If You Were Here – Jen Lancaster
by Leah Eggleston Krygowski, of Chicklit Club
After city life gets to be too much for them, Mia and Mac decide it’s time to move to the Chicago suburbs. They find the home of their dreams but for entirely different reasons. Mac loves the fact that it’s a fixer-upper and has a panic room (seriously) and Mia because the house was featured prominently in a John Hughes movie (duh). They move into their idyllic neighbourhood only to discover the house is in way worse shape than they originally thought and when the neighbours effectively come after them like villagers with torches, they realise the remodelling is disrupting more than just their lives. With Mac insisting he can do the work himself and Mia facing a deadline for her latest Amish-zombie-teen romance, they begin to wonder if their marriage can withstand the chaos of home repairs, and more than one instance of someone (including pets) getting trapped during the construction. Told with Jen Lancaster’s trademark dry wit, this novel is a hilarious look at what happens when people watch too much HGTV. Being familiar with Lancaster’s non-fiction work, it was hard for me to separate Jen and her husband, Fletch, from Mia and Mac. However, once I got into the story, the characters became more real and the comparisons to the author’s life melted away. Fans of Lancaster will not be disappointed with her first foray into fiction.