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A Storied Life

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  105 ratings  ·  29 reviews
“Live your own story. Make every moment count.”

Olivia Frasier grew up under the guidance of her grandmother's mantra: “Live a storied life.” The oft-repeated words gave her the courage to pursue art instead of working at the family bank until a mistake made in college altered the course of her life. Now, no one knows Olivia still paints. Not her friends. Not her staff at
Kindle Edition, 334 pages
Published June 12th 2018 by LEK Publishing (first published May 4th 2018)
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Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  105 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chelsea by: Leigh Kramer
Shelves: from-publisher
What a gem of a novel! If you, like me, enjoy finding those "diamond in the rough" debut authors, place Leigh Kramer on your radar. But Chelsea, I don't really care for love stories and romance novels. Well, lucky for you, A Storied Life is SO much more than just a romance novel. This book deals with some heavy subjects and thematic elements, some of which may be too much for sensitive readers (trigger warnings are thoughtfully added by the author at the end of the book synopsis here on Goodread ...more
Anne Bogel
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun, realistic women's fiction from my friend Leigh Kramer (who sent me a free advance reader copy), who writes engagingly about life, love, and loss. She brings together family ties, the world of art, budding romance, the Chicago White Sox, and terminal cancer to create a story I polished off in two days. ...more
Kate Olson
Thanks to the author for this free review copy!
There is really nothing I love more than falling in love with debut authors, especially self-published debut authors. You know why? Because well known authors published by one of the big publishing companies hardly have to do a THING to get books sold. The publisher does all of the work, and the name sells the book. Not so with a book like this one. I'm book buddies with the author on Instagram and was SO honored that she chose to trust me with one
Heatherly Sylvia
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, owned
I had the opportunity to read this beautiful novel in anticipation of its June release. It is a beautifully woven story of love and self-discovery set against the backdrop of hospice. Olivia is set with the task of being her terminally ill grandmother's power of attorney for health care. the author's own experience as a hospice social worker shines through in the beauty and dignity that she gives the process. While never sugar coating the prospect of a dying loved one, Leigh Kramer allows us to ...more
Bethany Michelle  Planton
I received a copy of this book for being part of the launch team. Thanks for the free book, Leigh Kramer.

A Storied Life is party contemporary, part romance, part death and dying, yet quite the page-turner. I just had to know what would happen with Olivia and the whole Fraiser family. It really will "make you rethink life, love, and loss." Kramer's experience with hospice really shines through the book. Are you living a storied life?
Rachel Kamery / Never Enough Novels
Olivia is an art gallery owner who's been tasked with managing her beloved grandmother's end of life care. In the same week, she meets the next artist who's work will be shown in her gallery. He turns out to be handsome and interested in her. Naturally, the timing couldn't be worse. She now must deal with navigating family drama, a new relationship, and her own emotional response to these last moments with her grandmother.

This novel features heavy topics with a chick lit vibe. It's easy to read
I really enjoyed this novel ... it's fantastic women's fiction with a touch of romance, grief and complex family dynamics. This novel has all the elements of a good novel - humor, great characters, emotional resonance and an amazing exploration of grief.

I think what I connected to most in the story was the relationship between Olivia and Gram. It reminded me a great deal of my relationship with my own beloved grandmother, especially as she became sick and needed more care. The journey that Oliv
Ashley at Reading Themes
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
A Storied Life by Leigh Kramer is new this month and one I was given to read for free in exchange for my honest review. I enjoyed this book by a first time author. She used her experiences working in social work to beautifully describe the role of hospice in a family's life. A young woman becomes the POA to her grandmother and is in charge of making sure her grandma's wishes are fulfilled for end of life care. While taking on the responsibility of caring for her grandmother, she is also running ...more
Ellie Ewoldt
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LK weaves a story that is both endearingly light, and heart-wrenchingly deep -- the joys of art and baseball juxtaposed against serious family crisis. You will want to be Olivia, be with Reagan, and through LK's words, will begin to learn a little of one of the greatest truths life has to offer: pain and joy go hand-in-hand.
Sit down with your favorite tea and be ready to get lost in the narrative of life, legacy, love, and living your story.
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Leigh!!!!! You can write!!! Loved it. Ugly cried a few times. Loved the glimpse into Hospice. It is very similar to our time with Grandma Wiley and our hospice experience. Loved it so so much.
Rachel Glass
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
I really enjoyed this story of Olivia, a woman caught between her family and her dreams, despite the fact that she thinks she's escaped them. The end-of-life storyline was unusual and compassionate, and the author's experiences with this service and belief in its importance really shine through. Despite this potentially saddening subject matter, I felt the novel was full of hope and of the importance of being willing to learn and grow.

I really liked the character of Olivia and felt she was belie
Jun 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, fiction
Disclosure: I was provided a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I was seriously impressed by this debut novel and I found the writing to be exquisite. It wasn’t in an over-the-top, trying-too-hard-to-be-literary way. It was in a beautiful, I-wish-I-could-write-like-this-ughhhhhh way. It’s a book that will appeal to those who love a good fiction novel that explores deep issues of the human condition, most especially death and grief.

