Review: A better view of Paradise

Thank you Pump up your Book Promotions for sending me a copy of A Better View of Paradise.

A Better View of Paradise is the third novel written by Randy Sue Coburn. She lives along the waterfront in downtown Seattle and relishes morning strolls through the Pike Place Market with Binx, a floppy-eared terrier known by name to many more vendors in the Pike Place Market than his mistress. (source: author website)

As this book opens, Stevie’s life is falling apart. Her latest project as a landscape designer gets a horrible review, she has just broken up with her boyfriend and while at then event in Chicago a strange woman approaches her. That same night her father calls with bad news and Stevie’s life takes a turn. She’s on the next flight home to Hawaii to be with her father.

We follow Stevie’s journey as she puts her life together, builds a strong relationship with her dying father and learns more about Margo (the mysterious woman from Chicago). To avoid sharing too much of the story I will tell you this is what I often refer to as smart chick-lit. If you like Jane Green books, you will also enjoy this one. I would pass this along to a friend looking for a fun heartfelt story.

Type: Fiction, 368 pages, Hardcover

Synopsis:Dramatic, moving, and exquisitely written, A Better View of Paradise explores the tender bond between fathers and daughters, ponders the delicate nature of healing, and celebrates the redemptive power of forgiveness and love.

Thirty-six-year-old Stevie Pollack has come into her own as a celebrated landscape architect. Her designs, famed for their evocative natural beauty, reflect her upbringing amid the splendor of Hawai‘i. But when critics blast her latest efforts and her boyfriend abruptly ends their relationship, Stevie seeks solace in her roots among the dazzling flowers, and comforting traditions of the islands and their calming waters. Still, in the back of her mind, Hawai‘i holds troubling memories of a childhood with Hank, her emotionally distant father, and a reserved British mother.

Despite her irascible father’s presence, the trip home promises Stevie a welcome departure from her trials on the mainland. But the shocking news that Hank is dying forces the pair’s reunion into high gear. As father and daughter attempt to rekindle their bond, Stevie discovers sides of Hank she never knew, including family secrets that have shaped their lives. And what started as a holiday escape for the beleaguered architect becomes a chance for transformation, one as exciting as it is uncertain. Inspired by her father’s insight, and energized by the attentions of an attractive local veterinarian, Stevie learns to surrender her inhibitions and seize the day.


“Coburn’s moving tale reminds us that sometimes we need to jump in and give ourselves over to love when the past has taught that love can be a terrifying thing” – Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain