Read The Good Life by Susan Kietzman Online


Between workouts, charity events, and shopping, Ann Barons keeps her days as full as her walk-in closets. She shares an immaculate house with her CEO husband, Mike, and their two teenagers, Nate and Lauren. It’s a luxurious life, far from her homespun childhood on a farm in eastern Pennsylvania…which is why Ann is wary when her elderly parents ask to move in temporarily. ABetween workouts, charity events, and shopping, Ann Barons keeps her days as full as her walk-in closets. She shares an immaculate house with her CEO husband, Mike, and their two teenagers, Nate and Lauren. It’s a luxurious life, far from her homespun childhood on a farm in eastern Pennsylvania…which is why Ann is wary when her elderly parents ask to move in temporarily. Ann prepares in the way she knows best—hiring decorators and employing a full-time nurse for her dementia-stricken father. But nothing can prepare her for the transformations ahead. Soon, her mother Eileen is popping in to prepare soups and roasts in Ann’s underused kitchen, while the usually surly Nate forms an alliance with his ailing grandfather. Lauren blossoms under Eileen’s guidance, and even workaholic Mike finds time to attend high-school football games. But it’s Ann who must make the biggest leap, and confront the choices and values that have kept her floating on life’s surface for so long. Timely, poignant, and wise, The Good Life is a deeply satisfying and beautifully written story about the complex relationships between parents and children—and the gap that often lies between what we seek, and what will truly make us whole....

Title : The Good Life
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780758281326
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Good Life Reviews

  • Aditi
    2019-05-20 12:50

    An Albanian born, American author, Besa Kosova has quoted about money as:“Money can't buy happiness, but it certainly is a stress reliever.” Certainly for 40-something, Ann Barons, "money" was a stress-reliever, but was not an object for gaining happiness in her life. But for Ann Barons "money" acted as a cushion to all her problems and sadness. In Susan Kietzman, an American author's, debut novel, The Good Life, the author has put the limelight on the having a good life with or without money and material possessions, where, Ann Barons, her protagonist is put on a position where she has to choose between money and love.I'd like to thank the author, Susan Kietzman, immensely for giving me this opportunity to read and review her debut book. Ann Barons has everything- a wealthy and good-looking husband, Mike, two teenagers, Nate and Lauren, who can literally take care of themselves without involving Ann, a 24*7 house help, a million dollar house in the upscale location of the town. And among Ann's many talents, Ann loved redecorating her million dollar house most of the time by hiring some celebrity decorators and throwing charity events and charity dinners at her home and loved wasting her time and body by working out. She was a work-out freak, even at 40-something age, Ann had an unbelievable figure of size 2. It definitely sounds like Ann had indeed a good life, until her Alzeimer-sticken father and mother comes to live with the Barons. Everything falls apart for Ann. Ann's mother; Eileen takes over the control of Ann's very own kitchen to winning away the hearts of Ann's kids in an instant with her talent of cooking exotic and mouth-watering dishes. Ann was beginning to feel left out from the small cocoon of happiness that was starting to bloom in the very core of her house. To drown her sorrows, Ann started drinking and made herself more shut out from her very own family. But will Ann be successful in getting back the life she is most fond of? Will Eileen be successful in getting some sense into Ann's head?Frankly speaking, from the very moment, I started reading the book, the pace was very slow, but once, I was down to 150 pages, I felt myself revolving along with Ann among her posh-ness and wealth and feeling sorry for Ann's pleasures. It is quite evident that too much money makes you a lonely person and there was no doubt that Ann was a sorry, lonely woman who forgot to enjoy and feel proud about her children's joy and success, forgot to compliment her own mother, and most above all, she became self-centered and self-obsessed with herself. Eileen is the perfect mother, who tried to bring some control in Ann's messed up household, and tried to feed up good food to her grand children. A very mesmerizing and thoroughly heart-touching family story that helps to instill the family values like praying before dinner, complimenting one-another, caring for one-another, spending time with one-another, etc. It's a must read for all those, who have forgot to look back to your parents for whom you have become what you're today! The characters have enough depth to pull you into the story. The narration and flow of the story was quite strikingly penned by the author. And the author has unfolded her story with love, pleasure and warmth, and you can almost feel the warmth in author's carefully chosen words.So folks grab this book to feel the love about those who matter the most in your life.

