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The Overdue Life of Amy Byler

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  82,126 ratings  ·  7,267 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
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Kelly Harms
Kelly Harms - author, fiction

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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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Average rating 3.82  · 
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Meredith ( on Semi-Hiatus until February)
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. W
Aug 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio
2.5 stars, rounded up

When will I ever learn? I keep thinking I’ll enjoy a romantic comedy. I WANT to like romantic comedies. But in truth, I tend to find most of them too simplistic for my taste. They usually start ok and then get dorky. This one tried to be more than just a rom-com with some single parent angst and a family crisis towards the end. But it just didn’t work for me. A little too simplistic and saccharine sweet.

The book is told from two viewpoints, Amy’s narrative and her daughter
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
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
Sherry Mabry
May 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
I have been slogging through a really difficult, and not particularly rewarding, book. So I thought this would be a light, amusing read - a nice break from the other book. Whew - I went from the arcane to the inane. She lost me at "Flexthology" - the main character's terribly named program to get kids to read, which we are supposed to believe just wowed a room full of educators and librarians (including, of course, the one-in-a-million hot librarian who presumably falls for her on the basis of f ...more
this is your classic chick-lit: unexpected situation arises, women deals with unexpected situation, learns about herself in the process (while having men throw themselves at her), happy ending.

im generally a sucker for these kind of stories, but something was missing for me to really relate to it. i want to say its because im just not at the point of life where ive been married, have an ex-husband, and children. but ive related to characters in this situation before, so im not sure why i just c
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
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

Kelly harms! BRAVO! This was such a relatable story told with so much heart and humor, I absolutely adored it! Amy is the single mother of 15-year-old Cory and 12-year-old Joe. Three years ago Amy’s husband John went out of country for work and never came back. Amy picked her self up, dusted herself off, went back to work, and learned how to be a single parent. Now John is back wanting to repair his relationship with his Children and offering Amy a summer off f
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

Dear Book:

Three years ago Amy Byler’s husband of 18 years went on a business trip and never came back, leaving Amy with a 12 and 8 year old to raise on her own. Now he’s back, looking to make amends with the children by taking them for a week over their summer break. What’s Amy to do with her newfound freedom?

Just kidding. She signs up for a librarian conference at Columbia University in NYC. But while she’s there she does re
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was such a fun, heartwarming story! In The Overdue Life of Amy Byler, librarian Amy finds herself face-to-face with her separated husband John, who’s requesting permission to visit their children, Cori and Joe, after abandoning the family 3 years earlier. Amy is torn: dealing with her own unresolved feelings about John, and considering what’s truly best for their children. After discussions with the kids, Amy agrees to let John spend time with them in rural PA now that it’s summer.

Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: women-s-fiction
3.75 rounded up!

What does any “self-actualized, successful, capable adult woman” do when confronted in the drugstore by the husband who abandoned her and her two children? Try to duck behind the Q-tips, of course!

He has been gone for THREE years, but now John wants HIS life back.

When ducking behind the shelves fails, Amy reluctantly listens to what John has to say, and unselfishly agrees to allows him time with the kids, so he can attempt to mend his relationship with them.

With nothing to do
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! ...more
This story is just one giant eye roll.
Theresa Alan
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amy was forced to be a single mother when her husband abandoned her and their two kids three years earlier. She cut back expenses, got a job as a school librarian, and survived without the help of any child support. When her husband abruptly shows up and wants to catch up with the kids over the summer, she agrees because she wants the children to have a good relationship with him even if she doesn’t.

Her old friend Talia lives in New York City and works at a fashion magazine, so Amy heads to New
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
Oct 10, 2019 rated it liked it
[3+] This is my kind of romance! Fun and lighthearted with a relatable, witty heroine whose life has been all work since her husband's desertion. Her vacation is overdue! There are two believable kids, lots of book talk and a hot NYC librarian. Sure, some of the moments are too good to be true but that's what an escape is all about. ...more
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley

What a wonderful story to escape in! Amy is a single mother of 2 teenaged children. Her husband up and left the family 3 years ago. He now returns to make amends and wants to spend the summer with the kids and Amy goes off on an adventure...(first unwanted) NYC.

I loved Amy! This story is very heartwarming and easy to follow. The writing is wonderful. You are rooting for Amy all throughout the story. She is quite endearing!! For fellow book lovers there are many nods to popular book
Jan 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: x-3-star, z2020-01

Rating: 3.0/5.0

Contemporary + Humor

Amy Byler is a single mom. One day the husband who abandoned her and her two children (Cori & Joe) returns and wants to bond with his kids. So he offers to take care of the children for the summer. So this will be a great opportunity for Amy to find herself, discovers the world surrounding her and live a life she never had.

The story will be very appealing and inspiring for those moms who live their whole life 100% for their family and children. This stor
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this audiobook.

It made me laugh and smile. Even though Amy was a bit over the top at times, emotionally all over the place, the plot, idea and execution was well done, and the story on its own was entertaining and the humor was right up my alley.

There were quite a few things I really enjoyed about this book.

Many of the chapters started with a journal entry from Amy’s teenage daughter. The author did a fabulous job portraying a teenage girl who is not a passionate reader, but who
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
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
Yna the Mood Reader
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
"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.

BUY THE BOOK : Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Book Depository

📚 Series: No
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
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
Entertaining and escapist summer read with a good message for mothers or any woman who feels she needs to be the ‘all’ for others at the expense of her own life.
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
mindful.librarian ☀️
(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. ...more
Renee Babcock
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
I did not love this book. I didn't even like it, and almost came close to hating it. Despite really wanting to like it (and on paper, I could have). It's a light easy read, the kind of thing I often like. But I had so many problems with it, that I almost didn't finish it.

First the good: it's an easy read, I liked the voice of the teenage daughter (which is a first for me, I frequently find teenagers are annoying to read about). It had a good premise (single mom librarian needs a break and finds
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USA Today, Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestseller Kelly Harms is the author of The Bright Side of Going Dark, The Overdue Life of Amy Byler, The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane and The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay. She worked with 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 ...more

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