The Life List

The Life List

A Novel

Book - 2013
Average Rating:
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Brett Bohlinger seems to have it all: a plum job, a spacious loft, an irresistibly handsome boyfriend. All in all, a charmed life. That is, until her beloved mother passes away, leaving behind a will with one big stipulation: In order to receive her inheritance, Brett must first complete the life list of goals she'd written when she was a naïve girl of fourteen. Grief-stricken, Brett can barely make sense of her mother's decision--her childhood dreams don't resemble her ambitions at age thirty-four in the slightest. Some seem impossible. How can she possibly have a relationship with a father who died seven years ago? Other goals (Be an awesome teacher!) would require her to reinvent her entire future. As Brett reluctantly embarks on a perplexing journey in search of her adolescent dreams, one thing becomes clear. Sometimes life's sweetest gifts can be found in the most unexpected places.-- Publisher's statement on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Life-List-Lori-Nelson-Spielman/dp/0345540875/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1367446462&sr=1-3&keywords=life+list.
Publisher: New York :, Bantam Books Trade Paperbacks,, [2013]
ISBN: 9780345540874
0345540875
Branch Call Number: FICTION Spielman 2013
Characteristics: 354 pages ; 21 cm

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JCLRitaG Jun 14, 2016

“Man plans, God laughs.” This debut novel definitely falls under the heading of “chick lit”; however, it is one of the most thoughtful stories I’ve read in a long time. The lead character, Brett Bohlinger, is following a sensible path with her life. She thinks she knows what comes next, but then her Mom dies and in her will she speaks to Brett more honestly than she ever did when she was alive. In order to get her share of her mother’s vast estate, she must, within one year, complete a life list she wrote when she was 14. The list included things like buy a horse, have a baby, maintain a friendship she had at that time of her life, and best of all develop a relationship with her Dad (oops, he died!). Terrific summer read!

t
tliddiard
Nov 09, 2015

Really liked this book... will be reading more from this author!

k
kindrabirss
Nov 25, 2014

Within the first chapter or two of the book, I was rolling my eyes thinking this book was going to be totally predictable; she's going to complete her life list, it will be hard, then she will be happy. But it didn't play out exactly how I thought. There were a few twists and turns along the way, and the characters were written in such a way that I cared for them. If you can suspend your disbelief a bit, it was actually quite enjoyable and I found myself rooting for the main character and crying at parts. An easy, quick read.

m
MAUIESCAPE
May 23, 2014

Wonderful book -- very thought provoking yet funny in places. People are very true to life, not empty characters. I could relate to a lot of what Brett was feeling and how she reacted. Certainly gives me thought about creating my own life list.
Look forward to the next book by such a gift author.

s
SandraJB
Mar 09, 2014

What a pleasant surprise this book was. I expected something different. Twists and turns keep you turning the pages, A must read for any one who gets a bit ho hum with romance reads. Give it a go! It may help if you have your own bucket list already made up! Looking forward to more from this new author.

LaughingOne Nov 22, 2013

I loved this novel! The plot was interesting and not that predictable, which pleased me. Others have written in detail about this story so I won't here. I just want to add that it was fun reading the afterwords, when Lori Spielman wrote about her process in creating the novel. I look forward to more novels from this woman!

Cdnbookworm Nov 08, 2013

This novel is set in Chicago. Brett Bohlinger has grown up in a privileged family, her mother running a multi-million dollar cosmetics company. Her mother has recently died and Brett is hit hard by the loss. She fully expects to take over as head of the company, but it turns out that her mother had other things in mind.
Back when she was fourteen, Brett has made one of the lists that many of us have made listing all the things she hoped to do in her life: things like have children, learn languages, go places, etc. Brett had long forgotten this list, but her mother had found it back then and saved it and now expects Brett to fulfill the goals on this list as a condition to her inheritance. Brett is stunned. She feels her goals have changed radically, but her mother has left her more than just the list. There are messages for every goal she completes, and it turns out that her mother knew her even better than she guessed.
This is a feel good book despite the fact that it starts with a major loss, and I would call it a coming of age book even though Brett is in her 30s. Sometimes we need to be reminded of our hopes and dreams, because we have got off course somewhere along the way. Women, particularly, have a tendency to please others at the expense of our own needs, and sometimes lose the confidence we had when we are young to try new things and take risks. This book reminds us that sometimes we need to take those risks if we want the reward of happiness or just greater self knowledge.

c
claire1953
Sep 07, 2013

I thoroughly enjoyed this author's first novel. The premise is an interesting one and the life list is the story of the personal growth of a sad daughter after the loss of her mother. It was inspirational.

paulette4317 Jul 24, 2013

Really good debut novel. I enjoyed the characters, story and setting - in Chicago.

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