  • Virginia
    2019-05-21 06:52

    The book was interesting and drew you into the characters but... I don't think I was left wanting more. To me it did not seem to go far enough with Ann. I just really did not get this character nor did there seem to be a resolution. While it was an interesting read and made me want to read it... I was just left feeling like that's it?

  • Alisha Kennedy
    2019-06-15 07:58

    Sometimes it takes a little love, patience, and compassion to have someone realize life is not all about money.

  • Sam
    2019-06-06 13:50

    This is a story about Ann Barons who is married to a very successful CEO, has 2 teenagers and more money than she knows what to do with. When her mother calls one day and tells Ann that she needs help with her father, who has dementia, Ann reluctantly agrees to let them come stay until a room opens up at a assisted living home. She decides to put them in the guest house, hires a decorator to redo it telling her to replace the furniture with inexpensive wood composite furniture that Ann could simply donate to the Salvation Army when her parents left. The two kids, Nate and Lauren, don't really know their grandparents and aren't happy that they are coming even for a short time. Ann assures them that the grandparents will only come over to the main house on Sundays for dinner and the rest of the time stay in the guest house away from them. But her mother Eileen has different ideas.This book brings out so many emotions and it was interesting to see the kids change under the loving hands of their grandmother. Ann is the only one that is unlikable throughout the whole book. Because Ann wanted to forget her simple upbringing on the family farm, she rarely visited her aging parents. She has it all and yet is reluctant to share even the slightest bit with her parents. All her mother wants is to spend more time with her only child and all Ann wants is for her mother to stay in the guest house and leave her alone to her drinking which is what Ann does best. When Mike points out to her that her drinking is getting out of control all Ann has to do is pout and tell him he is being mean for Mike to once again turn a blind eye to it. Not only does Ann not have time for her parents, she also doesn't have time for her children, she doesn't cook for them, attend their sporting events, doesn't even take the time to know their friends. At one point Mike says "The kids will be out of the house in a few years" and Ann responds with "God, I dream about that." Mike is not quite as shallow as Ann is but in thinking that he is providing a good life for his family he feels justified in not having any interaction with his children.The book for me was about watching Nate and Lauren go from kids who didn't want to be in their grandparents presence to wanting to be with them all the time. As Lauren learns to cook with her grandmother and other life lessons Nate forms a bond with his grandfather that is so heartwarming. The only two people who really don't get it is Ann and Mike. Right up to the end I kept waiting for the parents to think of what would be best for Nate, Lauren, Eileen and Sam but Ann and Mike stayed just as self absorbed and selfish to the last page, which I think was written in an attempt to make the reader like Ann. At the end when Sam pulled Nate in for a hug and whispered "You are my best friend" I could not quit crying.Read this book if you want to read a feel good story. You will fall in love with Eileen, Sam, Lauren and Nate. This book was so good I read it in one day, I simply could not go to sleep until I read the last page. I won this from LibraryThing Members Giveaway and I highly recommend this book.

  • Kmt1944
    2019-06-14 09:08

    Really??? Main character remains selfish and self-centered with no redeeming traits. Strange ending.

  • Ann Rusk
    2019-06-13 10:47

    I read this book on a recommendation, while I found it interesting with the subplot of parents moving in to live with their only child, the daughter was appalling ! I kept hoping she would get a clue and be humbled by her parents situation and show some compassion.

  • Tanya
    2019-06-06 07:13

    I don't usually read these kinds of books; I'm more into fantasy & paranormal. However, this book captured my attention from the start. The main character, Anne, is a really unlikable person. The more I read about her, the less I liked. She goes shopping at least twice a week, has nail appts twice a week, doesn't eat much at all, drinks too many lattes & wine. She claims to be too busy to be involved in her kids lives; they despise her. Then when her parents come to live with her because her father has Parkinson's & dimentia, she acts like it's such a HUGE inconvenience, though she completely ignores them. Even though she seems so different from me, I could see parallels... getting caught up in things we think are important. Her parents imparted some great family wisdom to her kids and she saw the effects, which made her realize she needed to make changes. The book is thought-provoking and interesting. I would recommend this to anyone and will definitely be rereading it.

