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

The Life You've Imagined

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  851 ratings  ·  134 reviews
Are you living the life you imagined? Is there anything you’d have done differently if you could? Those are the questions asked in Kristina Riggle’s unforgettable new novel.

In high school, Cami and Anna were as close as they could be…now, years later, both have returned to their hometown to face the people they had once left behind. Anna must confront her mother, still dis
Paperback, 352 pages
Published August 17th 2010 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published August 1st 2010)
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 Life You've Imagined, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Life You've Imagined

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  851 ratings  ·  134 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Sara Strand
Jul 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
This story follows the lives of four women, Amy (the previously fat high school girl engaged to one of the son's of a prominent family in town), Anna (the Chicago based high powered lawyer who's come home because she was put on a bereavement leave due to the loss of her mentor only to encounter her first love, who is not-so-happily married with a daughter), Maeve (Anna's mom who runs a run-down liquor store slated for demolition but who is also chasing the ghost of her husband and Anna's father ...more
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: chick-lit
A quick and easy read, but not altogether entertaining as there really isn't much to the plot. It is astory told from the points of view of four different characters, yet none of them are fully developed. Their relationships/friendships with each other are not fully explained so it's a little hard to believe that some of the things would really happen (i.e. one of the characters, who isn't really friends with one of the others, ask her to be a bridesmaid, but if the story to that point is to be ...more
May 29, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, book-club
I really dislike reading books where I want to smack sense in to the characters. The only redeeming quality is how much I can rip it apart at book club.
Jul 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is the 3rd title I have read by the author Kristina Riggle. This tale is multi-perspective where you hear from each of the main characters: Amy, Anna, Cami and Maeve. Each of the protaganists is at a cross-roads in their lives...Amy is getting married after finally shedding the extra weight she was plagued with during her formative years...Anna is home visiting her mom after a friend is killed in a car accident and her boyfriend has left her...Cami is back home as well after her gambling ad ...more
Sep 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2010
Are you living the life you’ve imagined? In Kristina Riggle’s second novel, four women ask themselves this very question. Anna is a lawyer living in Chicago. She left her small hometown of Haven as quickly as she could without looking back. She’s made a new life for herself, a life she is proud of. She’s worked hard and is up for Partner at her law firm. All this changes when her mentor and close friend, August, dies. Much to her chagrin she’s asked to take bereavement leave to cope with her gri ...more
Sep 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-review
Anna is an attorney in Chicago, she's up for partner at her firm, everything is thriving and looking up for her. But when her mentor dies she is forced to take time off from work and heads back to her hometown. Cami has also returned back home. Her and Anna were close friends in high school. She's back to live with her father - who is none-too-thrilled to have her back. She has no other place to go since her boyfriend found out of her gambling addiction and broke off their relationship. Maeve is ...more
Laura de Leon
Jul 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, review-copy
I'm not sure if this is 3.5 or 4 stars. There was so much about the book that I liked, but the overall book had some issues.

I liked hearing the stories of each of the 4 main characters. I think that four of them was too many, both because none of the stories got the full treatment it deserved, and because that seemed like a few too many crises at the same time.

I never felt I had a grip on the problems that sent Anna home, away from the life she'd always imagined, from the potential partnership s
Jan 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Completion update: I really liked some of the characters in this book and hated others. There was no in-between for me with this one. I wish the storyline had taken a slightly different turn: Cami could have been more developed and her story not as rushed as it ended up being; it felt that there was a layer of depth to Anna that was never explored, hinted at but not explored; Amy was just around but I'm not sure that enough was done with her character; and I was sick of Maeve and simply wanted h ...more
Aug 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Staci by: Jen
Shelves: 2010-reads
I jumped at the chance to read this book when Jen of Devourer of Books offered this one as a Book Club selection. I can't believe that I haven't read Riggle before! Especially because she a Michigan author! I was immediately drawn into the storyline because I'm at that age where you often times sit back in a contemplative mood and wonder "what if" and "is this the life I imagined I would have?" The characters were what I loved about this book. Riggle made them human...oh, so human. I saw a littl ...more
Jul 31, 2010 marked it as arcs-to-review
Shelves: arc
***I Won this book as part of a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway. Review to follow when the book arrives***
Jan 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
Told from four different women's POVs.
Anna - Lawyer who comes home from Chicago to grieve and heal and figure out whether she wants to go back to the highly competitive law practice

Maeve - Anna's mom. She's been in a holding pattern for twenty years after her husband ran off. Before the book ends, she starts to create a life for herself.

Cami - Anna's friend. She's back in town after she loses so much to online gambling. Copes with her drunk and abusive father and figures out her life by the end
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book. I almost put it down after about 25 pages but thought I would give it the "50 page" chance. I must say that the middle of the book is better than either the beginning or the end. Even so, there were too many things happening in the book that were never fully explained and the ending seemed too rushed (like the author was up against a hard deadline and just tried to wrap things up). A couple fewer characters and about 50 more pages might have made this a better book.
Diane Secchiaroli
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book follows the lives of 4 women and the choices they made (and make). The characters were well developed and very interesting. Read the book in one sitting as I was very interested in how the characters developed. Even though there were 4 characters the story flowed right along. Will look forward to reading more of her novels.
Angela Watts
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
LOVED the characters!!! The had lived their lives one for the better,to make
Dreams come TRUE. Having so much FAITH AND HOPE. AND ITS kinda like the saying "YOU MAKE PLANS, AND GOD LAUGHS.". In the end , it all changed for everyone . Interesting, my favorite character was CAMI. Tough, but full of pain, no knew about. She's the ONLY one who thought ABOUT others.
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book had a great pace and interesting characters. Each chapter is told from the point of view of a different character. Although I got confused as to who was talking sometimes, it did enhance the story.
Mar 09, 2019 rated it liked it
3 stars. I think having personal familiarity with the setting of this novel made me like this book more than I otherwise might’ve. Still, I found the story easy to read and compelling enough to look forward to reading it and finding out how it would end. ...more
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
A nice light read. A little hard to understand in parts but I enjoyed it.
Jul 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
" Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Life the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler." -- Henry David Thoreau

I've read that quote several times, and I don't know if I am truly living the life I've imagined. Part of that quote plays a big part in the latest book I finished. It's taken me a while to gather my thoughts on The Life You've Imagined by Kristina Riggle. Not because it is a bad book, it is quite wonderful, but rather Kristi
Linda Jones
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
At first I wasn't too impressed by this book, but as the story progressed the quirky characters drew me in. There are several subplots going on, which come to a satisfactory conclusion for the main characters, though not necessarily for those on the margins. It's also a book that, after the fact, got me thinking about issues of life, love, and happiness. I recommend.
Colleen Turner
May 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-read
I was blessed enough to receive an ARC copy of The Life You've Imagined from the author. It was so heart-felt and character-driven that I had a hard time putting it down. There is so much love, hurt and hopefulness throughout the pages that you have to simply keep reading to see where the characters will take their stories.

The book is broken up into four narratives: that of Anna, outwardly strong, slightly abrasive lawyer coming home for a visit after a close friend of hers dies; Cami, also comi
CoffeeBook Chick
Mar 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Four women in Haven, Michigan find that life in a small town, whether they've just returned or have never left, can be just as tumultuous and disappointing, as it's ever been. Are they living the life they've imagined?

