RECIPE FOR A HAPPY LIFE - Brenda Janowitz
St. Martin's Griffin
The Hamptons, New York - The Present
After an unfortunate incident, Hannah Goodman leaves (hopefully temporarily) the Manhattan law office where she is an attorney. Her life in chaos, she escapes to her grandmother's beachfront estate in the Hamptons. All her life Hannah has searched for acceptance, but never quite fit in except with her grandmother.
Her mother, Gray, is a Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist. She took her young daughter with her on assignments around the world, but Hannah never felt a part of her mother's world. They hold different viewpoints. Her mother is an independent, job-oriented driven woman who has always been indifferent to 'normal.' As a child, Hannah sought normal but never seemed to achieve it. Although a successful attorney, she feels unfinished and indecisive. She doesn't know the next step she wants to take.
Hannah's grandmother is a seven times married, six times widow. Despite some black widow rumors, grandmother seems to have wisdom, society, men, and Hannah wrapped around her fingers. Hannah believes her grandmother holds the wisdom of how to reach happiness in life.
The summer turns eventful. Hannah meets a fourteen year old-boy who sees her as a date (she is thirty-four), and a hated colleague from law school, Nate, whose family owns the property next door. She endures her shopping, partying, and matchmaking driven grandmother, and receives a call from her mother. What else could go wrong?
RECIPE FOR A HAPPY LIFE deals with mother-daughter misunderstandings, deceptions, and ever-changing relationships. At first I had a problem with deciding what direction the story would take other than humorous as author Brenda Janowitz lets her characters disclose the past at their leisure. However, this slow revealing is what adds the story's surprises. Humor, insight, and poignancy fill the pages, making RECIPE FOR A HAPPY LIFE a great summer read.