  • Agnes (BeaderBubbe)
    2019-06-08 07:57

    HeartwarmingA story of a family that had to reconnect and who else better suited to do this but ...... A Grandmother. Mike and Ann. Very well off lived with their children Nate and Lauren. Everyone seemed to do their own thing never really connecting. Until Sam and Eileen -parents of Ann - came to stay until their assisted living home was ready for them. What followed was a story of a family that needed to connect on a physical and emotional level. And a grandmother who made that happen.

  • Ann Haefele
    2019-05-16 07:46

    Thought provoking read,but felt unsatisfied with the ending. The main character was very self absorbed and unlikeable, but I had hoped she would have some redeeming qualities by the end. Her issues seemed unresolved, but maybe that is the point.

  • Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
    2019-06-03 08:10

    Disclaimer: This ARC was given to me for free in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley.This was pretty good writing. It was about a privileged housewife come to terms with her family and past.

  • Suzette
    2019-05-20 10:50

    I didn't like this book in the beginning because I did not like almost all of the characters. It is an easy read though. I did begin to like most of the characters as they grew and changed (which is the point). In the end I did like this book.

  • Darlene
    2019-05-23 14:05

    Great book

  • Lisa
    2019-06-01 08:07

    No resolution at all in this book. Does Ann ever spend more time with her children? Go visit her parents? Stop Drinking? Stop spending money?Never answers if she remains unhappy. I don't like books that leave so many questions unanswered. You don't need to button up every plot point, but it would be nice to have an epilogue to give some sense of growth in a character.Ann is shallow and very unfeeling and my opinion didn't change from the beginning to the end of the book.

  • Kristi Fleming
    2019-06-15 14:04

    When starting this book and about 3/4 through it, I thought it was okay. I didn't really like Ann or Mike, although the other characters I loved. I noticed that a lot of reviews mentioned they didn't like the ending but for me it was great. Not everything was all buttoned up but left to your imagination and the journey for the characters to follow. I would like to read some of her additional novels.

  • Nancy N
    2019-06-07 11:49

    SUCH a good story! Though I have never wanted to off a main character as much as I did Ann in this book. You’ll see! Also, very disappointed in the ending, but overall it was one of those books I couldn’t put down because I had to know where it was going.

  • Yvonne
    2019-05-17 14:56

    Once again I would have given the book a 5-star rating but I m totally disgusted by profanity in a novel.

  • Linda
    2019-06-15 14:02

    This was a good story but the ending was a bit disappointing.

