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What Matters Most

(Memory House Collection)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  298 ratings  ·  120 reviews
Librarian Note: Alternate Cover Edition for ASIN: B00C512W0I.

Louise Palmer is a settled-down person. A woman who wants nothing more than to remain in the same house until the day she dies. When her husband, Clay, announces an intention to quit his job and move to Florida, her life is thrown into a turmoil of mixed emotions and strained loyalties. Torn between Clay’s desire
Paperback, 287 pages
Published April 10th 2013 by Bent Pine Publishing (first published March 31st 2013)
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4.14  · 
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 ·  298 ratings  ·  120 reviews

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leslie hamod Temporarily off line, still reading!
What Matters Most

Bette Lee Crosby



Book Details 

What a wonderful book! I enjoyed every page I found myself laughing and crying! The author has the ability to draw the reader in on the first page. She writes with a joy for life! A husband inherits a home in Florida. Louise doesn't want to move. Change unsettled her. She loves her friends, home and routine. So! What to do! The play manipulation games! "Ultimately the story highlights the bond between women and the love for her husband.It’s n
Apr 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

*Received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review.

Clay and Louise are living in New Jersey when Clay learns that a relative has left him a home in Florida. Eager to retire and enjoy the rest of his life, Clay is eager to sell their home and begin a new life. Louise is very against the move and tries to sabotage the sale of their home so she can stay in New Jersey. Eventually they make it to Florida and come to learn "What Matters Most"

This is the type of book that is ea
When Clay Palmer received the solicitor’s letter telling him he’d inherited his Uncle Charlie’s estate in Florida he was hell-bent on quitting his job at the bank; the job he’d held for thirty years; and retiring to fish and play golf away from the freezing winters they were currently enduring. But his wife Louise was settled into their home; this was the place she would remain until she died – nothing anyone said would change her mind. She had her family, her granddaughter, all of her Quilting ...more
Dale Harcombe
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just to clarify I did not read the Kindle version of this book but a paperback that had this cover though it doesn’t seem to show up on this site.
After a childhood of moving, Louise Palmer wants nothing more than to stay in the house where she lives with Clay, her husband of thirty years. She is close to her dear friends in the Quilting Club and family, including her five year old granddaughter Amanda. When a letter arrives from a solicitor announcing that Clay has inherited a house in Florida f
Laura Thomas
Apr 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Just when Louise thinks she has everything she ever wanted, her husband, Clay, throws a wrench in the works.

She has her family, her perfect home, and her circle of quilting friends. Louise would be perfectly happy to spend the rest of her life right where she is.

Clay, on the other hand, is tired of shoveling snow, and his boring job at the bank is draining the life out of him.

When a letter arrives, it looks like he’s saved. His Uncle died and left him a small house in Florida. They’ll move so
May 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Sometimes it takes some changes in your life to make you see what matters most ...

What Matters Most is a wonderful story about love, friendship, family and marriage. Author Bette Lee Crosby weaves an entertaining tale written in the third person narrative intertwined with first person narratives, that follows the journey of Louise Palmer as she learns to adapt to changes in her life.

Set in Westfield, NJ, fifty-three year old Louise Palmer has been married to husband Clay for over thirty years. L
Aug 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Bette Lee Crosby has done it again for me. She had drawn me into another book, another story, another day vanished while I had my nose stuck in my book, in some ways resting my bad back at the moment is sure a pleasure!!!

We can all get stuck in our marriage in later life and not realize the other person has more things going on in their own personal life and feelings than you are aware of, even though you are married to them.

This wife is settled. She has brought up her children, made friends in
Sep 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A novel that proves there's a lot that can be had from the telling of the goings-on in ordinary people's lives. Scenes that tug at the heart, funny moments, and a load of life lessons - all these can be found on the pages where the author interspersed third person storytelling with chapters filled with the characters' own thoughts and musings.

The author's writing style is such that she doesn't need to use sex or any other kind of thrill as an ingredient for anyone to want to read on. The female
Deborah Blanchard
Bette Lee Crosby knows how to make characters come to life. This book is no exception. I laughed and I cried. A truly good book should make you feel , don't you think? The story flows effortlessly and the characters are well developed. I find her to be a master storyteller and I enjoy every book I have ever read by her. I highly recommend this book for you all to read. Bravo, Bette! Another masterpiece!
Lyn (Readinghearts)
Mar 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those who love books with souther charm and wit.
Recommended to Lyn (Readinghearts) by: Bette Lee Crosby and Sisterhood of the Traveling Book
There is just something about a Bette Lee Crosby book that allows the story to just slide off the pages. I think that I have read almost everything that Bette has written, and thoroughly enjoyed them all. What Matters Most is another enjoyable and charming read from this master of southern literature.

