Title: Sweet Life
Author: Mia King
Release Date: September 2, 2008
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
When Marissa’s husband Paul accepts a transfer to the Big Island of Hawaii without really discussing it with her, she’s shocked. After all, they have a life in New York City. She has a job she loves at a consulting firm, and she doesn’t want to uproot their daughter Pansy. But after giving it some thought, Marissa decides she wants to take a chance on Hawaii. However, Marissa gets more than she bargained for in the move. Paul is increasingly distant, the house they bought is falling apart around them, and Marissa isn’t used to being a stay at home mom. Taking some deep breaths, Marissa realizes she needs to learn to take things as they come and invokes some of the spirit of Hawaii.
I’ve really enjoyed the two Mia King novels I’ve read (Good Things and Table Manners), so it was with excitement and a little sadness that I picked up the last of her backlist. I was looking forward to a laid back, insightful read and I’m glad to say that Sweet Life didn’t disappoint.
When the book begins, Marissa is a complete snob. There’s no way around that. That’s not to say that she’s unlikeable, or that King throws that quality in the readers’ face, but it’s clear that she judges the people around her. She’s not ready for the slower pace of life in Hawaii, nor is she prepared for the types of people she’ll meet. Slowly, though, Marissa begins to open her eyes and accept people, seeing what they have on the inside. It’s great to watch Hawaii work its magic on her and teach her how to appreciate life.
I absolutely loved the setting of Sweet Life. I have just recently returned from a vacation to the Big Island, so all the geography and settings were familiar to me. I reveled in reading about the landscape I loved so much. Marissa’s house was in a town that my husband and I had admired greatly and had joked about moving to. It was wonderful to live vicariously through Marissa, to see what it would be like if we dropped everything and moved to Hawaii.
Sweet Life was a wonderful women’s fiction novel that I greatly enjoyed. A lot happens in it that I didn’t even begin to cover in this review, but suffice it to say that the book never drags. It makes for a great summer read, or wonderful escapist fare if you want to read about paradise.