  • Deep2.dejavu
    2019-05-16 10:50

    "The Good Life" by Susan Kietzman is another of my new finds. An author I have never read before, I understand that she has completed 3 books till date."The Good Life" focuses on a super rich family and their life. Ann Barons is a glamorous lady married to successful businessman and CEO Mike. Their two children are Lauren and Nate. The book is the story of the Baronses and their life. Ann Barons comes across as a person who is obsessed with her looks and maintaining her figure. She spends her days working out, meeting friends and shopping. Mike seems like a nice guy, but fully involved in his business and nothing else. The first glance also shows the kids as spoilt brats of rich parents.Ann and Mike believe they have the perfect life. Their idyll is threatened by a phone call when Ann's mother calls her desperate for help. Ann's mother, Eileen, struggles alone with her husbands dementia and Is increasingly finding it difficult to handle Sam's delusions and forgetfulness. She arranges for them to get accommodated at Meadowbrook, an assisted-living community. However, they need to wait for a few months before they can move into Meadowbrook.Eileen requests Ann if they can move in for a few months with Ann and her family. Ann who doesn't want her current life to disrupted also finds to difficult to say 'No'. Ann soon begins to resent her mother's presence and the changes it causes in her life. She feels that her mothers presence highlights her failings. I liked the story and the way each character developed in the book. Initially, I was a bit put-off by the lack of feeling and irritation tht the entire family showed at the news of Eileen's and Sam's brief stay. The book showcases Ann as a superficial person who is only interested in shopping, showing off her money and losing weight. She comes across as materialistic and highly selfish person who is only concerned about herself and no one else including her own children.The entire family seemed to be disconnected and living in a home like strangers till the arrival for Eileen and Sam. While Eileen in certain instances seems to be a bit thick-skinned, her interference and nature of elbowing into the Baronses house, seems to have been the one thing that made this family of four strangers a bit more closer and more family-like.The kids, Lauren and Nate grow on you, as they spend time, learn and do things with their grandparents. Even Mike, the workaholic finds time to spend dome fun moments with his children. The issues that Ann faces are not fully resolved but at least she realized that she has issues."The Good Life" was a satisfying read and beautifully written. It was difficult for me to really absorb that in the complexities and trivialities of life, so much distance can crop up between families, between parents and their children. In this case, the distance in the relationship of Ann with her parents and of Nate and Lauren with their parents.Another aspect that I liked about the story was that it touched lightly upon the concept of "Good Life". While Ann believes she has a good life, the reader can understand that though she has money there are too many underlying issues and dissatisfaction. In fact, it seems as though, through money Ann is trying to prove to herself that life is good and she is satisfied with life. But towards the end of the book, she understands that she is not fully happy and that she needs to find the balance she is looking for. I wasn't very happy with the way the book ended. It left me a bit unsatisfied and I wasn't ready to let go of Nate and Lauren. So I would have to give a rating of 4 on 5 for "The Good Life"

  • Lynn
    2019-06-04 12:07

    What makes you a good person?? What are you most proud of??Difficult questions for a woman whose whole life revolves around money and what it can provide. For Ann Barons, money has been the buffer to keep the emotional parts of her life at an arm's length. Money and alcohol. Yes, when she can't buy it, she drinks to forget.Her parents in Pennsylvania have sold their farm, intending to move to an Assisted Living Center. At the last minute, there is no unit available for them, so Eileen calls her daughter, Ann, in Michigan. "Can we come stay with you for a few months, until an apartment opens up for us?" Well, Ann and Mike have a guest house on their property, so Ann thinks her parents will stay in the guest house, and she and her family will go on with their lives.But, as it turns out, Eileen and Sam have a surplus of what Ann's family is missing. Love. Understanding. Time. Ann's children, Lauren and Nate, are drawn to their grandparents. Mike truly enjoys his in-laws. And Ann slowly comes around.A whole new definition of "The Good Life" evolves in this wonderful debut novel.

  • Julie Barrett
    2019-05-24 14:46

    The Good Life by Susan KietzmanAnn and her husband Mike have it all. The phone call from her mother forces her to help out.She will have them live in the guesthouse after she's remodeled it til they are accepted at the nursing home/assisted living facility.So many other things to see to: rent the parents house, and hire caregivers for her parents. Ann and her family, among them 2 teens will live on the property in their own house and share a meal on Sunday. She's busy with her life and charity events.One reason why I wanted to read this book is because it's about an elderly man who's going through dementia and as I have some family members going through it I hope to learn a bit about how to help them.Hardships they all endure and some can see what the grandmother has gone through and help out. They make it through the holidays and one day the grandfather just up and leaves and now they have to go out in the cold to find him...When the call comes about the opening they have many choices and decisions to make. Is it too late to be a family?

  • Carroll
    2019-06-05 13:54

    I would rate this book at 3.5. In the interest of disclosure I received this book from the Goodreads first reads. Ann & Mike Barons lead the "good life" being a wealthy influential couple who have it all. Whe Ann's parents come to stay for a time period until their place at a Seniors Development is available Ann begins to realize that her life is not perfect. Her father Sam is in the early stages of dementia and her mother Eileen works hard to keep life normal. Lauren & Mike, the grandchildren, blossom under their Grandmother's loving presence making up for years of neglect from their overbusy parents. The reason I give the book a 3.5 is that the end just fizzles. Their is not conclusion, the book just ends. The story was interesting and I enjoyed reading it but it needed some sort of conclusion.