Louise and Carl have an established life in New Jersey. He has worked at the local bank for his whole working career, she has successfully raised two children and is active in the local scene. That
Mar 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
WHAT MATTERS MOST is a story of remembrances, friendships, marriages, and learning to trust God and cherish those we love. Louise and Clay are enjoying the good life in New Jersey, but when Clay receives a letter telling him that his Uncle Charlie has died, leaving him his home in Florida, all this changes. Clay decides it's time to retire while he can still enjoy life---preferably, like his Uncle Charlie did in Florida. But, Louise is perfectly happy where she is, and plans to stay there, among ...more
Apr 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-authors
I have to admit I had a little trouble getting into this book. At first, I didn't identify with Louise - I love to travel and I'm not superstitious. However, the more I thought about her character and how I would feel about moving away from everyone I loved, the more I got it. From that point, the book took on a whole new meaning. Bette is one of the most insightful writers I've read and I completely enjoyed the storyline of "What Matters Most." The characters came alive and, by the time I'd fin ...more
Caren ~ the misfit geek
This was a delightfully charming story. The wisdom and wit that are woven into this story make it special. This is the second book by this author that I have read although I own all but one of her books. I love her knack for writing a genuine “feel good” story.

There were so many points in the book where Louise’s schemes and the situations she found herself in made me laugh out loud. I did not connect with her immediately, but eventually warmed to her. Her sense of community and loyalty are what
Jul 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, own
It was utterly fantastic, reading about Louise’s life was better than I expected. Louise is superstitious, so if your name is double initials you are lucky. If you have triple initials, watch out!! Louise is so content with her life and her routine that it anything gets added or subtracted from it, it is like a major catastrophe. When her husband inherits a house in Florida, her husband Clay wonders about early retirement and moving south. Health issues have been an issue in past generations so ...more
Mar 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook
Nice story of a woman who thought she had it all in new Jersey and how she fights the change to move to Florida on her husbands retirement. It changes what matters with family and friends. Nice story! Loved how the dog, Too was so incorporaped into story. I enjoy all of this authors stories. She is a great storyteller!
Sherry Fundin
Mar 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Clay received a letter telling of his Uncle Charlie's death and his inheritance. Charlie had left him a home in Florida.

When Louise found out about his fear of dying over a pile of papers at the bank, like his father, she considered him retiring.

Clay: "I'm like wallpaper that's grown colorless and ragged around the edge, but still stuck to the wall."

"There's got to be more to life than that."

Louise: There has to be more to life than have-tos. She thought hard about Clay. As pictures of him ran t
Apr 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Louise Palmer has mapped out her life since she was a child and if you asked her she could tell you exactly what she would be doing twenty years from now but all that changes when her husband Clay decides to take early retirement and sell their family home to move to Florida. Overwhelmed with the thought of leaving her friends and children she and her best friend devise a scheme to stop the move. The tale that unfolds was realistic, and inspirational with fleshed out characters I came to adore.

Patrice Hoffman
Jun 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: author-invite
Another great read from Bette Lee Crosby. After reading Spare Change I was more than looking forward to reading more by this author (who also happens to be a goodreads friend). What Matters Most is the story of Louise Palmer and her plans to thwart the move to Florida with her husband Clay Palmer.

Louise is a woman who has planned her life and isn't very keen on change. She has the life she's always wanted in New Jersey. A quilting circle, family, friends, and a life. When Clay receives word that
Nov 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I received this from Library Thing to read and review. Louise Palmer finally has the life she wished for: a husband, grown children, a grandchild, friends she loves who love her in return, and a house in a nice town. Her husband Clay, on the other hand, is restless with his life, ready to take the next big step into retirement. When he receives word that his uncle has died in Florida, and has left him his house, Clay decides the time for retirement has come and, once retired, proposes to move to ...more
 Gigi Ann
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the second book I've read by this author, Bette Lee Crosby. She has a way with words that wind together into delightfully 'feel good' stories. This book was full of her southern charm and funny japery. (Example: "Sensible people change their underwear, not their house...")