And because I want to be honest
Cara Meredith
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a great read by new author Leigh Kramer. It’s everything a novel should be: a plot line that keeps you wondering, love and lament, wit and laughter.
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
This is Leigh Kramer's first novel. I heard her interviewed on the What Should I Read Next podcast and so enjoyed her. The book is a character-driven novel about Olivia. She has issues with herself and her family. Her grandmother asks her to care for her during her last months of cancer. The book was very thoughtful and well laid out. Yes, I knew how it would end, but the way the story was woven I enjoyed it to the very end. ...more
Aug 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
I have followed Leigh’s blog for several years and I really enjoy it, so I was excited to preorder the ebook of her first novel.

A Storied Life follows Olivia, an art gallery owner, as she deals with her beloved Gram’s Stage 4 cancer diagnosis and her new status as Gram’s Power of Attorney for Health Care. The same day she learns of the diagnosis, she meets a new gallery client, Reagan, and the two begin to fall for each other. The book covers a long span of time from Gram’s cancer announcement t
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The family dynamics in this book ring so true that I felt like I was in the room with them. Through every heated or awkward conversation, with every guarded move, I felt the pressure and nerves Olivia was feeling. At the same time, I wanted to take her out for a cup of tea (or something stronger) just to give her a breather. It’s unusual for me to relate to a character on such a visceral level. I was on Olivia’s side from the beginning.

I want to buy this book for everyone who is at a crossroads
Tanya Marlow
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, fiction, romance
Love and death – a surprisingly light yet sensitive tale of a woman in her thirties falling in love at the same time as walking her grandmother through terminal illness. A single woman, a successful curator of a gallery but with a divided and quarelling family, navigates new love at the same time as preparing for grief. Some will love it for its romantic love story, but what stood out for me was the character of the grandmother, who seemed better than anyone in managing her own death, and the wa ...more
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this story that is full of love and family. Olivia's grandma, one of her closest friends, always said "live a storied life". This gave Olivia the courage to bypass the family business of banking and instead pursue her love of art and painting. All went well until something unknown happened while she was studying in Paris during college. Since that time, she's rarely painted and instead owns a successful gallery where she conducts workshops and mentors young artists.

This is a story about
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thirty pages into Leigh Kramer’s debut novel and I was hooked – a protagonist who has trouble feeling included in her own family? Who has a viable career in an area she loves but still isn’t sure it’s the right place for her? Who has built a life for herself independent from, but not in spite of, a romantic relationship? OLIVIA JANE FRASIER IS MY KINDA GAL. Beyond family and romance, Olivia’s is a story of growth and loss, of finding yourself, of realizing your own abilities, and of reconciliati ...more
A nice, light read. Tackles tough topics without getting too deep. Likeable main characters.

Two lines that caught my eye:

"If you have to make a decision, picture yourself telling someone what you chose and then go with whichever option makes the better story."

"She's not at risk for becoming addicted because she'll be taking the medication to address a physical need, instead of a psychological one."
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was ok
I loved the premise of this book but the writing felt incredibly choppy, almost like a child who has a million things to tell you right at bedtime. And Olivia is WAY too dramatic for me. I found myself rolling my eyes and skimming the page to get through her hysterics about way too many things. Ugh. I appreciate the themes of family and forgiveness but not enough to recommend the book.
Angela Minear
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing!! I got about 1/4 of the way in, and was already looking forward to Leigh's next book! She described the things that I was hoping were described and did so in a clear manner, especially what it feels like to have anxiety and depression. The story was wonderful, the characters were relatable, and yeah, I cried at the end. ...more
Jana Lawrence
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I took my time reading this book. It could have taken me about two sittings, but once I was about halfway through, I realized I was going to want MORE when I was done, so I savored this story. This is a beautiful maze of finding love, holding death's hand, and navigating the past's reminders. Leigh Kramer did a great job in her debut novel and I can't wait for what's next! ...more
Carly Randolph
May 29, 2021 rated it liked it
While I did enjoy the overall storyline, I didn’t think the writing style was as strong as I needed it to be to really emotionally connecting. At times the storytelling was too logistical to reveal the emotional moments happening beneath.
Rachel Gosling
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great story with interesting character development. You really come to root for the characters.
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love supporting small local authors and this is a perfect book to do just that. Simply beautiful & worth the read.
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
A Storied Life was a delight to read and held so much nuance and thoughtful nods to typically problematic elements of a romance novel. I loved it!
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book! Her writing style was wonderful and what a well-written novel about life, love, and death.
rated it it was amazing
Jun 16, 2018
Fiona Duong
rated it really liked it
May 12, 2019
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Leigh Kramer worked as a medical social worker, including hospice and pediatric hematology/oncology, for several years before trading her social work career for the love of spreadsheets and organization. She is a voracious reader (truly), Irish Breakfast tea devotee, and loyal White Sox fan. A Storied Life is her first novel. Follow along at, Instagram, and on Twitter. ...more

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