Already Home by Susan Mallery

Title: Already Home, Author: Susan MalleryAlready Home. Finished 3-29-16, rating 4.25/5, women’s fiction, pub. 2011

Unabridged audio read by Teri Clark Linden. 10 hours 33 minutes.

After nearly a decade as a sous-chef in a trendy eatery, and fresh off a divorce from the owner, Jenna Stevens is desperate for a change. So when she spots a for-lease sign in her hometown, she impulsively decides to open her very own cooking store. Her crash course in business is aided by a streetwise store manager and Jenna’s adoptive mother. But as soon as she gains a foothold in her new life, in walk her birth parents—aging hippies on a quest to reconnect.

Now Jenna must figure out how to reconcile the free-spirited Serenity and Tom with the parents who raised her and decide whether to open her heart to a man who just might be the best thing to happen to her in years. All without sacrificing her newly found dreams. In the end, Jenna will find that there is no perfect family, only the people we love.…  from Goodreads

I went in expecting a romance, and while this did have the feel of  romance, it was so much more than that.  Jenna (I’ve always loved that name) has been left by a jerk of a husband and decides to go home and on a whim buys retail space for a cooking store, with no retail experience or plan at all.  Her first order of business was hiring the most interesting character in the book, Violet, and the two of them form a successful business and friendship.

Jenna enjoyed a close and loving relationship with her parents and had no interest in finding her real parents, even after they showed up in her store.  The story of two families coming together was sweet and heartwarming.  I didn’t always love Jenna, she seemed clueless much of the time, but the cast of characters (especially her half-brother Dragon) made this a fun and touching novel.

If you love reading about family dynamics, especially those with likeable aging hippies, then you should give this one a look.