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The Overdue Life of Amy Byler

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4.16  ·  Rating details ·  2,399 ratings  ·  334 reviews
Overworked and underappreciated, single mom Amy Byler needs a break. So when the guilt-ridden husband who abandoned her shows up and offers to take care of their kids for the summer, she accepts his offer and escapes rural Pennsylvania for New York City.

Usually grounded and mild mannered, Amy finally lets her hair down in the city that never sleeps. She discovers a life fi
...more
Paperback, 332 pages
Expected publication: May 1st 2019 by Lake Union Publishing
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  • The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms
    The Overdue Life of Amy Byler
    by
    Release date: May 01, 2019
    “A laugh-out-loud funny, pitch-perfect novel that will have readers rooting for this unlikely, relatable, and totally lovable heroine, The Overdue Lif ...more

    Format: Kindle book

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    Availability: 100 copies available, 2746 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Mar 31 - Apr 30, 2019

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Carolyn J Kibbe It depends on your definition. No gutter mouth profanity, no offensive sex profanity. A smatter of descriptive and appropriate profanity of the every…moreIt depends on your definition. No gutter mouth profanity, no offensive sex profanity. A smatter of descriptive and appropriate profanity of the every day variety. In my definition, this book would be appropriate for a mom AND her teen daughter to share because it explores the issues of self worth, happiness, coming-of-age, and family relationships with honesty and humor.(less)
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    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    4.16  · 
    Rating details
     ·  2,399 ratings  ·  334 reviews


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    Christine
    I have been reading some heavy novels recently and thought it was time for something a little less oppressive. This one fit the bill perfectly.

    Amy Byler is a school librarian and single mom with two kids, ages 12 and 15. Her husband up and left them for nebulous reasons three years previously. It has been a struggle to make things work, but Amy has indeed made a good life for her family even though she is worn down from her efforts. Suddenly Amy’s husband reappears and wants three months of re-b
    ...more
    Larry H
    Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: kindle-first
    I'm between 3.5 and 4 stars, so I'll round up.

    "I have suffered plenty. I am a poster child for low-grade chronic suffering. If an ad agency wanted to make suffering into a thirty-second spot, they would make a time-lapse video of me in my three colors of elastic-waistband teacher pants shoveling eight inches of snow at five a.m. so my kids can get to their early-bird activities on time, then teaching 250 overprivileged kids how to not use computers for porn for ten hours, and then collapsing in
    ...more
    Kristy Harvey
    Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Quit reading this review and go read this book! It is laugh-out-loud hilarious and I still can't figure out how Harms can so seamlessly transition from writing a snarky but charming teenager to writing a full grown woman in the midst of her #momspringa (Don't know what that is? Well, GO READ THE BOOK.) in a matter of a page. I could not put this book down!! I'd give it 10 stars if I could!
    Trish at Between My Lines
    Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: 2019, reviews-done
    I’m spilling over with love for this book.

    There is a very bookish theme, sparkling banter between the characters, including in-depth discussions on books. And there is food porn, there was so much food consumed that I was constantly hungry. And there was journaling. And a New York setting. And all the humour, literally laugh out loud moments.

    And, and, and.

    I could keep whispering sweet nothings about this book, but I rather you discover the joys of it yourself.

    If you love books bursting with wit
    ...more
    Sonja Yoerg
    Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Amy Byler's husband ditched her and their kids three years ago, so when he shows up, full of reget, we can forgive her for being less than welcoming. Still, she could use a break--and a life.

    What follows is so engaging, I had to clear my calendar. Harms dances on the knife edge between snort-your-coffee humor and bull's-eye insights, often in the same sentence. As a card-carrying curmudgeon, I resist such tactics, but here I never felt played. Instead, I was swept up in Amy's Everymom dilemma, h
    ...more
    abby
    Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: contemporary, romance
    I needed something quick and fun to read, and this book fit the bill. It's pretty stereotypical chick-lit. The woman has been wronged by a man who comes back to make amends and gets a fun vacation to NY out of the deal where every guy is either her gay best friend or wants to sleep with her. Confused feelings about the men in her life, conflicted about what she wants out of life, cue in some deepish thoughts. Happy endings all around.

    The one knock I have about this book is the way the teenage ch
    ...more
    Kelly Well Read
    Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: favorite-reads, darc, 2019
    I'm so grateful to Lake Union Publishing and the author for an opportunity to read this wonderful novel prior to publication. I have been in a lengthy reading slump, and though I've started several great books, I have not finished one until THE OVERDUE LIFE OF AMY BYLER, which I could not read fast enough! I will provide a more in-depth review closer to publication in April, but for now I will say that this book is honestly and engagingly written, has wonderful character development, witty dialo ...more
    Eileen Goudge
    Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    I really enjoyed this book. The style is breezy and humorous, despite the somewhat serious subject, and I loved the heroine who goes on a Momspringa and rediscovers herself in the process. Will definitely recommend and It should find many fans with readers of this type of fiction.
    Melissa
    Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I was watching an episode of This is Us recently and one of the characters was talking about having a "me day." I was thinking to myself that she needed more than that, something like a "momspringa." I never would have thought of that term if not for this delightful novel.

