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Whole Latte Life

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A heartfelt story of secrets and second chances from the New York Times bestselling author of Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans. Sara Beth and Rachel have been wishing on stars for as long as they've been friends. Sara Beth dreams of opening an antique shop in quaint Addison, Connecticut. For Rachel, a little beach cottage will do, where sea breezes and salt water might inspire h A heartfelt story of secrets and second chances from the New York Times bestselling author of Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans. Sara Beth and Rachel have been wishing on stars for as long as they've been friends. Sara Beth dreams of opening an antique shop in quaint Addison, Connecticut. For Rachel, a little beach cottage will do, where sea breezes and salt water might inspire her sketches. Sharing wishes and cups of coffee, they've stitched pieces of their lives together like a soft patchwork quilt of friendship they thought they'd hold close forever. But while celebrating their birthdays one weekend in Manhattan, Sara Beth makes a life-altering decision. Excusing herself to use the Ladies' Room during lunch, she disappears, slipping the waiter a note to pass along, asking Rachel to cover for her. Sara Beth's escape begins a summer of change--of herself, of her marriage, of the lives of those around her back home in Addison. Most unexpectedly, it brings a solitary Mounted Police Officer into Rachel's life, one who gladly shows Rachel that it isn't always stars that deliver our wishes.


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A heartfelt story of secrets and second chances from the New York Times bestselling author of Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans. Sara Beth and Rachel have been wishing on stars for as long as they've been friends. Sara Beth dreams of opening an antique shop in quaint Addison, Connecticut. For Rachel, a little beach cottage will do, where sea breezes and salt water might inspire h A heartfelt story of secrets and second chances from the New York Times bestselling author of Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans. Sara Beth and Rachel have been wishing on stars for as long as they've been friends. Sara Beth dreams of opening an antique shop in quaint Addison, Connecticut. For Rachel, a little beach cottage will do, where sea breezes and salt water might inspire her sketches. Sharing wishes and cups of coffee, they've stitched pieces of their lives together like a soft patchwork quilt of friendship they thought they'd hold close forever. But while celebrating their birthdays one weekend in Manhattan, Sara Beth makes a life-altering decision. Excusing herself to use the Ladies' Room during lunch, she disappears, slipping the waiter a note to pass along, asking Rachel to cover for her. Sara Beth's escape begins a summer of change--of herself, of her marriage, of the lives of those around her back home in Addison. Most unexpectedly, it brings a solitary Mounted Police Officer into Rachel's life, one who gladly shows Rachel that it isn't always stars that deliver our wishes.

30 review for Whole Latte Life

  1. 5 out of 5

    Judy Collins

    Wow. . . I loved everything about Whole Latte Life! This novel is so much more than a romance or beach read --it has depth, meaning, character, charm, and realistic life issues. Joanne DeMaio has a talent for describing every emotion, scent, and feeling of a room or setting, so it draws you into the world of the character. She must be artistic, as being a creative person, we look beyond to grasp each element and feeling. An inspiring read, this novel grabbed me from the front cover to the ending Wow. . . I loved everything about Whole Latte Life! This novel is so much more than a romance or beach read --it has depth, meaning, character, charm, and realistic life issues. Joanne DeMaio has a talent for describing every emotion, scent, and feeling of a room or setting, so it draws you into the world of the character. She must be artistic, as being a creative person, we look beyond to grasp each element and feeling. An inspiring read, this novel grabbed me from the front cover to the ending and was hard to put down. You reflect, think, dream, and wonder as an escape while reading and could imagine almost smelling the salt and sea. The characters were engaging, and so enjoyed the perspectives from each of the four characters. Loved Michael/Rachel and their time in NYC and oh, did I savor the cottage by the sea (as my kind of place) – Michael is a gem with a past and so romantic--Rachel was perfect for him. The relationship between Tom/Sara Beth was amazing, intimate, and so raw and realistic. Rachel and Sara Beth have a dynamic friendship from childhood and the two planned a girl’s weekend in NYC to celebrate their 40th birthday. However, Sara Beth is going through some trying times and the walls are closing in; however, she does not express her feelings to her friend, instead she uses the weekend as her escape to be alone to think and decide her direction and her future. Her mom has recently died, as the two were planning on opening an antique shop. It never happened and then her third child came along. As a lot of mothers with children who have put dreams on hold – she runs from her husband Tom, and thinks of her carefree and free spirited days traveling abroad and an old flame in Italy, while talking with her deceased mother. The worst she leaves her best friend sitting at the restaurant with only a note. She wants balance and clarity and her mind is so crowded with her life she cannot think. Rachel on the other hand wants to help her friend and searches all over Manhattan, and meets a policeman who also changes her life. Her husband died almost two years earlier, with a daughter in college, and dreams of a seaside cottage and painting. Her friendship with Sara Beth is important to her and she is caught between honoring her friend’s request and calling her family. From Manhattan, historic town in Connecticut, to an adorable cottage at Anchor Beach on Long Island, to a mysterious New England carriage house with antiques, Whole Latte Life is about redemption, second chances, forgiveness, taking chances, choices, loss, unconditional love, friendships, secrets, romance, and magic! (makes you want to wish upon a star tonight) Highly recommend, along with Joanne’s newer novels, Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans, Snowflakes and Coffee Cakes, True Blend, and the Denim Blue Sea. All 5 star winners!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    Recently I read a very thought provoking book written by Joanne DeMaio. I assumed it would a lighthearted summer read for my afternoon breaks. I was so pleased to find this story is not just another quick read! The main characters in the book are overtaken with emotional upheaval in their lives. As each faces and confront midlife changes and decisions, they find the consequences of their deeds have a wide ranging repercussion for other family members. Two best friends set out on a planned 40th bi Recently I read a very thought provoking book written by Joanne DeMaio. I assumed it would a lighthearted summer read for my afternoon breaks. I was so pleased to find this story is not just another quick read! The main characters in the book are overtaken with emotional upheaval in their lives. As each faces and confront midlife changes and decisions, they find the consequences of their deeds have a wide ranging repercussion for other family members. Two best friends set out on a planned 40th birthday trip to New York with the highest expectations of fun and adventure during this special week-end. Rachael, a widow and mother to a college age daughter looks so forward to the shopping, coffee shops, and entertainment. Sara Beth, married, mother of three has a change of plans for the weekend, unknown to Rachael. I wont post spoilers, but impulsive actions and following life events bring a domino effect for both the friends which are totally unforeseen. Usually the friends meet for walks each day and end up discussing their busy day at a favorite coffee shop, but something happens to change this comfortable friendship. Rachael's dilemma: What if ...your closest friend went mysteriously missing and you were asked not to intervene? What if ... you felt torn between loyalty to your best friend and the need to help her in the midst of erratic behavior? What if...you found your friend had kept important secrets from you and was acting like a different person? What if...you stumbled upon a new love but would have to move from your comfort zone to accept this gift? Sara Beth’s dilemma: What if...you could change the course of your life for three days? What if...during your grief you could stay in contact with your recently departed mother? What if...you must choose to continue to live a mundane life of service to family and deny the person you really feel you are inside? What if...you have what you want within your grasp and in a few moments it is all taken away? Joanne Demaio has written a wonderful story which leads the characters toward answers as they seek peace and solace in the comfort of time away at an old beach cottage. The book is carefully written about the connections of family, friends, and relationships. Sometimes the best therapy and healing for damaged hearts can be found on the sandy shore with a soft beach breeze to caress your soul.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Valerie Hartman

