THE LIFE LIST - Lori Nelson Spielman
Bantam Books
ISBN: 978-0-345-54087-4
July 2013
Contemporary Fiction

Chicago, Illinois - Present Day

In THE LIFE LIST, we meet Brett Bohlinger, a 34-year-old woman who appears to have it all: a group of friends, a long-time handsome boyfriend, caring siblings, and a secure job. But, when her beloved mother dies and the will is read, Brett is shocked to learn that her entire future depends on accomplishing a list of life goals that she wrote for herself when she was fourteen years old.

Brett's mother, Elizabeth, endured a long illness and had time to ponder her wishes for her will. Elizabeth was the founder of a major cosmetics company and left behind a business and fortune for her adult children. While Brett's two brothers were immediately granted their share of the inheritance, Brett's share would only be given after she accomplishes all of the goals she had made for herself as a teenager. This is Elizabeth's explicit request, as she feels that while Brett appears to be successful to the rest of the world, she has strayed from her true hopes and goals. In Elizabeth's opinion, Brett would only find genuine happiness by working through her life list. Elizabeth gives Brett one year to complete the list.

Above everything else, Brett valued her mother's opinions and wishes, and although she was perplexed, she began a yearlong journey to cross every goal off her life list. Some of the goals are easily attainable (such as helping the poor), but others are more challenging (such as falling in love and having a baby). Initially, Brett felt that many things she wanted as a teenager simply didn't match up with the adult life she had built for herself, and was skeptical of her life list. But, as she worked her way through the list, Brett's life began to change in important and meaningful ways.

Accomplishing all of her life goals—in just one year—isn't easy for Brett, but ultimately, it's a fulfilling process for her that leads her to a place of true happiness and contentment. For readers, it is a joy to experience her personal growth and witness how her life transformed in one year. This is a touching story of how a tragedy, such as Brett losing her beloved mother, can re-focus and shift life's priorities. Brett is an extremely relatable character, and it's impossible not to root for her to conquer all of her life goals and find true happiness. For readers looking for an easy to read novel that reinforces what's important in life and the value of always following your dreams, be sure to check out THE LIFE LIST!

Jennifer Harrington