    What mom doesn't want a "momspringa" at least once in their life? This novel addresses the need for mothers to have time for themselves to rediscover who they are and what they want out of life. I was envying Amy for her "moms
    ...more
    Bridgett
    Apr 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: arc
    I'm in the minority on this one.

    The Overdue Life of Amy Byler is a cute, quick, predictable read. What you expect to happen is exactly what happens. It's a character driven novel, which is fine...I don't need constant action when books are well-written. Unfortunately, the characters seemed very much like characters, and not actual people. The dialogue reminded me of an 80s sitcom where everyone spews one-liners...even the 12 year old. The voices of Amy (the mother) and Cori (her 15 year old da
    ...more
    Lisa
    Apr 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    i haven't read anything [?@?!] really this year. i've started things but then couldn't finish them. too heavy. too spot on - amplifying reality in a way i couldn't quite handle. i've read some non-fiction. have read a lot of articles - researching, researching. when i'm out of practice or want to jump back into the fiction pool i want something light, that preferably will make me laugh out loud, an easy page turner. oh and it doesn't hurt if you get the kindle version free with prime.

    this book
    ...more
    Barbara
    Amy is a not quite divorced single mother who works as a librarian in a small private school in Pennsylvannia to support herself and her two children after her husband John got a severe case of mid-life crisis and ran away to Hong Kong only to return - somewhat shame faced - three years later, wanting to 'get to know' his kids. Agreeing that John will take the kids for a week whilst she heads to NYC for a librarian conference, Amy falls in with an old friend Talia, a big shot at a women's magazi ...more
    Susan Peterson
    Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    The Overdue Life of Amy Byler was a delight to read, captivating me from the very first sentence, and keeping me turning pages long into the night. Amy Byler's husband left her high and dry with two children, a big mortgage, and little money three years previous, and she has had to reinvent herself and her family for them to become thriving and happy. When he suddenly reappears and wants to devote himself to his children, Amy has to reinvent herself again! Amy's journey was poignant, touching, a ...more
    Christina (Bookwormmommyof3)
    Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Fabulously written and will post a full review closer to the publication date.
    Dorothy Schwab
    Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Overdue Book = Library Fine Overdue Life = Credit Card Debt

    Amy’s life as a wife and mother was going along as smoothly as can be expected with John, a mostly absent husband, Joe, an eight year old genius son and the diver, Cori, her twelve year old daughter. But on the day John rolled his suitcase out the door and got on a flight to Hong Kong, stable, stay-at-home mom, Amy, became a single mother with two children to raise. Quite quickly, according to Amy’s BFF, Lena, Amy snagged a job as school
    ...more
    OLT
    Apr 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    This is women's lit. It deals with some serious issues, but turns everything into serious-lite. That's okay. I'm not interested in reading angst at the moment. For the most part it's humorous and a bit frivolous and I did find a moment or two that was LOL.

    Heroine Amy Byler has been a single mom for three years, since her husband of 18 years suffered some kind of midlife crisis and took himself off to Hong Kong to work and to live with a much younger woman. Well, okay. That happens. What didn't s
    ...more
    Leanna Mattea
    Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    This book was just fun. A wonderful story of a mother, still stung from the abandonment by her husband, and struggling to keep her young family together. When he returns to try and reconnect with his children, he gives Amy the time to attend a conference in NYC and spend time with her college roommate. That’s where she meets the “Sexy Librarian “.
    Kelly Harms is a wonderful storyteller with likable characters and the humor and emotions of a page turner. A great beach read!
    I really liked this bo
    ...more
    Annette
    Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    This book is hilarious, I’ve never been a single parent but I started getting anxious just reading about Amy. I read this book in a few hours and was kicked out of my bed for laughing so hard. My husband was not amused but I certainly was. I look forward to reading this author in the future
    Janet
    Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Our new association with #tallpoppywriters has yielded another great read. The Overdue Life of Amy Byler introduces us to Amy, a single mother with two teenage children. Her husband John, had left her and the children three years earlier to take up with his much younger (and tinier) girlfriend/coworker in Hong Kong. Suddenly, and without warning, John returns, with a desire to reunite with his children.
    Mild-mannered Amy accepts the situation and allows her guilt-ridden husband to spend the summe
    ...more
    Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw
    My overdue review of The Overdue Life of Amy Byler



    (Reviewer’s note: When I expressed an interest in our Facebook authors and readers group, the author very graciously sent me an ARC of THE OVERDUE LIFE OF AMY BYLER. This in no way influenced my review of what quickly became my favourite read of 2019. Cookies might, but never a free book. *wink*)