    "Wishes are a mystery to me. It's like putting your hope out there, opening a part of your heart to the constellations." Friends since childhood, Sara Beth Riley and Rachel DeMartino meet regularly over coffee in their picturesque Connecticut hometown. They plan a Girls Weekend in New York City to spend their fortieth birthdays together. Complete with stops at the Empire State Building, Tiffany's and The Today Show, the four-day celebration promises lasting memories. When Sara Beth walks out of a "Wishes are a mystery to me. It's like putting your hope out there, opening a part of your heart to the constellations." Friends since childhood, Sara Beth Riley and Rachel DeMartino meet regularly over coffee in their picturesque Connecticut hometown. They plan a Girls Weekend in New York City to spend their fortieth birthdays together. Complete with stops at the Empire State Building, Tiffany's and The Today Show, the four-day celebration promises lasting memories. When Sara Beth walks out of a restaurant leaving behind only a note, the perplexed and overwrought Rachel searches Manhattan for her missing friend. Sara Beth seeks a few days of freedom. She tries to cope with an unplanned child, the unexpected death of her mother and the indefinite postponement of her antique shop dreams. Struggling to reclaim her sense of self in a seemingly idyllic life, she runs away. She loses grip on her marriage, her three kids, and her best friend in a desperate attempt to regain balance and clarity. Rachel also hopes the weekend will heal old wounds. The outing replaces the birthday trip her husband planned before his death two years ago. Widowed and her daughter away at college, her friend's desertion leaves Rachel worried, confused and alone. When a mounted officer offers her company in the city, she faces more uncharted territory. Rachel and Sara Beth are highly relatable and complex women facing unforeseen and life-altering challenges. Told from the perspective of four characters, their stories wind through their small town, Manhattan, and a seaside retreat on Long Island. DeMaio's lyrical language, combined with her exploration of the lingering power of our expectations and our choices, create an inspiring novel of love and loyalty--loyalty to mothers, to spouses, to traditions, and to friends. Whole Latte Life is a beautifully articulated story of loss and redemption, lasting connections and unconditional love. Whole Latte Life offers beach lovers, stargazers and girlfriends a warm story to share at a favorite café.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Laurel-Rain

    Rachel and Sara Beth have been best friends forever. Ever since their school days their lives have moved along parallel paths, wishing upon stars and celebrating birthdays together. Like their fortieth birthday, which they're celebrating in Manhattan: staying at The Plaza; planning outings, like breakfast at Tiffany's; climbing to the top of the Empire State Building; and just sharing the moments. But something happens on their first day that changes the course of their lives for months to come. Rachel and Sara Beth have been best friends forever. Ever since their school days their lives have moved along parallel paths, wishing upon stars and celebrating birthdays together. Like their fortieth birthday, which they're celebrating in Manhattan: staying at The Plaza; planning outings, like breakfast at Tiffany's; climbing to the top of the Empire State Building; and just sharing the moments. But something happens on their first day that changes the course of their lives for months to come. While eating lunch, Sara Beth gets up to go to the rest room...and then disappears. Later, the waiter delivers a note asking Rachel to give her time; she needs to get away; please don't call anyone. Frantically the search begins, however, since Rachel cannot just go on without trying to find her. She meets up with a mounted police officer named Michael, who gives her advice and then starts helping her look. Throughout this wonderfully layered story, we can identify with one woman's quest to find herself by pulling and tugging at the threads of the life she's created. She explores the what-ifs, the roads not taken. She tries to deal with the loss of her mother and the loss of a special shared dream. Meanwhile, the frayed connections between the two friends take Rachel along another path. A journey of her own that will lead to unexpected joy. "Whole Latte Life" is a lyrical, poetic foray into finding oneself and renewing old ties. It is a tale of loss, grief, and healing. It is a story that reminds the reader of the importance of family, friendship, and love. Five stars.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mary Gramlich

    We all need to have options Sara Beth and Rachel decide to take on New York to celebrate their 40th birthdays. Fun was expected but no one saw the transformation that would happen coming. Sara Beth is trying to get over her mother’s death and figure out a way to have her dreams fulfilled and still be a wife and mother. Sara Beth wanted to start her antique business but that dream seems to be getting away from her as well. So going to New York opens the door to exploration of the city and the adven We all need to have options Sara Beth and Rachel decide to take on New York to celebrate their 40th birthdays. Fun was expected but no one saw the transformation that would happen coming. Sara Beth is trying to get over her mother’s death and figure out a way to have her dreams fulfilled and still be a wife and mother. Sara Beth wanted to start her antique business but that dream seems to be getting away from her as well. So going to New York opens the door to exploration of the city and the adventure of being the Sara Beth she envisions. Rachel is terrified when Sara Beth takes off during their trip but a police officer she thought was rude turns out to be a salvation. Michael is full of stories and provides a wonderful distraction. When they return home everything is as different as it is the same. Sara Beth faces her demons in the life and loss she is mustering through while Rachel starts to see that she too has to let go of unresolved pain to start again. Hearts will be broken, friendships tested, and relationships strained but sometimes change brings growth which is always a good thing. Joanne Demaio captures with the perfect wording what every woman feels at some point in her life, overwhelmed. It takes one with wonderful life experiences to write something readers can relate to and Ms. DeMaio surely has that gift

