The Future She Left Behind by Marin Thomas

The Future She Left Behind

Marin Thomas

A story about a mother/daughter-in-law relationship that offers a poignant exploration of love, forgiveness, and what it means to be family.

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One woman's journey home gets derailed by her soon-to-be ex-mother-in-law in a novel filled with humor, small-town charm, rekindled love, and the resilient ties of family.

Cast aside by her cheating husband, Katelyn Chandler is ready to pack it all in and drive home to Little Springs, Texas. She wants a chance to regroup, reconnect with her mother, and get back to her art. 

But Shirley Pratt—master manipulator, elitist snob, and Katelyn's terror of a live-in monster-in-law—has other ideas. Shirley insists on joining Katelyn's trip after her son tries to pack her off to a retirement community. Katelyn has no choice but to play peacekeeper between the ornery old woman and the proud matrons of Little Springs. Yet the small town seems to be changing Shirley. And as Katelyn weighs the wisdom of picking up where she left off with Jackson Mendoza, the town bad boy and her high school sweetheart, she must find a way to believe in the strength of her dreams.

Advance Galley Reviews

I received an ARC of The Future She Left Behind in August, which was perfect timing as this was a good summer vacation read. Yes it's predictable but sometimes that is okay. I liked the main characters and the story of Katelyn rediscovering herself after her husband left her and her children went away to school was fairly believable. Thanks First to Read for allowing me to read and review this book.

Thank you to First To Read for the Advanced Copy of The Future She Left Behind by Marin Thomas. I really thought I would enjoy a light read for a change of pace. I'm sorry to say I found this book very predictable and lacking on an intriguing plot. I'm sure a lot of readers will enjoy this book but I'm not one of them. All books are not for all people. That's the fun of picking a book.

This was a breezy escapist read, perfect for vacation or a day at the beach. Katelyn lives an ideal life, with her well behaved twins, getting ready to go off to college, a wealthy husband, and all the material comforts she could want. Her greatest struggle is her stubborn, willful, and snobby mother-in-law that has been living in her home for the past three years. However, Katelyn's world drastically changes when she's blindsided by divorce papers, and finds out her husband has been having an affair. So Katelyn heads back to Little Springs, Texas; the same place she was so desperate to escape as a child. She comes face to face with her past, and begins the processing of rediscovering who she is and the dreams she once had. A light, funny and enjoyable novel.

I enjoyed reading this book. Katelyn is suddenly served divorce papers and decides to go back to her childhood home to lick her wounded pride/heart and decide what to do next. While home, she starts to rediscover her relationship with her mother, more along the lines of an adult relationship rather than a parent-child one. The story is one of discovery and growth.

This was a good book! It was a tad bit predictable, but it was still a good read. I liked the characters and was rooting for most of them throughout the book. The small town setting reminded me of the small farm community I grew up in and, like Katelyn, couldn't wait to escape. I felt the ending was left open for the possibility of a sequel, and didn't mind that b/c I would like to see where the characters are down the road. I look forward to reading another book by Marin Thomas!

This was a great book! While it was somewhat predictable it still read well. The characters were well developed, the story line was thoughtful, and it left me wishing there was more! Make sure you leave time in your schedule. You'll want to read the whole thing in a single sitting!

An enjoyable contemporary finding-yourself-post-divorce romance set in small town Texas. After 18 yrs of marriage and two kids, Katelyn's husband Don files for divorce while away on a business trip, puts the house on the market, and throws his mother, Shirley, who lives with them, into a retirement home. Katelyn says, "Screw it, I'm gonna go see my mom." Shirley, pissed at Don too, goes with her. Both women move on after years spent living their lives for other people and start living for themselves. It's a feel-good story that makes for a satisfying summer read. Sometimes the best way forward is to go back to where you started.

I received a free advance copy of this book in return for an unbiased and honest review. I could not put this book down. When I wasn't reading about Katelyn and Little Springs, Texas, I was thinking about them. Marin Thomas has an incredible knack for bringing the scene to life. Her writing is vibrant and fast moving. The plot was extremely well developed and the characters were so refined i could picture them. I even found myself reading in different internal voices depending on the character. This was my first Marin Thomas novel, but it will not be my last.

Many thanks to Penguin Random House for an advance copy of "The Future She Left Behind" by Marin Thomas ~ anticipated release date of September 5, 2017. Katelyn Chandler is blind-sided with divorce papers from her husband who she discovers has been unfaithful several times throughout their marriage. One of the first moves her soon to be ex makes is to sell their palatial home, so Katelyn decides to drive home to Little Springs, Texas to lick her wounds and figure out her next move. Her snooty monster-in-law comes along for the ride to avoid being placed in retirement living by her son. When she left home at 18 for college, Katelyn had left behind her mom Birdie and her boyfriend Jackson Mendoza. She has a distant relationship with her mom (she sends her mom a check for $1000 on birthdays) so staying with her is an opportunity to get to know her mom as an adult and person. I think all of us can relate to not realizing your mom has a life until we mature. And also, as women, to losing yourself as you become a caretaker to a husband, children, mother-in-law or whomever. Katelyn gets the opportunity in Little Springs to rediscover her passion for art and realizing it's never too late to pursue your dreams. She also realizes, and provides counsel to a friend in a similar situation, that money doesn't equal happiness. I loved the well-developed characters in the small town of Little Springs. Sallie's Beauty Shop and the grocery store are great settings. Katelyn's mom Birdie and mother-in-law, Shirley find a unique relationship while love blooms again between Katelyn and Jackson. Definitely predictable but isn't it always easier for an outsider to see what should be? It's fun to discover new authors and I had to look up Thomas's bio to figure out her Missouri connection. I always love a book that takes place in familiar settings so especially loved the references to St. Louis, Kansas City, Stephens College and University of Missouri!