  • Pat
    2019-05-27 07:14

    Definitely not more than a beach read. The main character, Ann Barons, a rich Detroit-area socialite who seemingly cares nothing about her two teenage children and only about her workouts, maintaining her size-2 body and drinking a lot, is completely unlikeable. And she doesn't redeem herself by the end of the story, really, even after her elderly parents come to live with her, in the guest house, for four months while they wait for space in an assisted living facility. There are all sorts of trite situations that are fun to read about, both with the grandparents being the parents that the children never had, and the wacky drunken experiences of Ann and her friends, but it never comes to any real good conclusion.

  • Kathy
    2019-06-09 12:48

    The Good Life is a poignant and sometimes heartrending novel about the complexities of family relationships. It is a thought-provoking story about finding out what is truly important in life and how we sometimes lose the best parts of ourselves in our attempts to get ahead. Susan Kietzman also provides an in-depth and insightful look into the devastating impact that Parkinson’s disease and dementia have on those afflicted with these life-altering diseases and their loved ones. Please click HERE to my review in its entirety.

  • Dolores
    2019-05-28 13:59

    Ann Barons doesn't have to worry about money....she spends her days working out, drinking lattes, shopping, and going to charity events....but things are complicated when her elderly parents need to move in with them temporarily. (Her father suffers from dementia.) This is one of those books which includes minute details about EVERYTHING....what people are doing, or wearing, or eating (like licking an ice cream cone.) Ann is not a very likeable person but the characters are all interesting, and I really cared about some of them....especially the kids, Lauren and Nate. Not great literature, but a good read.

  • Jennifer
    2019-06-14 13:11

    I loved this book. My first of Kietzman's, it delivers an exceptionally entertaining, heart-tugging experience. Think being rich would solve all your problems? Think you'd have nothing to worry about? Think again.Each character had purpose, no space fillers. I couldn't stand Ann. What a viciously shallow twig, was she! And Eileen, the mother and grandmother we all should be blessed with.I can understand how some readers felt the story "fizzled" at the very end but in this case I liked being able to come up with my own version of what happens next.I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

  • Trish
    2019-05-26 12:54

    The Good Life is a poignant and sometimes heartrending novel about the complexities of family relationships. It is a thought-provoking story about finding out what is truly important in life and how we sometimes lose the best parts of ourselves in our attempts to get ahead. Susan Kietzman also provides an in-depth and insightful look into the devastating impact that Parkinson's disease and dementia have on those afflicted with these life-altering diseases and their loved ones. Unfortunately the ending left me wanting more....

  • Natalie
    2019-05-27 11:48

    A really good story on how a person can become so fixated on being thin, rich, attractive, that they easily lose sight of reality. I loved watching the relationship develop between Anne's parents and her children. Anne is a trainwreck of a character but once her guilt about not being there for her parents as they age is revealed, I became more sympathetic to her character. Good suggestion, Carmie!

  • Kara
    2019-05-27 12:58

    It got really preachy. Like women can only be really happy if they stay at home, raise the children and cook hearty meals every night. Ann Barons was a really unlikable character, and she's supposed to be, because she's shallow and obsessed with things outside of her home. If she was a good little wife, she'd be likable.

  • Don Granger
    2019-06-06 13:50

    Money can't bring happiness.Enjoyed this book so much. It was heartwarming to watch a family start to care for one another by watching the grandmother's kindness and unconditional love towards her family. I think that Ann and Michael finally realized what is really important in life.

  • Lori
    2019-06-11 07:14

    I normally close a book when characters start swearing (I don't appreciate it in real life, books or on screen) or there is a descriptive sex scene - I just don't need it spelled out. But the small amount of both in this book was well-placed and did seem to fit in or help the reader understand the characters. I wasn't ready for the book to end, I wanted to know what happened next.