Contemporary Fiction/Family Life
Setting – Oregon
Gallery Books (March 8, 2016)
Hardcover: 336 pages
E-Book ASIN: B00P42WZG6
What would you do if your ex-con father suddenly came to visit…indefinitely? Family drama ensues when Nicki’s dad unexpectedly wants to move in with her, her son, and her boyfriend in this comedic novel from successful TV writer Tracy McMillan.
Nicki Daniels owns a home appraisal business, but real estate is her true passion: she lives for open houses and really knows her way around a floor plan. And especially at this juncture of her life, real estate has come to signify the stability she is trying to build with her teenage son, Cody, and her much younger boyfriend, Jake. She’s finally ready to find the perfect house for the three of them and work on a new business venture with Jake that she thinks will jump-start their lives together.
Meanwhile, Ronnie, a longtime inmate at a nearby correctional facility, is getting some good news for once—there was a mistake in his sentencing, and he’s eligible to get out of prison. Ronnie decides his best option to avoid homelessness is to move in with his estranged daughter: Nicki. Even though they haven’t spoken in years, her door is always open to him, right?
Imbued with wit and profound insight into relationships, Multiple Listings speaks poignantly—and often hilariously—about the ties that bind families of all types together.
I escaped right into this novel.
First we meet Nicki, a real estate appraiser with a 16 year old son, Cody, and a boyfriend, Jake, that is 11 years her junior. Things seem to be on track. They are looking for a new house and are opening a restaurant together.
Then we meet Ronnie, Nicki’s father who has been incarcerated most of her life. He is being released from prison and needs to have a place to live and a job or he will violate his parole and be sent back. He wants to reconnect with his daughter and meet his grandson. He just hopes she will let him live with her.
The chapters alternate narrators between Nicki and Ronnie and I really liked that. Their own point of views to the situations made them easy to identify with. We were able to see each character develop separately and together and their relationship struggle and grow.
I knew very early in the story what the ending would be because the story followed a very natural progression. There were a few surprises along the way, like Ronnie’s parole officer. That woman was in the wrong job and needs some counseling of her own. We also have Peaches, Nicki’s very outspoken best friend. She brings some humor and drama to the story.
When I was asked to review this book I thought it was going to be a light read full of humor. It does have a humorous side but the book has so much more. Nicki’s family was clearly dysfunctional but she turned her life around and is very successful in her own right. Yes, she does have relationship issues with men but she was clearly getting grips on that as the story continued. Her son, Cody, also matured before our eyes as he and Ronnie got to know each other and built their relationship. Ronnie is a very smart man, both from all the books he read in prison and through his life lessons. It was a joy to watch him interact with both Cody and Nicki and become the person he hoped to be with all the bumps along the way.
I loved this story. Definitely one for my keeper shelf. I am a sucker for a book with flawed characters and a happy ending.
About The Author
Tracy is a TV writer, essayist, and memoirist who has written for the acclaimed TV series Mad Men and The United States of Tara. Tracy’s 2011 essay for The Huffington Post, “Why You’re Not Married” went viral when it first published, and it’s now among the most-viewed articles on The Huffington Post ever. Her experience as a relationship-writer has infused her novel with profound insights in complex family dynamics. She also discussed this topic in a TED Talk in 2014. She has appeared as a relationship expert on shows like Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday and The Today Show.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”