  6. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    I'm glad that I got this book for free from the amazon prime lending library because it was really bad. The premise is that two best friends go to NYC to celebrate their 40th birthdays and one of them decides to run away for the weekend because she's having trouble dealing with her mother's death. She comes back and is fine and I thought end of story. Oh no! That was just the first 1/3 of the book! The rest of the book is dealing with the fallout from this horrible act. Huh? Really? Can't we jus I'm glad that I got this book for free from the amazon prime lending library because it was really bad. The premise is that two best friends go to NYC to celebrate their 40th birthdays and one of them decides to run away for the weekend because she's having trouble dealing with her mother's death. She comes back and is fine and I thought end of story. Oh no! That was just the first 1/3 of the book! The rest of the book is dealing with the fallout from this horrible act. Huh? Really? Can't we just forgive and try to help her deal with her problems and move on? But the characters are so wrapped up in themselves, especially Sarah Beth, the one who ran away, that they spend the rest of the book trying to work through this. At one point Rachel, the other friend, even empathizes with her boyfriend getting shot by saying Oh yeah, that's like how I felt when Sarah Beth ran away in NY. I just started laughing it was so ridiculous. The book is predictable and boring, the author breezing over big moments and then spending pages and pages rehashing the same old stuff.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    Wonderful story of women and friendship and the ups and downs of that. It felt very real. I really liked the struggle Michael had and was determined to overcome. Sara-Beth is grieving as well as looking at the next side of forty, Rachel has lost her husband suddenly. A mix that kept me reading. Ultimately a book of hope and warmth.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jena

    There was so much that I loved about this book - the friendship, romance, settings, and bonds between mothers and daughters. The book explores moments that shape the characters, connecting Sara Beth, her Mom, Rachel, Michael. It's those moments that feel so real, that I could relate to. Love this.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Shari

    I enjoyed this book! It was very easy to read and it hooked me from the start. As I continued reading, a lot of the plot started to feel fragmented though. Sara Beth and Rachel were both moving away from one another. Their stories were so different although they were both working towards finding a new version of themselves. My heart really went out to Sara Beth, even though I didn't agree with or fully understand her way of handling the loss of her mother. I could see that she was hurting and re I enjoyed this book! It was very easy to read and it hooked me from the start. As I continued reading, a lot of the plot started to feel fragmented though. Sara Beth and Rachel were both moving away from one another. Their stories were so different although they were both working towards finding a new version of themselves. My heart really went out to Sara Beth, even though I didn't agree with or fully understand her way of handling the loss of her mother. I could see that she was hurting and really needed a break from everything to regroup and discover who she was after suffering a devastating loss. In the beginning, I thought Rachel was being a great friend, enlisting the help of Police Officer, Michael to help search for Sara Beth. However at times, I resented Rachel for falling for Michael to the point where it almost felt like she forgot about Sara Beth some days, even though I know she didn't. She would always bring her up in conversation, keep her alive in her mind and was constantly looking for Sara Beth in crowds and at places the two of them were supposed to visit together in NY. Rachel followed her heart after losing her husband and it turned into something great for her. If I try to put myself into Rachel's position, I would most likely start distancing myself from Sara Beth's disappearance as well. She left Rachel a note stating not to worry and that she'd be back and after days upon days of searching NY for her, Sara Beth finally returned nonchalantly at their hotel room before they journeyed home. After that point their relationship seemed forced and I know I would've started to distance myself from Sara Beth - not only to give her the space that she needed, but also because I would have been very hurt by her actions. Both Sara Beth and Rachel fell into exactly what they needed at the time and I could see subtleties intertwined throughout the book that kept Sara Beth and Rachel together in spirit. I knew the Whole Latte Life coffee shop would bring them back together in some way and the ending made me smile. Overall, I found the book a tad cliche but I did enjoy it and would recommend it as an easy and decent summer read. But I still have one question that will always linger in my mind - did the cat ever make it out of the carriage house???!!?

  10. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    The cover is gorgeous. It was the best thing about this book. I also liked the cafe (Whole Latte Life), but it was a minor part of the story. I did not like the story or the characters. The characters were too selfish. The story wasn't what I was expecting or what I wanted it to be.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Marion Marchetto

