...because home doesn't happen overnight.
11.13.11 / A Good Read

A fellow blogger has just published her first book. Liz Owen, author of the blog Mabel’s House, fulfilled her {and one of her best friend’s} lifelong dream of writing a book. Her book is titled My (not so) Storybook Life: A Tale of Friendship and Faith and I read it. And it’s good.

Before Liz’s close friend, Angela, is diagnosed with cancer at the young age of 33, Liz perceives her older home and its shortcomings as a force to be reckoned with. But with Angela’s help and journey, Liz comes to realize that even sewage-filled bathtubs are blessings in disguise. Yes, I said blessings.

This story is real.  Not only as in the non-fiction, true story way but as in real. Real emotions, real humor, real people, real houses, real pets, real friends, real jobs, real illness, real spirituality. Liz copes with all this reality in her life by seeking revenge on her fictional, too-good-to-be-true literary heros. Oh, and she’s funny too.

I’m not sure if my pregnancy hormones were kicking in or what, but I frequently found myself first giggling out loud and then tearing up mere seconds later during certain parts of the book.  Giggling because the situation itself was comical. Tearing up because I could totally relate to the raw emotion that Liz was speaking of.

Take this excerpt, for example, in which Liz describes her visit to a county fair…

…I realized that there is no such thing as womanly perfection.  In the end, it doesn’t matter if my baseboards are clean, laundry folded, bills paid, or my career climbing. The universe really doesn’t care.

“What matters is the warm feeling I get when I chill out, forget the stress, and spend an evening with my mother appreciating the absurdity of teenagers in drag-queen makeup parading next to prize-winning udders at a cattle show.”

I was surprised to discover that Liz and I have a lot in common too. We clean to deal with stress. Even as adults, we sometimes refer to fictional literary women when measuring up our own modern lives. We’re novices in the kitchen…and that makes us a bit insecure in our wivelyhood. Our favorite decorating tool is paint – brushed or sprayed. We tend to blurt out what-we-think-are-funny-but-later-discover-are-inappropriate comments during uncomfortable situations, making those situations even more uncomfortable. We’re not what you would call ladylike. We both have a younger sister who slept standing up as a child. Our husbands have strange sleeping issues.

Throughout the book, Liz openly reveals her twisted mind to readers all the while remaining loyal and steadfast to an ill friend.

If you’re in the market for a quick but meaningful and heartfelt read OR if you’re searching for a gift for that special female friend, My (not so) Storybook Life is one to consider. It will bring laughter, tears, and maybe even a newfound perception of your perfectly imperfect life and house.

What good reads have you come across recently?

FYI – I was sent Liz’s book to review. All thoughts and opinions given above are my own. I love sharing good reads!

images: My (not so) Storybook Life: A Tale of Friendship and Faith



Added it to my crazy long Amazon Book Wishlist! I love good books, and I have a huge list of them I want to read. But I don’t really have the money, or the space for new books at the moment!


I am always looking for a good read. I will have to check this book out. Thanks for the review!


Thank you for the book recommendation! I loved both the movie and book water for elephants. On another note, I am looking for Ikat curtain panels. Has anyone come across any affordable ones?


thank you for the heads up about this new book! I hadn’t heard of it, and am ALWAYS looking for new great books. It sounds really beautiful.


Lisa – Haven’t seen/read Water for Elephants yet! Ikat curtain panels? Yes, ma’am!