Julia, The Good Life(Book 1) by Sarah Krisch

Julia the good lifeJulia McCarthy is a twenty-something, failed actress who begins writing a “how to” blog loosely based on her summers at her grandparents farm. Unfortunately, the blog is mostly fiction and is about to be picked up for syndication by GreenTV.  Her dreams of being the next Rachel Ray are within her reach, but she knows her success is based on lies.

Brad Taylor is the boy who used to push her on the swing when they were kids. But he isn’t a boy anymore.  He’s sexy as hell and Julia is afraid if she gets too close, he’ll discover her secret and let the world know what a fraud she really is.  

**I was given a copy from the author, for an honest review and so I shall deliver.**

“Julia, the Good Life” is not only the first book of the Good Life Series, it’s also the first story I have ever read from Sarah Krisch and I really liked it.  It’s not very long, 150 pages, but it’s a sweet story.

The Review:

Julia McCarthy started a blog that was eventually picked up by the Chicago Herald, to ease the boredom and disappointment of not making it as an actress. She writes articles about how to bake fresh bread, grow your own herbs, living on the farm with her husband and son, etc. The only catch is…that’s not Julia. That’s her blog persona Rachel Walker. Julia is a single city girl who loves her Jimmy Choos and lovely pedicures/manicures. Rachel is the one who lives on the farm and Rachel is based off Julia’s grandmother. Sure Julia visited her grandparents in the summer and got her hands in the soil, but that was long ago when she was a child. It had been many years since Julia had done such a thing.

“When I’m working on my column, I’m not really here,” Julia said as she closed her computer and stowed it in her laptop bag. “I’m at the farm.”

“You sure don’t look like a farm girl to me.”

“And thanks to all of your fabulous skills, I never will.” Julia wiggled her fingernails, gleaming with fresh polish. She hadn’t had her hands in freshly turned soil in many years.

“None of your readers suspect that you’re really just a city girl with an active imagination?”

Honestly, it took me reading about half the book before I even liked Julia. She came off cold, self-centered and spoiled most of the time. I’m not sure if that was the author’s intention, but whether it is or not, it’s still a compliment to Sarah Krisch.  Like them or hate them, if you can create a character that brings out an emotion of any kind, it still says something about the writing.

“Oh. You must be Brad.”

“That’s right. And I’ve lived here for four months now.”

“What are you talking about? My grandparents never mentioned you living here, just that you were doing some chores around the farm.”

“It’s much more than chores, ma’am.”

“My grandpa’s never needed help. I don’t know what game you’re playing—

“Game? Who do you think you are—”

“…but whatever it is, I’m sure you’re up to no good.”

The accusation hurt. The McCarthy’s had been nothing but helpful since he’d come on as a farmhand. In return, Brad had worked from sunup to sundown, often taking on projects that went beyond what Guy asked of him. He wanted to lash out at Julia, but he bit his tongue.

See how she could tick a person off?  Slap_emoticon_V2

That being said, I loved Brad Taylor.  When he came back from the war, Julia’s grandfather took him on as his farm manager in hopes it would help heal his soul, it did. Despite his military background and the horrors he witnessed, there is still an innocence about Brad that only someone raised in the country can truly recognize and fully appreciate. (Obviously I’m a country girl. 🙂 ) 

Despite Julia’s initial haughtiness, they still were attracted to each other. I LOVED the creek incident. I felt all those emotions and my breathing was a little uneven after reading it. I love those “I shouldn’t, but it feels sooo good moments!”

Remember when we were her age?” Madi said

“Yeah, it was like the days would never change.”

“We’d never grow up or move away. We’d always live right down the road from one another, at least during the summertime. We’d always go out to catch butterflies in my parents’ meadow during the day—”

“And don’t forget catching lightning bugs at night.”

“Oh, I remember that. And swimming down at your grandparents’ creek.”

I loved the innocence about this book. If you’re looking for hot steamy sex, this probably isn’t the book for you. It’s about discovering yourself, what really matters and what truly is “The Good Life”.

Because this story brought back memories of my childhood…my grandparents farm, playing in the creek, etc. I felt a kinship with this story.  It’s not for everyone, but it IS for those of us who have sank our toes in the dirt, chased those lightning bugs, chased those dreams and who are living what we consider “The Good Life.”  Thank you Sarah Krisch for reminding me of how blessed I have been and still am. ♥

To be an honest reviewer, I have to give this book two separate ratings. It’s not my normal protocol, but I feel in this case it’s required to be fair to the author and to my readers.

For the feelings and memories this brought me in touch with from my own personal experiences growing up as a country girl, I give this:

4 stars

 

If I hadn’t lived in the country and experienced all those special moments this book offers up, I don’t think I would’ve truly enjoyed this to it’s fullest.  So in that case, my final rating is:

3 Stars

~Robin