- Title: Better Get To Livin’
- Author: Sally Kilpatrick
- Genre: Women’s Fiction
- Pages: 320
- Published: May 2016 – Kensington Books
- Source: Publisher; NetGalley
Description: Presley Cline has put aside dreams of Hollywood stardom and come back to Ellery, Tennessee, to work in a beauty shop. In truth, the dreams in question were more her mother’s than her own. Presley may have the face and body of a movie icon, but she lacks the stomach for it. Yet a loving relationship and normal home life seem almost as unattainable as an Oscar. Being able to see and speak to dead people certainly isn’t helping.
Presley’s first job, beautifying “clients” at the Anderson Funeral Home, is quite a change from working on a movie set. The place is home to dozens of ghosts all hoping that Presley can help them move on–and also one very-much-alive owner, Declan Anderson. Like Presley, Declan is caught between following family expectations and his own aspirations. But with a little meddling from loved ones and locals–both living and dead–Presley is starting to see that life is too short not to be who you want to be, and the most rewarding journeys involve some unexpected detours… (publisher)
My take: Better Get To Livin’ isn’t listed as part of a series but its the third of Sally Kilpatrick’s books that takes place in Ellery, Tennessee. Ellery is a small town where everyone went to the same school and everyone knows (or think they know) your business. If that isn’t enough, Presley Cline comes back from Hollywood after compromising photos appear in a fan magazine – so now the whole world knows her business.
Fortunately for Presley, she went to beauty school when she first arrived in Hollywood to help pay the bills while she waited for her big break. That is a huge help when she comes back to Ellery because she’s broke. She gets a job at The Holy Roller (ha!) and is sent to a local funeral home to ready a person for a visitation. That’s where she reconnects with Declan Anderson, funeral director and former high school math tutor to Presley. That’s also where her gift of seeing spirits of the departed becomes apparent to the reader.
This isn’t a paranormal novel but I really enjoyed that aspect of the book. This is a story about one’s hopes and dreams. It’s about finding out and deciding what to do – live for someone else or appreciate every minute of every day and along the way figuring out what your dreams are. I enjoyed it all and hope for more stories from Ellery with all its quirky characters.