Tag Archives: “Nice To Come Home To”

NICE TO COME HOME TO by Rebecca Flowers

Flowers Back in May, I went to a book reading by Rebecca Flowers, author of Nice To Come Home To. I blogged about it here. I just finished the book, which is the story of Prudence, a single 36 year-old woman in Washington, DC and her search for love and purpose in her life.

It sounds like the dreaded chick lit, I know – single woman surrounded by quirky friends and family and her quest for husbandcareerkids. But Nice To Come Home To was surprisingly rich and compelling. I love Flowers' writing, her eye for detail, and her descriptions of Pru's emotions. I love the fact that this book was set in D.C., as I could picture where everything was taking place. And most of all, I liked Pru, the heroine. She was totally relatable – I feel like I would have acted exactly like her in the same situations.

A few scenes were especially memorable to me. At one point, Pru ends up going hiking with the man she may or not be falling for, and they end up stranded in the mountains in his broken down van. They are forced to stay overnight in back of the chilly van, and Flowers describes perfectly one of those endless, surreal nights we've all experienced, and the oddly intimate conversations that often ensue.  She also perfectly narrates the cycle of a D.C. snowstorm – the initial excitement and anxiety, the hours of quiet during the snowfall, the novelty and beauty of the urban transformation to white stillness, the cabin fever and the unexpected camaraderie that arises among the snowed-in citizens.

Beyond the writing – I enjoyed the pace and the unexpected twists and turns that kept me turning the pages.

Here is a review of Nice To Come Home To from The Written Word blog, who learned about the book from me. How exciting!

I really liked this book. Entertaining, well-written, satisfying, all with a realistic  heroine. This was Flowers' first book and I am looking forward to more.

NICE TO COME HOME TO by Rebecca Flowers

Last night, I went to a book reading at Politics and Prose by a local author named Rebecca Flowers, who read from her new novel, Nice To Come Home To. The novel is about Prudence, a woman in her 30s living in DC, who loses her job and her boyfriend at the same time. With the support of her gay best friend, her irresponsible sister, and others in her life, Prudence comes to terms with changed expectations and a new definition of family.

Nice To Come Home To may sound like classic chick-lit; in fact, Flowers cites Jennifer Weiner and Helen Fielding as authors she turned to to remind herself of what it felt like to be unrooted and single in one’s 30s. But the portion that Flowers read last night, as well as her own engaging personality, suggest that this book is more than just another light read about the single woman’s quest for a man.  Flowers was great fun to listen to – genuine, funny, honest, and smart – and the portion of the book she shared, which takes place just after Prudence was dumped by the man she thought she was settling for, was both funny and touching.

I thought I’d share some of Flowers’ answers to questions posed by people at the reading last night.

Was the book based on Sense and Sensibility? Yes, she based Nice To Come Home To on one of her favorite, best-known novels. Someone once told her that as a first-time novelist, she shouldn’t try to re-invent the wheel, but should base her first book on a book she already knows.

How did she think of her characters? Flowers said that she is part of every character she writes, that her characters are combinations of people she knows. She said that it is a gift to have people in one’s life to observe, to write about.

How did she get through the difficult period of writing? She “threw money at it”. She got an au pair, so that she could find time to write despite having two small daughters. She said it was helpful to tell people that she was writing a book, so that everyone in her life knew about it. Also, she did two things to keep her going: she copied an “about the author” blurb from the back of a Nick Hornby book but substituted her name instead of his; and she taped next to her monitor a doctored NYT bestseller list with her name at the top.

Prudence is at times prickly and difficult. How did people respond to that? Flowers was surprised by how strongly people reacted to Prudence, including book editors and “smart women” who read the book and found the character to be too harsh. They were resistant to a character who might manipulate a man to get what she wants. Flowers felt very strongly about Prudence and refused to change her personality or water her down.

Any difficulty with the editors? Flowers didn’t choose the title or the cover but she is happy with them. She figures it’s her job to write the book (which is why she fought to keep Prudence as she was written) but the publisher’s job to market and sell it.

Thank you to Rebecca Flowers for sharing your book and your writing process!