Katelyn Chandler returns home to her hometown of Little Springs, Texas after finding out in one swift, painful moment that her husband wants a divorce and has been cheating on her for years. To make matters worse, her mother-in-law who is not her biggest fan comes along for the ride. As Katelyn returns home she rediscovers her passion and love for art that she had long buried. She also rekindles her relationship with her high school sweetheart she left behind for a bigger life. This is a wonderful story about finding what you left behind and learning what is really important in life. A great cast of supporting characters make this story very much worth the read. Special thanks to Penguin Random House for the opportunity to read a special advance copy.

Prepare to fall in love with this charming story of life, love, and family. The Future She Left Behind is beautifully written and shows us that "life happens". This one holds humor, small town glamour, and self discovery. The Plot: After 19 years of marriage, a set of twins heading off to college, and becoming the "babysitter" to her forgetful mother in law, Katelyn is suddenly faced with a gripping reality. Her husband files for divorce and admits to cheating. So, what's a woman to do when she realizes she no longer knows who she is? She decides to take off to visit her mother in her home town of Little Springs, Texas. There's just one problem. Her mother in law's new apartment is not ready to be moved in to, and her husband is still away on business, so she is forced to bring her mother in law with her. Can Katelyn find herself again in her hometown, stuck with a woman she hates, and faced with a possible reconciliation with her high school sweetheart? The Future She HoldsĀ is such a beautiful story! It is a perfect example of what happens when we become complacent in life and lose ourselves. It shows us that we should never give up on our dreams or settle, and it shows the importance of family and finding one's roots. I feel like the author drew inspiration from Steel Magnolias, Hope Floats, and Legally Blonde. This book is full of life, love, laughter, and strong women. It is a story about learning to open up to those around you, and it is a story of self discovery for several of its characters. Our main character Katelyn is a beautiful, strong woman that finds herself lost to life. After her 19 years of marriage, she has become complacent and unhappy. After she finds out that her husband cheated, filed for divorce, and put their house on the market, she decides to find herself again. It takes her hometown, her mother, her mother in law, and her old flame to prove to her that she was hiding inside the whole time. What emerges from her cocoon of life is a stunning, happy, talented butterfly strong enough to live in the here and now and enjoy her life and family. Katelyn's mother, Birdie, is also a beautiful, strong woman complacent in life, knowing she gave up on her dreams. She is a woman who is used to working for a living to make ends meet. It takes the help of her daughter to realize that she, too, should try to find herself again and revisit the talent she left behind. Birdie becomes more connected to her daughter, her love for music, and her new friendship with Katelyn's soon to be ex-mother in law. Katelyn's mother in law, Shirley, is a misunderstood, ornery, stubborn woman. She starts off being stuck in her ways, snooty, and manipulative. It takes the town of Little Springs, Birdie and her friends, Katelyn, and another lonely soul to help her discover the lonely, fun loving woman dying to come out. And finally, we have Katelyn's old beau, Jackson. Jackson is known for being the town bad boy in his youth. He is coming to terms with the mistakes he has made in life and realizing that he only he is responsible for his past and only he can be responsible for his future. Pretty much every character in this book has a "not so shiny" past and undergoes some sort of self discovery. The story is real, heartfelt, and entertaining. If you are looking for a "feel good" story with well written characters, charming imagery, and beautiful morals, then look no further than The Future She Left Behind. This one gets a 5 star rating from me and I already have plans to buy it for my mother and sister-in-law! Thank you to First to Read to providing me with this free e-ARC in exchange for my honest review.

What a fantastic read! This story is so relatable to so many of us women out there who have lost ourselves in marriage and motherhood. We spend so much time caring for others, that we forget what we wanted out of our own lives. I especially loved the different relationships and how they changed through the course of the book. Especially between Shirley and Katelyn. Highly recommend!

I really enjoyed this book. It was somewhat predictable, but I don't think that's really a bad thing. It's a sweet, light book perfect to take to the beach. The characters are well developed and realistic, and I loved the small town setting. If you're looking for an easy, uplifting read, pick this one up.

A pleasant read filled with small town charm asking whether it is necessary to go back before one can move forward? Is it ever too late to pursue your dreams? When Katelyn is surprised by her husband filing for divorce , she decides to go home for the summer to visit her mother...and take her dependent mother-in-law with her. It is filled with lovely, quirky characters that could be anyone's friends illuminating the importance of family and friendships. It is somewhat predictable but enjoyable nonetheless. I would highly recommend. Thank you to First to Read Program for an advanced reading copy.

What a lovely book! Despite dealing with tough life issues -- divorce and infedility -- the author added enough peripheral characters and situations to lighten it up and be depressing. While an unexpected divorce request lead to Katelyn's, the main character, road trip home, ultimately the book is about finding yourself and trying to achieve your dreams even if you are "old." In addition to a great cast of characters (the mother-in-law is a hoot!) that are nicely developed, the story is relatable to practically everyone over 40 (give of take a few years). I liked that the chapters are fairly short, too. Thank you for the advanced copy!

If you believe dreams cannot be denied, then The Future She Left Behind is the book for you. Marin Thomas has created characters who could be members of your own family. In some ways the book is very predictable but it is definitely worth the read. Thanks to Read It First for the opportunity to preview this book.


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