Whole Latte Life by Joanne DeMaio

Title:  Whole Latte Life

Author:  Joanne DeMaio

Genre:  Contemporary Fiction

Published:  March 2012 – CreateSpace

Formats:  Paperback – 336 pages; eBook

ISBN:   9781466427501

Synopsis:  Would you leave everything behind to know who you are?

Sara Beth Riley never dreamt she’d walk straight out of her life. Actually she’d never dreamt a lot of things that had happened this year … From being kidnapped by her own best friend, to throwing her wedding rings into the Hudson River, to calling an old love in France, to getting inked with said best friend, painting the passionate constellation of these choices into permanence. But mostly, she could never have dreamt what started it all. How could it be that her mother’s unexpected death, and the grief which lingered painfully long, turned her into the woman she was finally meant to become?

Sara Beth’s escape begins a summer of change – of herself, of marriage, of the lives of those around her. In a story that moves from Manhattan to the sea to a quaint New England town, Whole Latte Life looks at friends we never forget, at decisions we linger with, at our attempts to live the lives we love.

My take:  When Sara Beth’s mother died she lost her biggest cheerleader. They were so close and with her unexpected passing Sara Beth is devastated. Her children and husband seem to take her for granted and she feels life just keeps going in spite of the immense grief she’s experiencing. She needs time to regroup and figure things out – things her friend Rachel thought they could do on their girls’ birthday weekend in New York. However, Sara Beth decides to go it alone instead of meeting her friend for a prearranged lunch. The note she has a waiter  deliver to Rachel says not to worry, she’ll meet her at the hotel in two days.

Rachel is frantic that something terrible will happen to Sara Beth. She stops a mounted police officer, Michael, who ends up helping Rachel try to track her friend down. Michael. What a great character! Loved him, flaws and all.

Events transpire, time passes, friends come together, family members make an effort to understand. It all came together for a very satisfying novel – especially for this female reader of a certain age. I loved the grown up women who seemed like people in my life. These are women who are willing to take a chance instead of sit quietly on the sidelines of life. Sometimes chances are taken after great encouragement and support from friends and family – that rang true for me.

With so many discussion possibilities, Whole Latte Life would be a great book club choice for my friends – women past the age of 40. I enjoyed it very much and look forward to Joanne DeMaio’s next novel. Recommended.

Disclosure:  I purchased my copy and was subsequently invited to participate in a blog tour. I was not compensated for my review.

About the author:

Joanne DeMaio is an award-winning author of contemporary fiction.  Her bestselling novel Whole Latte Life won First Place in the 2012 Discovery Awards and was selected by Kirkus Reviews as a Critics’ Pick.  It has been featured in USA Today, The Huffington Post, Barnes & Noble’s blog and other outlets.  In addition, her music essays have appeared in literary journals, celebrating her passion for song.  Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut, where the coffee and stories are always brewing.

For more information about Joanne DeMaio and her books visit her website.

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25 thoughts on “Whole Latte Life by Joanne DeMaio

  1. Mary, you always find the best books. I am putting this on my tbr list… Thanks for the great recommendation.. I can relate in part to this book, loosing my mother and the effect it has had on my life…

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  2. This does sound interesting, and even to younger readers. I like it when a book captures the emotion and keeps it’s readers inveigled in the character’s lives and tensions. I will be looking forward to this one after your great review!

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  3. How about us “way over 40” crowd?? Getting closer and closer to the 70 crowd. Sheeesh! Thanks for the b’day wishes Monday. 🙂

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    • I’d be interested in knowing what your group thinks if you all decide to read it!
      Nice to see your comment, Tracy. Hope this means you’re feeling much better!

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  4. Thanks so much for reviewing my novel, Mary. I love that you felt you could relate to the characters — to me that’s what a story is all about … that connection. Great dialogue in the Comments here, too. Hope others will enjoy the story as well. Thanks again!

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  5. I identified with Sara Beth just reading the synopsis so I picked this one up a few months ago. Haven’t been able to read it yet, still missing my mum terribly but from reading your review I know I’ll enjoy it when the time is right. Lovely review Mary

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