The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman

IMG_1491_2_4Sometimes life’s sweetest gifts can be found in the most unexpected places……………

Brett, a 34 year old woman, has the life. Living with her long term boyfriend, working for her mother’s cosmetic company- Brett feels that life is pretty good. Then her mother, Elizabeth, dies and Brett’s world begins to crumble. Fully expecting Elizabeth to leave the cosmetic company to her, when Brett and her brothers meet with the attorney- and Brett gets a shock. Her mother ties her receiving the inheritance to Brett completing her life list goals that she made at age 14.

Brett is hurt, confused, grieving- and wondering how she will even begin to complete some of these goals- for example, she wanted to have a better relationship with her father; but her father died a few years earlier. Slowly, Brett begin to complete some of the life list goals- and with each goal she completes, the lawyer her mother hired gives her a letter. The letter is part of the lesson- another way to show Brett how far her life has been from the fearless spirit she had as a child.

Elizabeth loved her daughter, Brett, with a fierce determination that survives even death. While it is Brett’s life list, Elizabeth is determined that Brett will not take the easy way out- she will live the life, with the all the decadent goodness and even some sorrow, that Brett deserves. With each life list goal Brett checks off, she gets closer to the life she’d dreamed of and learns a bit more about herself- her real self; not the person she’d tried to be for others. In the end, at the very core, by completing her life list- will Brett have won the prize of getting access to her inheritance- or was the real prize in stepping out of her comfort zone to the life she really wants?

Traveling With T’s Thoughts:

I loved this book. I cried for Brett, for the sorrow she felt about her mother, for the abundant love her mother felt for her. I felt a connection with Brett, as well, being of similar age and having similar concerns about life. This is not to say that the book is a total cry-fest, because it is not. It’s got laughter and humor to balance the sadness. It’s got lessons for people about life and love. It’s not a “thinker” book, nor is it heavy handed with it’s lessons. It’s got some light and fluff to balance with the sorrow- and it leaves the reader with a warm feeling. It’s like a mother loving you- wanting you to be the absolute best version of yourself that is possible. Have Kleenex ready and a glass of wine to enjoy while reading.

* This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are mine alone.

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14 thoughts on “The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman

  1. I can’t imagine being forced to complete the life goals I made at 14! I can imagine being forced to complete certain goals, but the ones I made when I was a an 8th/9th grader??? Who knows what my goals were then? I know that my life experiences have influenced me for sure, and I have much different goals now than I did before. Although. . . I bet I do have a few that would be similar. You’re making me think!

    • This book is soooooo good! Part of Brett’s problem is she’s not being true to herself- life goals may change with experiences- but it’s so much more than that in this book. Def, def should read. Be prepared with Kleenex!

    • Thanks for the comment, Rebecca. In the book, I used many of the goals I had on my 14-y/o life list. I left out the embarrassingly shallow ones, like “Have lots of clothes.” Yes, this was actually on my life list!

      • Hahaha! That’s kind of how I think my list would have read. Dumb stuff. But I do think other things that might be on my list now would be there too, like become a writer. It’s a good concept to think about: how do your goals change and why should some of them change? I mean, some should, like the one I probably had about having a cell phone when I grow up (thanks to the movie Clueless), but others shouldn’t be thrown off to the side.

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