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Publisher's Summary

Three women, three lives, and one chance to become a family...whether they want to or not.
Newly orphaned, recently divorced, and semiadrift, Nina Popkin is on a search for her birth mother. She's spent her life looking into strangers' faces, fantasizing they're related to her, and now, at thirty-five, she's ready for answers.
Meanwhile, the last thing Lindy McIntyre wants is someone like Nina bursting into her life, announcing that they're sisters and campaigning to track down their mother. She's too busy with her successful salon, three children, beautiful home, and...oh yes, some pesky little anxiety attacks.
But Nina is determined to reassemble her birth family. Her search turns up Phoebe Mullen, a guarded, hard-talking woman convinced she has nothing to offer. Gradually sharing stories and secrets, the three women make for a messy, unpredictable family that looks nothing like Nina pictured...but may be exactly what she needs. Nina's moving, ridiculous, tragic, and transcendent journey becomes a love story proving that real family has nothing to do with DNA.
©2016 Maddie Dawson. (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Kindle Customer on 07-20-18

The Survivor's Guide to Family Happiness

This book was difficult for me, not because it was a bad read but I because I saw much of myself in Nina that I was annoyed. I wanted her to live outside of her head, I mean dreams. But I'm kind of like that, always living in my head. And I will have to say the story did not get interesting for me until I started hearing it from Lindy's perspective. I thought Nina was interesting but Lindy captured my attention because of her quirks and because I thought her husband was hiding something. As the story progressed all the characters were interesting and quirky and a little bit likable.

I think the narrator helped me to see the characters just as the author intended for them to be seen and experienced as the reader/listener delved into the story. I felt Nina's desire to belong, Lindy's struggle to remain aloft and in control, Phoebe's pain about how everything turned out in her life and resignation that nothing good could come into her life. Carter and Jeff also annoyed me but eventually Carter grew on me. His views on some things in life were fascinating. Ultimately the narrator made me see why the title of the book fits this story perfectly. Don't we all have our own survivor's guide to family happiness?

We are all learning that family can consist of people who are not necessarily your biological relatives, that at times we have to take the good with the bad and we can't make people be what we want them to be. Also, that each of us has a journey that we are either willing to share with others or sail on the boat alone. And sometimes you don't have to sail with blood relatives because the journey at times is more enjoyable with those who really love and care about us. Sometimes that could be blood relatives, but equally just people we choose to adopt as relatives.

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3 out of 5 stars
By Allison on 07-04-18

A Mixed Bag

A sweet story that started off strong & focused, then veered off in too many directions. That said, Nina was a great character & I enjoyed her point of view.
Not worth a credit IMO, but a good sale book.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Kindle Customer on 10-18-17

What a beautiful story!

It made laugh like a loo in public, by glassy-eyed during household chores, and struggle to stay awake to hear what Nina did next. A truly moving story that anyone with family (related by blood or heart) can identify with. Just beautiful!

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