    When my friend Mary Ann recommended stories by Joanne DeMaio (who is from Connecticut) I thought I’d give it a try. And I’m happy I did. Whole Latte Life opens with best friends Rachel and Sara Beth celebrating their fortieth birthdays with a girls’ weekend in New York City. While they wait for their lunch Sara Beth excuses herself to use the powder room. Minutes pass and Rachel begins to worry when her friend does not reappear. Concern for her friend’s well being ramps up when the waiter hands h When my friend Mary Ann recommended stories by Joanne DeMaio (who is from Connecticut) I thought I’d give it a try. And I’m happy I did. Whole Latte Life opens with best friends Rachel and Sara Beth celebrating their fortieth birthdays with a girls’ weekend in New York City. While they wait for their lunch Sara Beth excuses herself to use the powder room. Minutes pass and Rachel begins to worry when her friend does not reappear. Concern for her friend’s well being ramps up when the waiter hands her a note from her friend saying, “I really need some time alone…and you’re the only person who will understand and let me do this. Please don’t worry, I’ll be back.” Of course Rachel worries. That’s what life-long best friends do. She sets off in search of Sara Beth but realizes that in a city the size of New York she needs help. She approaches the first policeman she sees, a Mounted Police Officer. His advice is to report her friend missing at the nearest precinct. As Rachel is doing just that the officer, who is now off duty, shows up at the precinct and they begin to talk. He sees Rachel’s anguish and ends up spending most of the weekend with her as she tries to find Sara Beth. Sara Beth has decided to make some personal changes. She is feeling boxed in with her marriage, her children, her life; she craves the person she’d been back in college and feels that her dream of owning an antique shop was lost when her mother passed over a year earlier. Sara Beth misses her mother and their daily talks. There is a hole in her life that no one can fill – not her husband, her children, or even her best friend. In an effort to cling to her mother Sara Beth even leaves voice messages for her and sends her emails. Upon Sara Beth’s return from her journey of self-rediscovery, the estrangement between the friends becomes wider than the Grand Canyon. Will they ever get back the ease and comfort of their friendship? Can Sara Beth mend the rips in her marriage and her family life before its too late? Should she even try? Back home in Connecticut, Rachel moves on in her life all the while regretting the loss of a friendship so deep that the girls thought it would weather any storm. The shoreline town of Addison, with its quaint charm and New England appeal, is small enough that the two still see each other but their pride and guilt keep them apart. Is their friendship worth saving? Rachel seems to think so. Rachel now sees Michael, the Mounted Police Officer, as a real friend – someone who was there for her when her best friend deserted her. It is Michael who makes the move to visit her in Addison where she still lives in the house she once shared with her now deceased husband. The pair decide to take the summer to see if their feelings are real or if they were simply spurred by the act of being thrown together when Sara Beth went rogue. This is a story of friendship, grief, separation, and love. It is also a coming-of-age for the over forty set. The scenes are woven together seamlessly and keep the reader up late into the night waiting to see what will happen next. The answers all await the characters in a beach cottage called Little Gull. I loved the descriptions of the town of Addison as I am a Connecticut girl and have visited many shoreline towns such as the one Author DeMaio describes. As I read along I could almost hear the cry of the gulls and the tang of the salt air along Long Island Sound. This was my first book by Joanne DeMaio but not my last. Treat yourself to a cup of coffee from the coffee shop called Whole Latte Life and pick up this quiet gem.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Phylis Carpenter

    Rachel and Sara Beth are going to celebrate their 40th birthdays by having a weekend getaway. The only problem with the getaway weekend, Sara Beth takes it a little too far and decides to getaway from everything including Rachelle. But she asks Rachel to cover her and not tell her husband. Rachel is worried about her friend even though Sara Beth left her a note telling her not to worry. She finds a police officer sitting on a horse and tells him about Sara Beth. Micheal, the police officer, trie Rachel and Sara Beth are going to celebrate their 40th birthdays by having a weekend getaway. The only problem with the getaway weekend, Sara Beth takes it a little too far and decides to getaway from everything including Rachelle. But she asks Rachel to cover her and not tell her husband. Rachel is worried about her friend even though Sara Beth left her a note telling her not to worry. She finds a police officer sitting on a horse and tells him about Sara Beth. Micheal, the police officer, tries to take Rachel's mind off her friends disappearing and they spend some time together. It is a great book that keeps you wondering what will happen next and now i can honestly say that this is my favorite book by Joanne DeMaio until I read the next one by her. If you haven't read any of her books you really don't know what you are missing they are great. Keeps you interested from beginning to the end.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sheila DeChantal

    Long time friends Sarah Beth and Rachel decide to go into New York to celebrate their fortieth birthdays together, kind of a girls weekend. They had charted out plans of things to see and do together, and over a lunch in a Manhattan restaurant, Sarah Beth takes this opportunity to excuse herself to use the restroom and then... disappears. Well, not exactly disappears as a frantic Rachel soon finds out. She did leave a note: Please don't tell Tom about this. I really need some time alone Rachel to s Long time friends Sarah Beth and Rachel decide to go into New York to celebrate their fortieth birthdays together, kind of a girls weekend. They had charted out plans of things to see and do together, and over a lunch in a Manhattan restaurant, Sarah Beth takes this opportunity to excuse herself to use the restroom and then... disappears. Well, not exactly disappears as a frantic Rachel soon finds out. She did leave a note: Please don't tell Tom about this. I really need some time alone Rachel to sort things out. I am so sorry to do this now on our fortieth birthdays. I know it means a lot to you and I promise you another celebration. We go back a long way and you are the only one who will understand and let me do this. Let me walk away from it all for a little while. It sounds crazy I know. Please give me these couple of days alone to try to figure it out, to figure me out. ~page 5, Whole Latte Life In Whole Latte Life, Sarah Beth takes that step that most of us have day dreamed about, and then push the thought aside as we get ready for our jobs, or cook supper. As a character, I honestly can't say I liked her. Sarah Beth's choices from the very beginning came off to me as selfish, and she never really redeemed herself in my eyes until the very end. I understand in this book she has had a major loss in her life that contributes to much of her "fight or flight", but I am thinking get yourself some help sister... see someone you can talk too. I would also say, as I write this, that Sarah Beth is going through a bit of a mid-life crisis, and maybe saying "a bit" is not strong enough.... I would say it is a big time mid-life crisis. She dwells on the path not taken, she wonders if an old flame may still be out there waiting for her... she has kids and a husband, but she seems to not think of them first, but instead herself. (Which again makes me think get this girl a hotline to some therapy!) Rachel on the other hand, I liked. Widowed with a daughter, she is a good and patient friend to Sarah Beth, at least as much as she could be. Her story line I found carried the book, even though the synopsis on the back of the book is all about Sarah Beth and Rachel's name is not even mentioned. My final thoughts: What I had hoped to get out of this book was a story of strong female friendship against all odds. In a way that happened, but much differently than I thought. I feel Rachel takes the leading role here not only as a true friend but as the story line I was most interested in. I felt Sarah Beth got away with way too much for her family to endure as they did... and maybe that is just me being me. The book is well written, and my ability to like or not like a character - is most likely, my issue. I recommend this book to anyone who ever felt their life was crumbling around them and survived through a supportive family or a great friend.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Laura Kay Bolin

