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Scattered Life, A Paperback – Aug 10 2010

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Paperback, Aug 10 2010
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (Aug. 10 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193559706X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935597063
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.7 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,475,503 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Back Cover

McQuestion writes with a sharp eye and a sure voice, and as a reader, I was willing to go wherever she wanted to take me. Carolyn Parkhurst, author of "The Dogs of Babel"
Free-spirit Skyla Plinka has found the love and stability she always wanted in her reliable husband, Thomas. Settling into her new family and roles as wife and mother, Skyla finds life in rural Wisconsin satisfying, but she can t seem to quell her growing sense of restlessness. Skyla s only reprieve is her growing friendship with neighbor Roxanne, who has five kids (and counting) and a life in constant disarray but also a life filled with laughter and love.
Much to the dismay of her intrusive mother-in-law, Audrey, Skyla takes a part-time job at the local bookstore and slowly begins to rediscover her voice, independence, and confidence. Throughout one pivotal year in the life of Skyla, Audrey, and Roxanne, all three very different women will learn what it means to love unconditionally.
Karen McQuestion s essays have appeared in Newsweek, the Chicago Tribune, the Denver Post, the Christian Science Monitor, and several anthologies. She is the author of four novels, one children s book, and one collection of humorous essays. She lives in Wisconsin.
" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Karen McQuestion’s essays have appeared in Newsweek, Chicago Tribune, Denver Post, Christian Science Monitor and several anthologies. Originally self-published as a Kindle e-book, A Scattered Life became the first self-published Kindle book to ever be optioned for film. McQuestion lives with her family in Hartland, Wisconsin.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A Scattered Life was a pleasant, easy read, but unfortunately it fell a bit flat for me. Although I found the writing easy to read and thought it flowed smoothly, there were a few plot and character issues that had me less connected with this work than I wanted to be.

I didn't find as much depth to the characters as I would have liked and they all came across as one dimensional to me. Skyla herself seemed a bit wooden and although searching for more in life, I don't know if she really found it. Her husband came across as controlling and I couldn't find any other way to see him. With Skyla figuring out her life, I wanted her to see more of this in him and spread her wings further, but never saw much of a change with their relationship which I found really disappointing. I liked Audrey's story and it was interesting to see an overbearing mother in law's side of the story instead of just from the daughter in law's perspective. I thought her transformation was slightly more realistic somehow. Maybe because I just had more of a grasp on her character or that I really felt sorry for her, but even with seeing more of a change, I would have liked to see her take some more action towards the end.

The story seemed to wrap up with a twist I wasn't expecting which was a pleasant surprise, but I found the ending so rushed that it just fizzled out, leaving a few strings dangling that were never followed up on. With Roxanne having such a pivotal role in the climax, I would have appreciated a passage from her perspective as well as Audrey at the end of the novel, but all we see is Skyla's perspective.

All in all, I didn't mind A Scattered Life, and can see how McQuestion has become a self publishing success and might very well read another.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I felt this book was a good summer's read. I did not find it was compelling or a book I did not want to put down.
I would not recommend it for my book club.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
great
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9937515c) out of 5 stars 734 reviews
302 of 321 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99418e10) out of 5 stars "OPEN YOUR HEART" Aug. 10 2010
By Imogen Rose - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Three women living a small-town life in Wisconsin. Karen McQuestion's novel is narrated by these three voices. The first, Skyla Plinska, a former free-spirit, now firmly seeded into a middle-class life with her level-headed husband and their well-behaved daughter. The second is Skyla's mother-in-law, Audrey. Audrey has spent her life caring for her now three grown-up sons and husband, but always longing for a daughter. Will Skyla fill this void? The third is Roxy, Skyla's new neighbor and friend. Roxy is totally obsessed with her five sons and longs for more children, particularly a daughter.

Karen McQuestion draws us into the life of these three women in an engaging and easy fashion. The story line is entertaining and touching on many different levels, as each of the characters are fleshed out and their personalities and quirks revealed. I am very much looking forward to the movie adaptation of this novel. Thanks for a great read, Karen.
171 of 181 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99419078) out of 5 stars Life requires adjustments Aug. 22 2010
By J. Grattan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In this nice, but unremarkable, story set in small-town Wisconsin, the lives of three women are followed for about a year. Skyla, after a childhood of moving around the country with her father, has settled down with Thomas and has a six-year-old daughter; Audrey is Thomas' mother and is obsessed with keeping order in her and others' lives; and Roxanne, who exudes friendliness, has just moved in next door to Skyla with her five children and a clearly messy and chaotic life in full display. Skyla with her long-repressed artistic side is immediately attracted to the free-spirited Roxanne, much to the dismay of Audrey.

But things change for these women. Skyla takes a job in a nearly defunct book store and virtually single-handedly turns it around. Leaving her daughter Nora to be cared for by Roxanne after school distresses Audrey no end, which she intends to do something about. However, the unexpected intervenes in both Roxanne's and Audrey's lives. Especially, Skyla and Audrey are forced to question stances that they have taken in their lives. It is a book that has the intent of exploring personal growth, understanding others, and learning what is important.

The book is not without its appeal but lacks depth and breadth. The characters are not fully developed; they seldom rise beyond being stereotypes. After a couple of events, the story just fizzles out. The book is easily read, but just does not really try for much. Nonetheless, it is a fairly pleasant and heartwarming story, though tragedy does stalk.
151 of 162 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x994192b8) out of 5 stars Wonderful book Nov. 9 2009
By New Jersey Mom - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wasn't sure what to expect from an independently published novel, but figured for $1.99 (less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks!) I could take a chance.

I am so glad that I did. This is a remarkable book. It is beautifully written, well paced, with characters who seem real. It easily ranks with books published by the big houses, and is in fact considerably better than many books I have read (and I read quite a lot).

I hope that Ms. McQuestion is picked up by the big publishing houses as she has a true gift. I would love to recommend this book to several people, but as they don't own Kindles they won't be able to read the book. That is a shame, as her books could and should have a wide audience.

I will certainly be trying out McQuestion's other books available on Kindle.
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9941945c) out of 5 stars couldn't get into this Sept. 19 2010
By A. Thompson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I stopped trying to get into this story after a few chapters. I wanted to like the book because the story seemed interesting. But for me, a book has to have two things to keep me interested: excellent character development and beautiful writing. I love several books where plot seems to be an after thought, but because the characters leap from the pages, I'm entranced. I can't keep plugging along with a book just to find out what happens. I couldn't find a flow with the writing style and found myself having to reread paragraphs because my mind would wander away from the story. There is something simplistic about her characters, which made them seem like basic stereotypes right away, and that's boring.
35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99419330) out of 5 stars Outstanding! Nov. 2 2009
By Principessa di Cucina - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What a book ... I cannot explain how great it was to read "A Scattered Life" and how it touched my heart. Right from the very beginning I was captured by the characters portrayed, and how it made me feel like they were part of my own life. I immediately could place myself in each of the family settings and felt like I became part of their families and friends. The book is exciting, funny, sad, and also made me shed some tears. I have read many books since getting my Kindle, and I have to admit ... this authors books take the lead! And, the price is right.

I have read all three of this authors books: "A Scattered Life", "Easily Amused" and "Lies I Told My Children". All are great, and I can't wait until her next book becomes available, which I'm hoping is right around the corner. If you haven't read any of Karen's books, don't wait. You, too, will be amazed how wonderful her books are to read. Karen McQuestion is now my favorite author, and I will be having withdrawal until her next book is released.

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