Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Overdue Life of Amy Byler” as Want to Read:
The Overdue Life of Amy Byler
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  8,337 ratings  ·  988 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

Kindle Edition, 328 pages
Published May 1st 2019 by Lake Union Publishing
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Overdue Life of Amy Byler, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
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)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,337 ratings  ·  988 reviews

More filters
Sort order
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Smart, savvy writing turns a predictable plot into a humorous and heartwarming read about a single mother’s journey to self-awareness.

Amy Byler is a single mom who does what it takes to provide for her children--in doing so, she has lost herself as she only sees herself as a mother to Cori and Joe. Three years ago, her husband walked out on her and their two teenage children. When he suddenly returns, he attempts to make amends by having their kids stay with him for a week over the summer. WIt
Larry H
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
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
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Amy Byler is a single mom with her hands full. When she’s feeling particularly overwrought, her estranged husband returns and offers to care for the kids for the summer.

Amy accepts, and she’s off to NYC. Amy has led a quiet life, but her alter ego comes out. She even goes on a couple blind dates.

One of the blind dates ends up capturing her heart, and when the summer is about to end, Amy has to decide between her new life and her old one.

Amy doesn’t get to make that choice, though, because bot
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Kelly Harms has written a light, fun read about a middle aged librarian who gets a chance to have a summer to herself while her estranged husband re-bonds with his children.

When Amy Byler's husband went on a business trip to Hong Kong three years ago and never returned, she suddenly found herself a single, unemployed mother of two children with a large mortgage and no child support. Life gradually got better once she got herself a job as a school librarian and re-mortgaged the house, but she and
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!
Look at me. I am a modern woman! I am Gloria Steinem and Helen Gurley Brown and the slutty one from Sex and the City all wrapped up in one.

A straitlaced librarian mother of two gets to experience the glamorous life when her AWOL husband returns to entertain the kids for a few weeks. Her momspringa turns into a voyage of self discovery, makes her a minor celebrity, and instills a sassy new attitude in our plucky heroine.

There's no doubt that the film rights have already been sold, and with a few
Trish at Between My Lines
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
Kate ☀️ Olson
(free review copy) As a school librarian and a 38-year-old mom of 3, I feel like I'm the EXACT target audience for this book! I related to so much of the story and I loved all the nerdy bookish references. So much fabulous humor in the journal entries and emails from Amy's teen daughters, as well as in her interactions with her 2 friends via text and in person. All around a perfect fun read for any mom you know! Great Mother's Day present.
Gail C.
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In THE OVERDUE LIFE OF AMY BYLER by Kelly Harris, Amy has devoted all her life so far to the raising and care of her children. When they were nine and thirteen, her husband left, moving to Korea to get himself more emotionally stable and do what was right for him. Now, after three years he wants to come back and spend a week with the children he abandoned. He prefaces his proposal by apologizing for the hurt he’s caused and saying he wants to repair some of the damage.
When Amy first hears the i
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Author Kelly Harms has started a thing with Amy Byler and her #momspringa and every mom is going to want one! Read about it here!

Amy Byler lives in a small town in Pennsylvania and is utterly shocked when she sees her missing husband, John, in her neighborhood drugstore. Three years ago, John went to Hong Kong and never came home. But, he is back now, and wants to spend a week with the children he abandoned: Cori, 15, and Joe, 11. He wants to fix things, make things right and be the fathe
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Sonja Yoerg
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
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
Nicole ❤
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"And yes , it makes me crazy to think that my kids can go days— or maybe weeks—without me. If I’m not needed, if I’m not busy, if I’m not an overstretched, overwhelmed, underslept, underpaid single mother… What exactly am I?"

📖The Overdue Life of Amy Byler📖
🖋Kelly Harms
Much thanks to NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing and Kelly Harms for this complimentary copy. This review is voluntary and opinions are fully my own.