    http://anovelreview.blogspot.com/2012... Sarah Beth and Rachel, best friends since 8th grade, are in New York City to celebrate their 40th birthdays. Sitting at the restaurant table waiting to start lunch, Rachel is handed a note by the waiter. The note changes everything. Sarah Beth had simply disappeared. Rachel begins to search the city for her dear friend wanting to desperately to help her, while Sarah Beth was reaching out to her mother who’d passed away. When Sarah Beth reenters the land of http://anovelreview.blogspot.com/2012... Sarah Beth and Rachel, best friends since 8th grade, are in New York City to celebrate their 40th birthdays. Sitting at the restaurant table waiting to start lunch, Rachel is handed a note by the waiter. The note changes everything. Sarah Beth had simply disappeared. Rachel begins to search the city for her dear friend wanting to desperately to help her, while Sarah Beth was reaching out to her mother who’d passed away. When Sarah Beth reenters the land of the living, she seems almost shocked that her disappearance had upset and confused those around her. She just wanted to rethink her life, maybe reinvent herself. Instead she has disturbed her children’s lives, shaken her marriage and violated her friendship. Once home, she seems to continue her downward spiral by calling an old boyfriend and hiding things from her husband. While Sarah went looking for something new, Rachel found it. Rachel, a widow, finds a new man who came riding his horse right into her life. He is instrumental in helping Rachel see Sarah Beth’s side of things. Even though he and Rachel seem great together, there are so many obstacles in their way. I’m trying really hard not to give too much of the story away, which is always hard when you want to sit with a couple of girlfriends and talk about the great book you just read! I think what I loved most about Whole Latte Life it could have gone in so many different directions. The characters were all imperfect. I never really connected to Sarah Beth. I would have guessed I would relate to her since I lost my own mother, married with kids (and large age gaps). I suppose had I lost my mom suddenly I would have had a really tough coping with the suddenness of it. I just didn’t understand the whole not opening up to her husband or to her best friend. I suppose both Rachel and Sarah Beth's husband Tom were dealing with other things in their lives. Now the romance between Michael and Rachel, this was the story I was most interested in. I was surprised by Michael’s past. I really thought there story was just really sweet and seemed so natural. I was surprised there wasn't more discussion about Rachel being a widow. I felt like she would have brought it up with both Michael and Sarah Beth because she also clearly understood how life can change fast and without warning. I would have also thought she would have had issues to deal with since this was her first relationship since her husband's death. I know I just pointed out some negatives, but I think it’s because I felt really invested in this story (which I think is a really good thing). I would definitely recommend Whole Latte Life by Joanne Demaio, especially for a book club—lots to talk about!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Patty

    Whole Lotta Life By  Joanne DeMaio A brief summary... Rachel and Sara Beth have a long standing tradition of going to NYC for their birthdays.  Sara Beth leaves Rachel a short mysterious message and abruptly disappears. My thoughts about this book... This was an interesting book to read because it took a different path than the one I anticipated it to take.  Both women were amazing friends and both women were suffering from the loss of a loved one.  Sara Beth seemed to need to toss her life away while Whole Lotta Life By  Joanne DeMaio A brief summary... Rachel and Sara Beth have a long standing tradition of going to NYC for their birthdays.  Sara Beth leaves Rachel a short mysterious message and abruptly disappears. My thoughts about this book... This was an interesting book to read because it took a different path than the one I anticipated it to take.  Both women were amazing friends and both women were suffering from the loss of a loved one.  Sara Beth seemed to need to toss her life away while Rachel began to rebuild hers. I think as I got into this book I developed a faint dislike for Sara Beth...she was the one who wanted and needed her life to change.  She abandoned her friend in NYC.  She didn't want to tell her husband where she was...she changed her hair, got some piercings...she even tossed her rings into the Hudson!!!  It just seemed as though she was behaving so immaturely.  Then we realize that she is still reeling over her  mother's death...and her actions seem to then make a bit more sense.  I still didn't love her. Rachel, on the other hand, seemed to be more justified in her actions.  She is a child of divorce, her husband died but she still manages to keep her life together as well as trying to find Sara Beth and keep her life together, too. I tried to imagine how I would feel if my BFF dumped me in NYC...I probably would be a bit more angry and not as gracious as Rachel was. Things don't get much better when the women return home.  Rachel has one delightful reason to keep going back to NYC while Sara Beth still seems lost.  Without sharing the rest of the story...just know that it is one of growth and discovery.  It was a sweet and lovely telling of how two friends help each other and find their friendship again.  Food and wine and coffee as well as a beach house and a carriage house help them both but in different ways. It's a kind of heartwarming, peaceful and relaxing book.  It felt real. I thoroughly loved reading it.  I even grew to like Sara Beth...a little.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Vicki

    This is a story of two friends. Rachel is a widow and Sara Beth is married with kids, and she recently lost her mother. To celebrate their 40th birthdays, they plan a weekend trip to New York. Sitting in a restaurant, Sara Beth excuses herself to take a potty break. Rachel gets worried after Sara Beth doesn’t return to the table and goes looking for her. She can’t find her, but a waiter hands her a note from Sara Beth. The note says she needs to take a few days alone so she can decide what she w This is a story of two friends. Rachel is a widow and Sara Beth is married with kids, and she recently lost her mother. To celebrate their 40th birthdays, they plan a weekend trip to New York. Sitting in a restaurant, Sara Beth excuses herself to take a potty break. Rachel gets worried after Sara Beth doesn’t return to the table and goes looking for her. She can’t find her, but a waiter hands her a note from Sara Beth. The note says she needs to take a few days alone so she can decide what she wants, she’s unhappy with her life and wants to make some changes. In searching for Sara Beth, Rachel meets a NYC police man, on horseback no less, and they start a relationship. Finally Sara Beth shows back up at the hotel where she and Rachel are staying, but she still isn’t sure what she wants to do. They go back home to Conneticut, but their friendship suffered from what happened and will never be the same. I loved Rachel. Without spoilers, she was true to herself, was kind, loving and thankful for what and who she had in her life. The friendship between the two seemed to be more important to her than it was to Sara Beth. As far as Sara Beth, I didn’t like her much. She seemed lost without her mother, but who wouldn’t feel that way. The thing is, I just couldn’t understand why she would walk away from her husband and children, even if just for a few days, because of it. And what was up with her past. The past is the past for a reason. Because it didn’t work out. What she should have done was gotten some help, not walk out on her life. It seemed at times she was a little off her rocker and big time selfish. The way she treats her family and lifetime friend Rachel was not good, to say the least. All that being said, I really enjoyed this book. It had so many elements that kept me turning page after page. Even though I didn’t like Sara Beth much, I loved that she was written the way she was. Sometimes it’s good to have a character like that. It gives another element to the book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mason

