The First Day of the Rest of My Life Author:Cathy Lamb Madeline O'Shea tells people what to do with their lives. A renowned life coach, she inspires thousands of women through her thriving practice -- exuding enviable confidence along with her stylish suits and sleek hair. But her confidence, just like her fashionable demeanor, is all a front. — For decades, Madeline has lived in fear of her trau... more »matic past becoming public. Now a reporter is reinvestigating the notorious crime that put Madeline's mother behind bars, threatening to destroy her elaborate facade. Only Madeline's sister, Annie, and their frail grandparents know about her childhood -- but lately Madeline has reason to wonder if her grandparents also have a history they've been keeping from her.
As the demons of the past swirl around her, a childhood friend with a gentle heart is urging Madeline to have faith in him -- and in herself. And as she allows her resistance to thaw, the pain she expects pales in comparison to the surprises headed straight to her door. With one bold, unprecedented move, Madeline O'Shea may just wake up out of the sadness and guilt that have kept her sleepwalking through life for so long -- and discover that the worst thing that can happen is sometimes the very thing we desperately need.« less
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If you have read any other books by Cathy Lamb you might find that she combined some of the greatest elements of all her earlier novels. Instead of feeling like she re-hashed her other novels, I see it as perfecting the best elements of her former works. You will find family secrets, and abuse and redemption just like in Henry's Sisters, Julias Chocolates, and Such a pretty face. A well done court scene, and a woman starting over in The Last Time I was me.
It moved me and made me cry. I actually found the Words of Wisdom from the main character who is a life coach, useful.
I can't finish this book, it's that bad. It started out strong, I thought. I liked the dialog, and I liked how she wrote. But as the book went on, her writing style became irritating and repetitive. She talks about the same things over and over and over and over and over. All of her characters talk the same way, nobody has their own personality. They are all over the top characters, and it's exhausting to read.
She goes into graphic detail when it comes to the girls being molested. If you are sensitive to this, you need to skip this book. I had to quit reading it because that alone was disturbing me. If I would have known there would be pets being killed and disturbing descriptions of little girls being molested and tortured, I wouldn't have bought this book. I know this type of stuff exists, but I don't want to read about it. I bought this book to read for pleasure, as I thought it would be a "coming of age" type book. It's not.
Madeline is a life coach that has no life or expertise on life situations. Her Grandma talks descriptively and uncomfortably about sex, constantly in front of them and they think it's cute. The Grandparents mystery drags on and on. The girls (now grown women) are messed up and should have gotten mental help to deal with what happened to them. Madeline is a life coach, but doesn't think about getting help for herself? I mean come on, really? These are just a few of the things that were never ending themes in the book. I have read half of the book, and that's all I am reading. I'm not wasting my time reading anymore.
It is Cathy's writing style that makes this book hard to read. If she developed her characters as individuals, this book would be better. If she didn't write about the same situation and feelings over and over and over, it would be better. I don't know why this book got such great reviews from other readers. So, there is your warning. A review is a person's opinion on a product or book, and that is mine.
I loved Julia's Chocolates so have tried reading several of Cathy Lamb's other books. Henry's Sisters was another fabulous book. But this book was a difficult read, mostly due to Lamb's writing style. She repeats scenes, she doesn't really develop the characters as well in this book as she has in others. Main character Madeline O'Shea is a life coach, but is damaged goods....so she never thought to seek therapy to heal these childhood wounds? Isn't that what a life coach would recommend to a client? Lamb also goes into way too much detail in describing simple things like clothing; the amount of description reminds me of high-school creative writing class, too simplistic. Overall I was disappointed in this book and cannot recommend it.
I really love this author! This was my second book of hers I have read, it's so hard to put down . It's at times hard to read only because of the abuse that 2 of the characters go through. It has a lot if twists and turns and very funny parts too, the grandmother is a hoot ! I really reccomend this book.
Full disclosure: I received this book (for free) via the Goodreads First-Reads program, which gets books into the hands of readers, with the hopes of us writing reviews and starting buzz. What's odd about this one is that this book was published in 2011, and the giveaway was in 2014. Which doesn't seem to do much for generating early buzz at all.
At any rate: "The First Day of the Rest of My Life" is the the story of life-coach Madeline O'Shea coming to terms with her childhood and living a fuller and richer life.
And wow, that summary sounded incredibly boring.
This book was out of genre for me (I usually read sci-fi and thrillers), but I loved it. As far as I'm concerned, Lamb did an outstanding job with this one. I loved the slow reveal of details through the bulk of the book; I loved the characterisations presented; I loved the picture of the world she built.
There is a section of hard-to-read (in the emotionally difficult sense) backstory, wherein we learn the horrors that O'Shea suffered as a child, and I noticed that a number of other reviewers were put off by this section. It's tough. It's trigger-warning worthy. I don't think it's overdone, but like I said, it's not light and easy to read, either. If that's going to make you stop reading and not get to the end, then it's probably best to let the book remain on the shelf.
But if you can get through it, the book is fantastic. I really enjoyed it.