When Louise's husband Clay inherits his Uncle's house in Florida, he decides to retire from his bank job, sell the house in New Jersey, and move to Florida. Louise is thrown for a loop, because she loves her home and h
Jul 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a very delightful story that I looked forward to getting back to at the end of a busy day.

Louise and Clay have been married for 30 years and have an established life in New Jersey and Louise is quite comfortable. She has raised two children and loves playing with her granddaughter who lives nearby and a circle of friends. Clay has worked at the bank for a number of years and is looking forward to retirement.

One day a letter comes in the mail to Clay. His Uncle Charlie has left him his p
Crystal Otto
Apr 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What's not to love about Clay and Louise Palmer? They're just like my parents, my friend's parents, and so many of my neighbors growing up. They've been living almost separate lives for years and Clay has no idea how his decision to move would throw Louise into a panic. I remember thinking 'she's so stubborn' about Louise at the beginning of the book. As author, Bette Lee Crosby developed the characters, I realized the things I didn't like about Louise were the same things I don't like about mys ...more
Book Review & Giveaway: I was delighted to discover bestselling author Bette Lee Crosby’s novels last year when we reviewed Spare Change. She writes heartwarming, touching stories which address important issues that come up during life’s journey, issues we sometimes don’t talk a lot about but probably should. So when she let me know she had a new book coming out, it was a no brainer to put What Matters Most on the review schedule. It has since become an award-winning novel, which it richly d ...more
Clay Palmer inherits a property in Florida. He decides to
retire and move there. Louise Palmer loves her current
home where they live in New Jersey. She does not want
to move so the story begins.
Emotionally packed read!! The story deals with allowing
oneself to break free of the past then willing walk into the
future. It's about the importance of love despite the bumps,
tribulations, trials, distresses, frustrations and minor
set-backs in life.
This book has some humorous, touching and moving parts
to t
Mar 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Another heart warming novel by Bette Lee Crosby! I really loved this book and the characters in it. The story had such a great message that will stay with me at times when I get to feeling like Louise did. Changes are difficult yet part of life. And we must make the best of things.

I have enjoyed all of the novels that I have read by this author and I love this one best so far. It goes to show that an author doesn't have to be a best-selling author to write excellent books. I consider Bette Lee C
May 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got so involved with the book this morning I was almost late getting to my daughter's house. It is an amazing book and very hard to put down. Can't wait to finish it!
Another amazing story by Bette Lee Crosby about family, friendship, love and changes in your life. Louise is happy where she is in her quaint little house until her husband inherits his uncle's house in Florida and decides he wants to retire from his stressful job and move there. Louis is very unhappy and does not want to change a
May 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well-written and a great portrayal of how married folks (like everyone else) can listen but not hear! Also, a very realistic picture of one person trying to manipulate an another while the other one is trying to manipulate them. At our house we call it "playing" the martyr!" I liked the play between dialogue, being in the moment, and listening in on the couple's thoughts. Both had such extreme and very different fantasies - it was interesting to see how reality affected them. Didn't really like ...more
Jackie Lane
Mar 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: author-review
I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this book from the author. I jumped at the chance because I love her writing style.

This was the story of Louise Palmer. Having had a very insecure childhood and having found stability in Clay, her husband, she is happy to live the rest of her life in Westfield, NJ among her friends. A letter from Florida upturns Louise's life and she fights it tooth and nail, scheming the entire time. This is a book of love, friendship and new beginnings. It is written in
Apr 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
In a short space of time I have become a Bette Lee Palmer fan! I have read three of her books and enjoyed each one. The simple goodness of most people shines through her books and gives one new hope. Bette Crosby is an excellent storyteller with whom I will be visiting with regularly.

I am sure that all Bette's fans will enjoy this new work.
May 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Funny, entertaining, witty, and simply joyful. At first I couldnt relate to this book. I wasnt getting into it. Till the fun started, the ideas these ladies come up with. Oh mercy. Wonderful read.
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USA Today Bestselling and Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby's books are "Well-crafted storytelling populated by memorable characters caught up in equally memorable circumstances." - Midwest Book Review

The Seattle Post Intelligencer says Crosby's writing is, "A quirky mix of Southern flair, serious thoughts about important things in life and madcap adventures."

Samantha from Reader's Favorite

Other books in the series

Memory House Collection (4 books)
  • Spare Change (Wyattsville, #1)
  • Passing through Perfect (Wyattsville, #3)
  • Previously Loved Treasures (Serendipity, #2)