    There aren’t many among us who hasn’t wondered ‘what if’ about one situation or another at least one time in our life. If given the chance to go a different road, would it make life better or worse? How would the change affect family and friends? Author Joanne DeMaio expands on this concept to create an inspiring tale of friendship, love, family, loyalty and hope in WHOLE LATTE LIFE. DeMaio pulls the reader in quickly on the first page and holds them spellbound till the end. The story moves at a s There aren’t many among us who hasn’t wondered ‘what if’ about one situation or another at least one time in our life. If given the chance to go a different road, would it make life better or worse? How would the change affect family and friends? Author Joanne DeMaio expands on this concept to create an inspiring tale of friendship, love, family, loyalty and hope in WHOLE LATTE LIFE. DeMaio pulls the reader in quickly on the first page and holds them spellbound till the end. The story moves at a steady pace with plausible, well-developed characters. Rachel DeMartino and Sara Beth Riley have been friends since childhood sharing each other’s ups and downs throughout the years. To celebrate their 40th birthday, the two plan a Girls Weekend in New York City. When Sara Beth disappears before their first meal arrives, Rachel doesn’t know what to think or do. The note Sara Beth leaves for Rachel doesn’t answer any questions, only creates more. Sara Beth has recently lost her mother, has put a new business venture on hold, and appears to be losing her grasp on her marriage. As pressures of life mount, Sara Beth begins to wonder ’what if’ her life had taken a different route. She has to have some times to herself to ‘find herself’ even if it leads to her friendship ending. Rachel is dealing with her own grief over the death of her husband several years earlier. In addition, her daughter is away at college and she is alone. She also wonders ‘what if’. DeMaio weaves the lives of the two friends into an intriguing story of longing, new beginnings, and the road not taken. WHOLE LATTE LIFE is a delightful story to be shared with friends and will have readers reconsidering their own ‘what ifs.’ Author Joanne Demaio’s website is www.joannedemaio.com Whole Latte Life by Joanne Demaio, CreateSpace, @2012, ISBN: 978-1619149663, Kindle Edition, 519 KB (325 Pages) FTC Full Disclosure - A copy of this eBook was sent to me by the author in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    LORI (Dollycas) CASWELL

    Would you leave everything behind to know who you are? That’s exactly what Sara Beth Riley does, she leaves her friend alone in New York while she goes off to find herself. Her best friend Rachel plans a Girl’s Weekend to celebrate their 40th birthdays and Sara Beth is there one minute and gone the next. Sara Beth’s journey to find who she really is or change into the person she thinks she needs to be leaves a lot of collateral damage touching both her best friend and her own family. It sets off Would you leave everything behind to know who you are? That’s exactly what Sara Beth Riley does, she leaves her friend alone in New York while she goes off to find herself. Her best friend Rachel plans a Girl’s Weekend to celebrate their 40th birthdays and Sara Beth is there one minute and gone the next. Sara Beth’s journey to find who she really is or change into the person she thinks she needs to be leaves a lot of collateral damage touching both her best friend and her own family. It sets off a summer from Manhattan to a cottage by the sea, a carriage house to a dream house. How much will her decision cost Sara Beth? Her best friend, her husband, her dreams….plus can she come to grips with what is already gone? Dollycas’s Thoughts This story took this reader on quite an emotional roller coaster and I have to be very careful with this review not to give the story away. I went from thinking Sara Beth was quite selfish to come to a bit of an understanding of what she was going through. I felt so sorry for Rachel being left in New York wondering if her friend was dead or alive. I wanted to strangle Sara Beth for putting her through that. But Rachel meets someone wonderful as she is surviving the mess Sara Beth made and turns lemons into lemonade. It is extremely easy to identify with both Sara Beth and Rachel. They are both complex characters dealing with monumental issues, each handling them very differently. Sara Beth’s way was much more extreme, wavering between mid-life crisis and scary mental breakdown. The story was a true test of love for both characters, the choice to move on or run away. Self love, mother’s love, second chance at love, true love. The bonds made with best friends, spouses, our children, our family, the bonds that bend but don’t break. DeMaio has written a truly endearing story that will leave us all star gazing and wanting to be kissed in the moonlight!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Beth Peninger

