This is a story of people who prize appearances over everything and their kids who call bullshit. Elena Richardson has lived in the upper middle class suburban Shaker Heights all of her life and she is a woman for whom image and appearance matter greatly. She prides herself on her perfect family. Her youngest daughter, however, does not really fit the bill. When Mia Warren and her daughter move to town and rent the Richardson’s investment property, the Richardson children all become enchanted with Mia Warren’s eclectic, artsy life that is so different from their own. In her lifestyle, the Richardson children find something they didn’t know they were missing.
A subplot has to do with the adoption of a little girl who was given up by her mother when her mother was in a bad place. Now that her mother is doing better, she is devastated without her daughter and attempts, with Mia’s help to get her daughter back. The Richardson family members are at odds on this issue, the kids feeling differently than their mother.
The characters were well developed and the plot is strong. The writing style is clean and easy to read.
I thought this was a good book. As the mother of teen girls, this book made me think about the ways that I perceive the world differently than my daughters do. This book gave me food for thought in how to approach topics with my girls and to keep my eyes and my heart open to their way of thinking and not be so rigid in my thinking that I might lose them.