📚 Series: No
📚 Genre: General Fiction / Romance
📚 POV: First person.
📚 Cliffhan
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
This light-hearted novel is the story of Amy Byler, a high school librarian, abandoned by her husband, John, and left alone to raise her two young children. When John suddenly reappears three years later and wants to reestablish a relationship with his kids, Amy reluctantly agrees to allow him to spend a week alone with daughter Cori and son Joe, while she attends a librarian conference in NYC. What begins as a short trip blossoms into a full-blown “momspringa”, as Amy rediscovers herself and fi ...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.
Starr (AKA Bam Bam) Rivers
So, this was not so much a romance as a new age, new adult contemporary fiction novel, so romance lovers be forewarned. No sexy times at all, tho sex is mentioned.

I wasn't expecting any sexy times (look at that non-sexy cover!), but I was expecting more humor. There's some. Mostly intelligent wit by Cori, the heroine (Amy)'s daughter.

I thought Daniel, the hot librarian, was the best - mature, understanding, smart, AND hot.

Amy was... OK. I would have liked her to have more personality.

The whol
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Kelly Well Read
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
Booksandchinooks (Laurie)
Thank you Kathleen Carter Communications, Amazon Publishing, and Lake Union Authors for a free copy of this book for review. What a charming story! This was such an entertaining book I would have liked to continue on longer with Amy Byler. Amy’s husband has unexpectantly returned from his three year vacation from his wife and children. Well maybe not a complete vacation since he was going to his job in Hong Kong. He just unfortunately completely ignored his family and left Amy high and dry with ...more
Although my kids are now grown and out of the house, I can remember those hectic days of trying to balance work and raising kids. There were so many days that I would just roll my eyes and say, "Calgon, take me away!" MOMSPRINGA?! That's brilliant! The Overdue Life of Amy Byler is a story that I think all mothers can relate to, whether they are married or single. I think at some point, we have all wished we could just get away from the day to day of raising kids and find that person we used to b ...more
Kate Vocke
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't even begin to describe the love I have for this utterly adorable, fun and refreshing book! This book had everything you want in a solid, enjoyable story and so much more. Amy is one of the most lovable and fun characters to follow. She is extremely warm and relatable - which is quite funny in itself - as I have absolutely NOTHING in common with her! (OK... I lie a little - we DO both love books a lot.)

Amy is WAY overdue for a break. Her husband just up and left her and her 2 kids and it'
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 07, 2019 rated it liked it
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
First of all I have to say ... Amy McFadden's audible narration of this book was PHENOMENAL Absolutely wonderful. With the right story her voice is just perfect. I have loved every narration of hers that I have heard.

But ...

As for this story overall it didn't hit the spot for me. I saw another reviewer label this as "mom fiction," and I think that label hits this on the spot. This a book about a frazzled mom "finding herself." And I am sure there are a gazillion women out there who will read thi
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will say immediately that I absolutely adored The Overdue Life of Amy Byler. Not only is Amy relatable to every woman who does nothing for herself and everything for everyone else, the “momspringa” made me LAUGH. OUT. LOUD. Coming from Ohio and living in PA, I am no stranger to the Amish Rumspringa tradition. So reading the mom version word the very first time made me choke on my tea. I thought, this is genius.

Then there were so many areas I needed to highlight. Kelly Harms nails womanhood, a
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh goodness, I sure do need a #mospringa . Amy Byler made me laugh in The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms. I love the character development in Amy and her beautiful daughter in this lighthearted novel. Amy suddenly has a chance to get away while her kids are with her (almost but not quite) ex husband.

So now Amy is in the big city spreading out her wings in a big way, trying out new hairstyles and cute new clothes while trying blind dating. Amy is the funny, normal woman in each of us w
Rosina Ayling
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was funny, engaging and I liked the writing style a lot. I loved Amy’s character and although I’m not a mum, I could relate to the book from a daughters perspective. Amy and Cori’s relationship actually reminded me of mine and my mums! The journey Amy goes on to ‘find herself’ is very real and one we can all relate to! I loved this book and would highly recommend it for a light-hearted quick read! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “When you take positive steps in your life, the universe rewards you by making you path fo ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: missing page numbers 2 17 May 01, 2019 09:05AM  
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
More quotes…