Welcome to another edition of our Friday memesBook Beginnings, in which we excerpt opening sentences from our books, is hosted by A Few More Pages; and The Friday 56, that reveals excerpts from p. 56 of our books, is hosted by Freda’s Voice.

Today I’m spotlighting a book from next week’s stack:  an ARC of She Makes it Look Easy, by Marybeth Whalen.

Ariel Baxter has just moved into the neighborhood of her dreams. The chaos of domestic life and the loneliness of motherhood, however, moved with her. Then she meets her neighbor, Justine Miller. Justine ushers Ariel into a world of clutter-free houses, fresh-baked bread, homemade crafts, neighborhood playdates, and organization techniques designed to make marriage better and parenting manageable.
Soon Ariel realizes there is hope for peace, friendship, and clean kitchen counters. But when rumors start to circulate about Justine’s real home life, Ariel must choose whether to believe the best about the friend she admires or consider the possibility that “perfection” isn’t always what it seems to be….
Prologue:  (Ariel) —
I saw her years later in the grocery store near my house.  I had to look twice to be sure it was her.  She has lost weight, a lot of weight.  Her collarbones jutted out from the neckline of her shirt like the framework of a building.
Chapter One: (Ariel) —
I pulled the photo proofs out of the envelope, fanning them out on the granite countertop in my client’s McMansion with a flourish.  I loved how the word client sounded, and I threw it around whenever I could.

From these beginnings, I glimpse something that hints at disillusionment (in the prologue), while in the very beginning, we see a woman poised on the threshold of a hopeful life.


P. 56:

From my vantage point on the deck, I spotted not the dog, but the culprit.  The boys had left the back gate open when they had come in, but I had been too focused on the neighbor’s playset to notice whether or not they closed it.


So what excerpts are you sharing today?  I can’t wait to see!


  1. The cover alone tells one hundred words. Happy Friday

    My book beginning is part of my book review for the wonderful historical novel: Between Shades of Gray.


  2. Hmmm, I’m not sure about this one. The prologue intrigued me right away, but the first chapter beginning wasn’t as gripping.

    Thanks for participating in Book Beginnings!


  3. Hi Laurel-Rain,
    The saying ‘The Grass Is Always Greener On The Other Side Of The Fence’ springs to mind when I read the synopsis and your words from this book.
    We never really know what goes on behind closed doors, do we?
    We can all put on a facade of perfection and normality to the face we show to the world, when the inner reality is so much different.
    It sounds as though Justine has a secret that she wants to keep hidden, I wonder what it can be?


  4. this sounds really good. I’d like to move my house to this town. Maybe after 32 years of marriage my house would be clean all at one time. Actually is clean, it’s just extremely messy.


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