Vacation Reading: She Makes It Look Easy

I met Marybeth Whalen many moons ago on my very first blogger press trip — to Disney World, of all places! She and I made fast friends, and we have kept in touch occasionally ever since.

I learned that her dream was to be a fiction author, and after many years of hard work, she has now published two works of fiction and has another one under way.

I downloaded her latest book, She Makes It Look Easy: A Novel, to my Kindle and read it on my way to San Diego a few weeks ago.

she makes it look easy book cover

It is the story of a woman who moves into her dream home in a new neighborhood. She makes fast friends with a neighbor whose life seems to be the picture of perfection, and she soon gets caught up in keeping up with the Joneses. She learns, however, that sometimes things aren’t as perfect as they seem and finds that she has everything she ever wanted right under her nose.

I was hooked from the first page. Marybeth has a comfortable writing style, and the dialogues are believable. What I particularly like about this book is how relatable it is. I think almost any woman can relate to at least one of the two main characters in the story. Both have flaws but also redeeming characteristics that make you feel like you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.

The book also addresses the culture of Christianity that exists particularly in the South. Religion plays into the storyline but doesn’t monopolize it and isn’t off-putting like some Christian novels that I’ve read. Rather, you sense a real struggle for each character as to how to apply her faith (or lack thereof) to her situation.

I highly recommend She Makes It Look Easy for a light summer read.

** I’m looking for another book to read while I’m on vacation. I’m open to suggestions! **

Disclosure: Amazon links are affiliate links.

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14 Responses

  1. Ohhh, I will download that- my “to-read” pile is getting smaller! Have you read The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley? Since you liked Sarah Donati, you may like this one. It is a stand alone, not a series.

  2. Well, I went right to Amazon and read the first chapter, and now I’m hooked. Thanks for the recommendation!

  3. This looks good. I’m known for picking a book at the library because I like the cover. I’ve ended up with some duds that way (and some great ones too). I’ll have to look this one up. I can’t figure out how to word correctly that I like reading books with values similar to mine. Non cheesy books that uplift and encourage and actually seem real. Sorry, I feel like I can’t make proper sentences!

    I just recently read a book by Chris Coppernoll that I really enjoyed. I can’t remember the title of that one but I picked up his second on this week a the library and I think it’s called Screenplay.

  4. Providence by Chris Coppernoll is excellent. Have you read The Help? That’s next on my list. :). I’m anxious to see all your comments. I’m always on the lookout for good books.

  5. I just finished an excellent book, “Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard” by Liz Murray. Liz is in her late-20s now and as the title says, she had a really rough childhood. Both of her parents were drug addicts and they were dirt poor. The beginning of the book tells about her childhood, and parts were really hard for me to read. However, this is an honest and uplifting account of how she pulled herself up and overcame her childhood and ended up at Harvard. I wish I could remember who recommended it to me so I can thank him or her!

  6. Maybe now that I’m (typically) getting more sleep than I used to (thanks, baby!), I will actually be able to keep my eyes open to read at night. It used to be my most favorite thing to do. This book would be a great place to start, since I don’t even have any good books in the queue!!

  7. I am always on the look out for new books (and authors) to read. I will definitely check out your suggestions. A few good books I have recently read are THE HELP (I just saw the movie last night, it was great, but not as great as the book), LEFT NEGLECTED , THE GLASS CASTLE…actually if you are interested I did a post a few weeks ago on my blog all about some great books to read for summer. Happy Reading!

  8. I really enjoyed this book as well. found it to be a quick read. I also just finished The Help which was good. The Bean Trees by Barbara Kinsolver is a good read. I’m currently reading Confident Heart by Renee Swope – not fiction and its totally rocking my world right now.

  9. I just looked for that at the library and they don’t have any of her books! Hrrrmph.

    I finished “Tiger Lillie” by Lisa Samson on my vacation and it was really good.

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