Maeve is the proprietor of the local convenience store and the mother of her daughter, Anna, a Chicago city lawyer. Maeve never thought that the convenience store was going to be her career, but she's been waiting twenty years for her husband to return after he left her and Anna on
Aug 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
From my book review blog, Rundpinne:[return][return]What if? A key question of The Life You’ve Imagined by Kristina Riggle as each of her characters takes a long look at their lives and ponders the ramifications of the actions they have taken thus far and the choices they have ignored. Cami Drayton has returned home to her alcoholic and verbally abusive father, severely in debt due to her gambling addiction. Maeve is Anna’s mother and harbors several secrets: her store is about to go through for ...more
May 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
The small town of Haven, in Michigan, is the kind of place some want to leave and never revisit. For Anna Geneva, an attorney in Chicago, coming home after the loss of a dear friend and mentor feels like going backwards. Her mother, Maeve, is struggling with her store, and soon Anna realizes that her old boyfriend's company is planning an urban redevelopment project that will demolish the business. Her protests to the City Council fall on deaf ears.

Reconnecting with old friends is one good outco
Shana Adler
Jul 29, 2014 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction-novel
The book centers around three childhood friends, one who stayed in their hometown and the other two return. The story centers mostly around Anna, who has returned from Chicago on a leave of absence from her big law firm job due to the loss of a close friend. She discovers that her mother’s store is being threatened by an upscale development. Her friend, Cami, has also been forced to return and live with her abusive father due to her own gambling addiction. Finally, Amy worked for years to drop a ...more
Jan 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a great book. I love the alternating points of view, and the way everyone’s story comes together like an intricately woven blanket. I also like that everything doesn’t come up roses – but rather that this book is realistic. Life happens, and not always the way we imagined it when we were young. And, more often than we’d like, life disappoints. But, we find a way to figure out what we want now that things have changed and find a way to move on.

I read this one right on the heals of Fall F
Aug 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
I liked this book.


Is the life you're living all you imagined?

Have you ever asked yourself, "What if??" Here, four women face the decisions of their lifetimes in this stirring and unforgettable novel of love, loss, friendship, and family.

Anna Geneva, a Chicago attorney coping with the death of a cherished friend, returns to her "speck on the map" hometown of Haven to finally come to terms with her mother, the man she left behind, and the road she did not take.

Cami Drayton, Anna's dearest
Aug 18, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010
Note: I first took interest in this book because it revolves around a small family-owned store and the people connected to it. Growing up the daughter of small business owners, I totally understood that setting, and I was curious to see it expressed in fiction. Riggle did bring that aspect to life, and believably, even though the store was not the focal point of the story, and the characters' experiences with it were different from mine with my parents'.

The first two-thirds of this book is a sl
Beth Peninger
Jun 14, 2011 rated it liked it
I picked this book up on a whim, and based on the front cover art, and am glad I did. While it wasn't the most amazing book I have ever read it was good enough that I read it straight in one sitting because it captured my attention.
Four women whose lives semi-intersect have some things to work out and it takes all four of them being involved with each other in some way to work out the life issues. each chapter is written from one of the four's POV which makes for an interesting and quick read.
Jul 18, 2011 rated it liked it

3 1/2. This is the second book by Kristina Riggle that I have read. She is from Grand Rapids. It is good women's fiction and in this one, she follows several women's stories and how they intertwine. She writes each chapter from a different woman's point of view and does a good job of leaving you interested in what is going to happen next as she ends each chapter. The language is easy and reads true.

The one storyline I was a bit bored with was Maeve. I know why it was there and it was necessary
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Cheating Curve
  • Made of Honor
  • SAHM I Am
  • Our Little Secret
  • Alexandra, Gone
  • Seeing Stars
  • The Body of Jonah Boyd
  • The Half Life of Stars
  • The Sweetgum Ladies Knit for Love (Sweetgum Knit #2)
  • Bone Fire
  • Commuters
  • With Friends Like These
  • I Shot You Babe (Bombay Assassins, #4)
  • Lying With the Dead
  • Promise Bridge
  • Toward the End of Time
  • After the Fall
  • The Model Wife
See similar books…
Kristina Riggle lives in West Michigan, where she writes character-driven novels about complex personal dynamics. Her debut novel, Real Life & Liars, was a Target "Breakout" pick and a "Great Lakes, Great Reads" selection by the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association. Her latest novel, Vivian in Red, is a story of 1930s Broadway and today about a lyricist, the clouded history of his m ...more