    Okay I confess, I first looked at this book because of the cover. It has a coffee cup! Of course it caught my eye! And in the case of books I actually hold to the theory that you should judge a book by its cover. All that said,I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. The writing was good but wasn't super spectacular, it was the the story line that drew me in. Sara Beth's "mid-life crisis" was relate-able to me. After losing her mother unexpectedly and a late life pregnancy sur Okay I confess, I first looked at this book because of the cover. It has a coffee cup! Of course it caught my eye! And in the case of books I actually hold to the theory that you should judge a book by its cover. All that said,I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. The writing was good but wasn't super spectacular, it was the the story line that drew me in. Sara Beth's "mid-life crisis" was relate-able to me. After losing her mother unexpectedly and a late life pregnancy surprises her she feels a little lost. Those things I can't relate to but I can relate to feeling a little lost in my life and finally coming to a place where things need to change or else an implosion is going to happen. Sara Beth probably didn't go about her "crisis" the right way but that's not surprising. When we've finally had enough we end up not thinking too clearly and just reacting to that lost feeling. When she does resurface she has some fence mending to do with her husband and best friend. I think that DeMaio probably accurately portrayed Tom (husband) and Rachel's (best friend) reactions to Sara Beth's disappearance correctly but I struggled with their lack of understanding toward Sara Beth. I felt like they made it a very selfish thing, as if Sara Beth set out to hurt them purposely. That frustrated me but perhaps that's only because I could relate to that kind of response as well (not from husband and best friend though, thank goodness!). But understanding eventually comes as you always hope it will. DeMaio's first novel is a good, solid story about a woman who has turned 40 and experienced loss and surprise and doesn't know what to do with her life. She explores the transformation we go through as we age and experience life. If we don't transform then something is wrong, we should all be changing as we grow older. I really enjoyed this book!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    Whole Latte Life is the first book I have read by Joanne DeMaio. I was very excited when I received the book in the mail because it really is a beautiful book. The cover is gorgeous, and the inside is just as pretty.....don't judge a book by its cover though. At first, I could not relate to the characters, and the plot was just plain boring. (view spoiler)[In fact, I thought Sara Beth was completely selfish leaving her life while on vacation while celebrating their 40th birthdays with her friend Whole Latte Life is the first book I have read by Joanne DeMaio. I was very excited when I received the book in the mail because it really is a beautiful book. The cover is gorgeous, and the inside is just as pretty.....don't judge a book by its cover though. At first, I could not relate to the characters, and the plot was just plain boring. (view spoiler)[In fact, I thought Sara Beth was completely selfish leaving her life while on vacation while celebrating their 40th birthdays with her friend, Rachel. I can understand what Sara Beth was thinking, but she knew that Rachel had planned a 40th celebration with her husband who had passed away a couple years ago. I found that Sara Beth's actions angered me because not only did she disregard her friend's situation, she also worried her children. As I read the book further, my anger toward Sara Beth lessened. She really was hanging on by a thread. I did enjoy the end, and it made me think of It's a Wonderful Life. My favorite character is Michael. I did enjoy the story of Rachel and Michael. (hide spoiler)] I still could not relate to any of the characters, but the story did get better. I probably would not be interested in reading a book by this author. My rating is 2.5 stars rounded to 3. I did enjoy the several of the quotes from painters. "One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of one's self." da Vinci “Color is my daylong obsession, joy, and torment.” Monet “Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.” Picasso In addition, I liked this exert: "Intentions don't die with the body, They are of the spirit." This was an interesting thought.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Julie Barrett

    Whole Latte Life by Joanne DeMaio This story is about 2 women who are friends and in the present day they agree to spend a few days in NY. After shopping and a lunch Sara Beth leaves a note and takes off. Rachel is handed the note and does as she's asked, not to alert anyone but she needs a few days to find herself. They've just turned 40 and Sara Beth has recently lost her mother and is at wits end what to do with her life and remembers the past, romances and life choices. Rachel has lost her husb Whole Latte Life by Joanne DeMaio This story is about 2 women who are friends and in the present day they agree to spend a few days in NY. After shopping and a lunch Sara Beth leaves a note and takes off. Rachel is handed the note and does as she's asked, not to alert anyone but she needs a few days to find herself. They've just turned 40 and Sara Beth has recently lost her mother and is at wits end what to do with her life and remembers the past, romances and life choices. Rachel has lost her husband and has a college daughter and while in the city finds a new man in her life. He is so passionate to her, the places he takes her as he introduces her to his life. As we go back in time to discover their secrets we are also brought into the present where things do work out as they each take on new things. Love volunteer work with the flowers and the carriage house and especially the summer cottages with the names and what they symbolize in the story. 'mystical healing power of the salt air' love this phrase. Not sure which of the woman's' life's I like best. They both do their own thing and it's the journey and process that leads them where they end up, loved the journey.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    ”Whole Latte Life” is the story of Rachel and Sara Beth, best friend since forever who will have to rebuild their friendship after Sara Beth walks out of a restaurant (and her life) disappearing without a word during their 40th birthday weekend celebration in New York. In the months following the birthday fiasco, Rachel and Sara Beth will go their separate ways in order to find themselves – Sara Beth in her antiquing, Rachel in a beach cottage alongside Michael – only to reconcile over several c ”Whole Latte Life” is the story of Rachel and Sara Beth, best friend since forever who will have to rebuild their friendship after Sara Beth walks out of a restaurant (and her life) disappearing without a word during their 40th birthday weekend celebration in New York. In the months following the birthday fiasco, Rachel and Sara Beth will go their separate ways in order to find themselves – Sara Beth in her antiquing, Rachel in a beach cottage alongside Michael – only to reconcile over several cups of coffee, a weekend by the sea, and a shared painting. This book is a testament of what true friendships are about. The reader will find the most beautiful lessons on love and life, on what’s really important and what shouldn’t be taken for granted.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    It took me three tries to get through this book. I felt very detached through the entire thing - not sure if this was because of the third-person voice, the writing style, or if it just wasn't my sort of story. The characters were all very selfish and a bit whiny. Tom is the only one I noticed that was actually trying to help the situation and doing the best he could with what was going on. All the others were more worried about how THEY were being affected. I wanted to like this book, which is It took me three tries to get through this book. I felt very detached through the entire thing - not sure if this was because of the third-person voice, the writing style, or if it just wasn't my sort of story. The characters were all very selfish and a bit whiny. Tom is the only one I noticed that was actually trying to help the situation and doing the best he could with what was going on. All the others were more worried about how THEY were being affected. I wanted to like this book, which is why I kept coming back to it when I just wanted to toss it into the trade pile. Who hasn't had a moment or two where she thought she'd go crazy if she stayed in the situation as it currently is? Who hasn't hit forty and gotten a little scared or nostalgic? I'm just glad they don't all react like these people. I even understood the depression angle and it still didn't make me form any kind of sympathy for Sara Beth.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    This was an okay book for a plane trip (it helped pass the time). I did not like the character of SaraBeth. Sometimes you need to take care of yourself, but I never really saw anything other than a selfish side. Also, the Rachel romance was just plain cheesy to me. The author should have spent more time focusing on the friendship between the women. Finally, and this is silly but, the women are supposed to always be drinking coffee - yet there are times they drink instant coffee! A coffee "snob" This was an okay book for a plane trip (it helped pass the time). I did not like the character of SaraBeth. Sometimes you need to take care of yourself, but I never really saw anything other than a selfish side. Also, the Rachel romance was just plain cheesy to me. The author should have spent more time focusing on the friendship between the women. Finally, and this is silly but, the women are supposed to always be drinking coffee - yet there are times they drink instant coffee! A coffee "snob" would never Do that!!!!!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Rogers