    When Amy Byler’s husband abandons her and their two young children for a younger woman half a world away – why do men insist on being so cliché? – Amy is
    ...more
    Jacqueline
    Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    I enjoyed this book quite a lot more than I thought I would! Don't let the breeziness of the cover and decription deceive you--it's not just a "how Stella got her groove back" plot, but also a thoughtful examination of how society and mothers themselves view the role of the mother, and how embracing your identity solely as a mother can suppress your other identities and passions that are just as valid and need recognition and nurturing as well. Though I'm not a mother, I think the main character ...more
    Sue
    Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: humor
    Three years ago, Amy's husband left her and their two kids. He left her with a big house, a large mortgage and no money coming in. She got a job and re-negotiated the mortgage but most important she created a strong family structure for her and her two children - teenager Cori and nerdy son Joe.
    Oh sure, she got some sarcastic remarks from her daughter but she was a teenager so Amy handled it as needed. Then out of the blue, with no warning, her ex-husband shows up. He is full of guilt and realiz
    ...more
    Jo
    Okay so, this might have hit a nerve, given that I read it on a day when I was too sick to do much but lay on the couch - after weeks of feeling burned out by the sheer weight of kid, dog, husbeast and two jobs - but I don't think that's influenced me by much more than half a star. This was fun to read, lots of book nerd stuff, lots of real (if very...New Yorky?) people, bit of a rushed ending maybe but a satisfying one, for me. And more realistic relationships than I usually find in this genre. ...more
    Erin
    Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
    2 1/2 stars. This was my second book from Amazon Prime first reads, and it's probably a good indication that I should stick to well vetted and recommended reads. While the author touches on realistic issues (marriage problems, abandonment, struggles with the demands of motherhood), many of the proposed solutions to said issues (casual sex, drinking, getting makeovers, being "free") seem shallow and unlikely to actually fill the real needs of connection and purpose. Additionally, despite being "i ...more
    Mandi Ehman
    I love the storyline behind this book, and it was an easy, fun read. BUT the characters (including a former nun) have such a casual, crass view of sex that I almost put it down several times. The book itself doesn't include explicit descriptions of sex, but the constant running commentary about sex (from both Amy & her daughter Cori) got old fast. I wasn't expecting a book with a Christian viewpoint of sex, but I found the casualness toward one night stands gross and offputting.
    Jodie
    Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: netgalley
    This was a funny book! The author did a great job with the main character, Amy Byler, as well as the supporting characters - especially Amy's quirky friends Lena (a former nun) and Talia (a single, childless, fashion magazine editor). The story focuses primarily on Amy, a determined mom who has been working nonstop after her husband left her and their two kids 3 years ago. Her estranged husband randomly reappears and decides he wants to be a part of his children's lives by taking the kids for a ...more
    Nancy
    Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Fun read

    I very much enjoyed this witty account of an overworked single mom who escapes for a glamorous, romantic, and fun filled summer in Manhattan. Nice escape reading and quite a contrast to the terrific dystopian novel, The Wall, which I read before Amy’s adventures
    Laurie
    Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    "I must never again forget to care for myself."
    Definitely a fabulous, laugh out loud funny novel mixed with a whole lot of truth.
    What Mom doesn't forget herself as she is raising her kids?
    What is a Mom's life? Does it include time and enjoyment for oneself?
    When Amy's husband decides to come forth and get to know" his kids after a few years on hiatus, Amy decides with some reluctance and persuasion, to take a month for herself. Could she really relax, live and love?
    This is a wakeup that is amaz
    ...more
    Jen P
    Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Seldom does a book strike so many notes so well! The Overdue Life of Amy Byler captures a range of complex emotions so beautifully, but is equally fun and playful while doing so. It made for an enjoyable journey through the story with pauses for reflection along the way. As a therapist who supports women as they become mothers there were so many refreshing reminders about hanging on to your sense of self while raising children, and the fact that both can be prioritized!
    Barbara
    Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Don't we all wish to be Amy at some point? To escape our life that's become so overwhelming that we've lost ourselves? She does everything for everyone and nothing for herself. Amy's husband John left three years earlier saying he needed a break and like that he went off to Hong Kong, leaving her to take care of their two kids, forced to take a job as a librarian at her kids private school, to continue to afford their life. One day John waltzes back in, expecting to pick up where he left off. Am ...more
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    237 followers
    Kelly Harms is the author of The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane and The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay. She has also worked with New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors, Edgar, RITA, and Agatha award winners, and Indie Next List Picks in her time as an editor at a division of HarperCollins and later as an agent at the Jane Rotrosen Agency. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her son Griffi ...more
    “Sometimes a book about other people’s problems is way better than your own.” 1 likes
    “I get this now. I get now that you can love what you have, love your kids and your life and your friends, and still want more. I get that it’s ok to go out and get more—more love, more friendship, more fulfillment—and still be a wonderful mom.” 1 likes
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