giveaway*

I was originally drawn to the book by the cute cover. I love mismatched socks. But once I read the book, I loved that too. The raw emotions that were conveyed were clear and reached out to readers. Lucy's loss left her to pick up the pieces of her life and start over. Her loss effected every aspect of her life. The book took readers through Lucy starting her new life and figuring out how to live life without her aunt, as she begins to live the life she always wanted.
Profile Image for Tammy.
2,924 reviews14 followers
October 9, 2013
This was an easy read and totally unexpected. I got this free and just dove in not knowing what to expect. It was kind of sad and bittersweet at times. But the idea of living your own life and following your heart more than doing what others expect of you is quite a revelation that many struggle with. Lucy was well written coming from such a difficult childhood to her future. It made me sad as I read, but I did like the ending wrapped things up rather nicely
Profile Image for Justin Renquist.
79 reviews
September 10, 2014
Loved this book

happy,.sad, adventurous dealing with a wide.spectrum of emotions all inside a.compelling, charming love story with a twist. I can't wait to.read.More.of Maia Sepp's books!!
1 review
September 15, 2013
Cleverly and clearly defined characters make this story of discovery of life and self a good, fast read.
Profile Image for Lesley.
341 reviews27 followers
June 25, 2013
I was given a copy of The Sock Wars by Maia Sepp in exchange for an honest review.

Lucy's life takes an unexpected twist when her Aunt Maven dies in a car crash and Lucy inherits her house in Queens, which is in need of some serious renovating. Her boyfriend Oliver, of 2 years, convinces her that with a little bit of TLC , they can turn the house into a home that they can grow old in together.

The Sock Wars which is Maia Sepp's debut novel, takes you along on the journey as Lucy works through her grieving, and moves from her co-op apartment to the upstairs apartment in the run-down house where Oliver moves into as well, when his roommate asks him to move out. Oliver begins to look forward to his and Lucy's future together which will take the natural progression of renovating the house to marriage to parenthood, but Lucy has her doubts along the way. Will she be able to move past her grief over Maven? Do her plans match Oliver's or do her plans veer offtrack along the line?

I found The Sock Wars to be a refreshing chick-lit read, which was a realistic read in that it didn't follow any set script and I wanted to keep reading to see how everything would turn out. Lucy is mostly likeable, although there are times when I wished that she would make more of an effort to get through her grief. Oliver was lovable but quirky and I could definitely see his love for Lucy and her love for him. Maven's friends, who became friendly with Lucy were quirky too, but again in a lovable way. All in all, I enjoyed The Sock Wars and will be looking forward to reading more by Maia Sepp.
Profile Image for Nerea Nieto.
Author 4 books165 followers
August 22, 2013
Not everyone can live the same structured life as everyone else, there are some people who can't fit the expectations of all those strangers who think they know better - but they judge, after all.

Turning their thirties, Lucy thinks she will be able to follow the path everyone has arranged for her, but it's not as simple as it seems and the death of her last relative - her aunt Maren - changes all.

I think this is the first time I read a novel and become attached to a character who is dead since the beginning of it - lovely aunt Maren. That is difficult to do as a writer, so my congratulations for that.

Reading was enjoyable, although I didn't relate to the issues the novel talks about. I'd recommend it to anyone about to turn thirty as well - it may have some answers!

I received this title through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.
Profile Image for Kay.
1,141 reviews
February 19, 2013
I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway. It came with a signature in the book and a personal note! Thank you Maia! This book tells the story of Lucy Tuttle who has just lost her aunt in a car accident. Earlier she had lost her mom and now she is alone in the world except for a very annoying and saving the earth conscious boyfriend Oliver. (Saving the earth is not why he is annoying.) Lucy inherits her aunts home and embarks on a rehab of the home and her life. Her Bohemian aunt's friends add a lot of interest to the story along with flashbacks to Lucy's life With Aunt Maren. Charmingly told. A little editing would have helped the middle but the "sock wars" and other "wars" in this book make it a story worth reading.
Profile Image for Diana.
1,701 reviews6 followers
April 5, 2014
Oh, I really enjoyed this wonderful book. I had a year like the protagonist in the book, where every time I turned around, someone I loved was dying or dead. It was awful. Then, my beloved Uncle left me his house & between the guilt & the grief, I felt like I had fallen into a vat of quicksand. The author describes the grief & depression in very stark terms, which I appreciated. Why sugarcoat something so awful? Then, after the fog clears, she realizes a great truth about herself. THIS was the part that I really loved. How empowering & freeing to be honest to yourself...finally. I was very impressed by this book.
Profile Image for Rachel Crosby.
42 reviews4 followers
August 11, 2022
✨✨✨✨ / 5

When Lucy's aunt Maren dies and leaves her a house, Lucy suddenly has to decide the kind of life she wants for her future. Lucy's boyfriend, who is younger and more health conscious, is ready to get married and have children. Lucy is not sure that is the path she wants for her life. Lucy wants everything to be "perfect", and in order, she doesn't like surprises or mess. However, she knows that marriage and children will not fit into that category. We, the readers, get an inside look at how Lucy decides to handle her future while also commenting on the idea that women are only good for household chores.
Profile Image for Julie.
422 reviews5 followers
August 11, 2014
A great weekend read. Actually I got to relax and enjoy this book on Mother's Day while my teenagers avoided fighting for the day. So that makes it am even better book.
Seriously it makes you live through Lucy's grief over losing her Aunt Maren, who spent free time with her because her single Mom was too busy working. As she works through this she has the most supportive boyfriend who's main fault is lack of desire to do laundry. It makes you laugh over the little situations in life. The author balances humor with grief well. I plan took for her other book next.
38 reviews
May 13, 2013
This is a nice read. This is quite well written. Lucy was struggling with different emotional issues and decisions. I felt the author presented these issues very realistically and didn't "flower" anything. Sometimes in life we have to make difficult decisions that affect others and there really isn't a happy and/or win-win solution. They are just necessary and part of being human.
10 reviews2 followers
March 31, 2014
This book captured my attention immediately and I couldn't put it down. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and it showed that even with your life falling all around you , happiness and contentment can be found.
Profile Image for Carmen.
30 reviews2 followers
January 11, 2015
Fun book

I enjoyed reading this book. I liked the main character, and her friends. It's a very touching story between Lucy and Oliver. Whether they'll get married and start a family. Very realistic and true to common complexities of life. I highly recommend this book.
Profile Image for Maggie (Magsisreadingagain).
225 reviews24 followers
January 4, 2015
Great reflections on grief, relationships, and the complicated choices to be made regarding parenting options in our post-feminist world. Easy read, some slow moments, but made me think of some of the choices available to my daughter's generation.
92 reviews3 followers
December 30, 2012
identified with this character's journey in a big way.
96 reviews2 followers
September 29, 2013
I got this book from BookBub for some light reading. I really enjoyed it...fun read.
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