Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new family-centered novel from Tracy McMillan. MULTIPLE LISTINGS is an interesting read with a great heroine who copes with some rather difficult circumstances: money troubles, single motherhood, dysfunctional parents and a flaky boyfriend.
About the book:
What would you do if your ex-con father suddenly came to visit…indefinitely? Family drama ensues when Nicki’s dad unexpectedly moves 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. After a sixty-day stay in a halfway house, 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?
Inspired by the author’s life and 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.
This is a contemporary novel about a family getting a bit of a do-over.
Nicki is a 37 y/o workaholic single mother to Cody, her 16 y/o son. After scraping and clawing her way through life Nicki is the successful owner of an appraisal business. She owns her own house and is the midst of acquiring a restaurant property for her boyfriend, Jake (a man 11 years younger) to manage. Oh, and they are buying a house together.
Nicki has no contact with her estranged, successful mother or her estranged, imprisoned father, Ronnie. Thing is, Ronnie’s just been released, and he’s got to find a job and housing in order to stay out of jail. Ronnie tells part of this story, which for him is one of redemption. He’s a long-time drug dealer, who’s rehabilitated over the course of his latest (and longest) 17-year sentence. He really worked on his spirituality in prison, and he’s dying to reconnect with Nikki and the grandson he’s never met. He had been in and out of prison since Nicki was 5.
Nicki is striving to cope with all of her many stresses-Cody’s problems at school, Ronnie’s reappearance, Jake’s disappearance, the house she doesn’t want to buy but can’t get out of the contract–and things are going south, fast. Ronnie’s desperate to stay out of prison, but he’s already made a mess of things with his parole officer. If Nicki doesn’t take him in, he’s going back to prison. So, she takes him in, and Ronnie and Cody bond. It’s sweet, really. Jake’s a cad, and that sucks. He’s left Nicki hanging–long enough that she learns he’s no good for her. I could see the pieces laid out on the table, and figured how Ronnie would step in to make the fixes that he could with his limited power.
It was a heartwarming read with the usual twists in a ‘something’s gotta give’ way. I liked Nicki. She’s a good lady. In fact, most of the characters are likable despite their faults. The book is an easy read, with little deep soul searching required. The ending is a happy one, with a reunited family that’s far more stable and secure than at the beginning. I enjoyed the trip with these folks who are just dysfunctional enough to make readers appreciate their own healthy relationships.
About the Author:
Born and raised in Minneapolis, Tracy spent years in the foster care system. After graduating from the University of Utah with a broadcast-journalism degree, she spent more than a decade writing and producing television news for outlets such as NBC Nightly News, KNBC-TV, and Access Hollywood. Tracy’s articles and essays have appeared in a number of print publications and websites. She is a regular performer at Sit-n-Spin on the Comedy Central stage in Los Angeles.
She is the mother of a 13 year old boy, and lives in Los Angeles.
Her not-so-secret ambition is to have a talk show.
Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!