Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Review: Miss You Most of All by Elizabeth Bass

How can you resist a book set on a farm called Sassy Spinster Farm? Rue and Laura are sisters who live on the farm where they grew up, taking in guests who want to experience working the farm life for themselves. They are working hard to not only make the farm pay but to live their lives to the fullest and to understand what matters most in life. Rue is exhausted and drained from her latest round of chemo for advanced breast cancer. Laura is prickly and anti-social, resenting the presence of the guests at the farm. Erica, Rue's pre-teen daughter, is faced not only with a mother battling cancer and a father who has invited her twee former fifth grade teacher to move in with him but also with all the hazards and pitfalls of being young and figuring out friendship. Webb, who is working the farm for the summer, is an old friend who has been in love with Laura, despite the fact that she ignores him and his good-hearted loyalty, just about forever. Into this mix comes Heidi, Rue and Laura's former step-sister, the bratty little baggage who left the farm without a backward glance so many years ago when her mother left the sisters' father. Laura doesn't want to let Heidi stay but Rue is adamant that family is forever. And Heidi's presence changes everything, helping each of the characters to examine herself and her choices much closer.

The characters in this are delightful and quirkily human. They make mistakes and are stubborn but they are warm and good-intentioned and the book is all around charming. There's joy and humor and deep sadness here but ultimately it is an uplifting read that leaves the reader feeling good. Some of the plot is a little far fetched and there really aren't any surprises to be had (and in certain cases, this is absolutely the right thing) but there is something luminous and sweet and appealing here. Perhaps it is the sense of love that pervades the book. Whatever it is, this is a book that leaves the reader sighing with pleasure when the back cover finally closes. It is like the best life lived, complete with ups and downs, laughter and tears, but on the whole, worth every minute. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a well-written feel-good novel (plus one cathartic cry).

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of the book to review.


  1. Kristen...This sounds like kust the type of book I really enjoy now and then. Thanks for the great review.

  2. Thanks for bringing this book to my attention. I'm really leaning toward what I call "gentle reads" these days, and this sounds like one. I'm adding it to my TBR lists.


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