    To be perfectly honest, I didn't get past Chapter 1. I've been looking forward to trying this author but the voice of the 1st chapter was so annoying to me that I couldn't get into the story. Please, authors, if you are going to use present tense, make darn sure you know how to do it well. Not that I would be able to but if it's not done flawlessly, it distracts from the story. For me it was like nails on a chalkboard. Sorry.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jennie Veazey

    Beautiful story! I loved the deep friendship between Sara Beth and Rachel. They know a d love each other so much. You can get lost in the scenery as the story weaves together. I loved this book and highly recommend it!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Carol Sama

    Disappointing read. I'm astounded anyone could give five stars, which I reserve for the very best of books. The book revolves around Sara Beth's midlife crisis and how she uses a girls' weekend in New York City to disappear for a couple days, dragging her best friend, Rachel, into a test of loyalty amid profound worry for her friend's physical and mental safety. Rachel tries to accommodate her friend's wishes, but frankly, Sara Beth could have just been honest with, I don't know, her friend, her Disappointing read. I'm astounded anyone could give five stars, which I reserve for the very best of books. The book revolves around Sara Beth's midlife crisis and how she uses a girls' weekend in New York City to disappear for a couple days, dragging her best friend, Rachel, into a test of loyalty amid profound worry for her friend's physical and mental safety. Rachel tries to accommodate her friend's wishes, but frankly, Sara Beth could have just been honest with, I don't know, her friend, her husband, her sister and not have created all the mayhem from her disappearance. I found the part about emailing her dead mother so ridiculous. But reeling from the grief, set in motion again after receiving a posthumous birthday gift from her mother has propelled Sara Beth on a lonely reexamination of her life. She's a sad character. And she does a lot of things she will regret. Rachel, a widow by age forty, is a better storyline as the best friend trying to help, yet deeply hurt by the abandonment in NYC. Rachel enlists the aid of a cop in her desperate search for Sara Beth. They become involved and this is the lighter and more satisfying part of the story. Rachel endures the husband's rage and subsequent estrangement from Sara Beth. Also, Rachel gets kudos for simply walking away from Sara Beth when she tells Rachel to "Get out!" of her carriage house. I imagined how such a thing would affect me, coming from a close friend. So painful and so unnecessary. The writing felt disjointed in several places when describing Sara Beth's stream of consciousness and I didn't like it all. Example: Peeling paint from the flower boxes contrasting with the red geraniums and snow white petunias; lattice porch windows open to the sea; jars of seagrass sitting amidst an array of conch shells and painted seagulls mounted on driftwood; hurricane lanterns. So what is the human expression in this beach architecture? What function does the three-dimensional delineation serve? Blah, blah. Not a fan. There are better books.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Elyse Mcnulty

    Great end of summer book after read the entire Seaside Saga at Stony Point. This is a story with different characters in a different part of Connecticut and on a Long Island Beach. Sara and Rachel are in NY to celebrate their 40th birthdays. Sara goes to the Ladies room, while they are at Lunch, and disappears only leaving a note that she needs time. Rachel is desperate to find her and meets a mounted Police Officer, Mike. In an attempt to find Sara. Why Sara runs away, how Rachel’s life is chang Great end of summer book after read the entire Seaside Saga at Stony Point. This is a story with different characters in a different part of Connecticut and on a Long Island Beach. Sara and Rachel are in NY to celebrate their 40th birthdays. Sara goes to the Ladies room, while they are at Lunch, and disappears only leaving a note that she needs time. Rachel is desperate to find her and meets a mounted Police Officer, Mike. In an attempt to find Sara. Why Sara runs away, how Rachel’s life is changed and hr relationship with Mike grows is the fun story that unfolds. My favorite is the time spent on the beach and the peace found in wonderful beach cottages. Enjoy another wonder Joanne DeMaio adventure. True Blend is next before moving on to the winter stories.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Paulette

    What if? Did you ever wonder what if? Whole Latte Life explores the longing and hurt if things would have been different. And also the testing of friendship, healing and love. This is the story of Sara Beth and Rachel and how Sara Beth in an act of selfishness puts a strain upon their relationship. But that act also brings changes for Rachel. Sara Beth keeps looking back wondering what if? And Rachel is starting to look forward to her what if. This is another warm, wonderful book by Joanne DeMai What if? Did you ever wonder what if? Whole Latte Life explores the longing and hurt if things would have been different. And also the testing of friendship, healing and love. This is the story of Sara Beth and Rachel and how Sara Beth in an act of selfishness puts a strain upon their relationship. But that act also brings changes for Rachel. Sara Beth keeps looking back wondering what if? And Rachel is starting to look forward to her what if. This is another warm, wonderful book by Joanne DeMaio of two friends who find each other again and realize they never really lost each other. I was given a free copy of this book for my review.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Joanne

    This book was recommended by a friend as a beach read, which usually means kind of light, a fast read, not a lot of thinking involved, breezy. I enjoyed this book and part of it takes place on a beach, so there's that. But it wasn't a fast read or especially light. One of two best friends is depressed and struggling with grief. She's also having a mid-life (4oth birthday?) crisis, that causes her to walk away from her family for a weekend. I found that idea hard to relate to and implausible. But This book was recommended by a friend as a beach read, which usually means kind of light, a fast read, not a lot of thinking involved, breezy. I enjoyed this book and part of it takes place on a beach, so there's that. But it wasn't a fast read or especially light. One of two best friends is depressed and struggling with grief. She's also having a mid-life (4oth birthday?) crisis, that causes her to walk away from her family for a weekend. I found that idea hard to relate to and implausible. But I admired her friend who was determined to help her. The book was worth reading all the way to the end. I can only give it about 3.5-4 stars, but do recommend it.

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