The Consultant in Sea Isle City
by L. B. Robbins
PageTurner Press and Media

"I’d always been told by a clever mother to tell men what they want to hear!"

Theresa Willoughby is an IT consultant—a woman in a male-dominated field. Hating New York City, she quits her high-paying job there and moves home to New Jersey both to be near her elderly, ailing parents and to purchase the kind of elegantly restored Victorian home she's always dreamed of. She originally hoped it would be the marital home she would share with her future husband, Stephen. But Stephen's ambitions don't include leaving New York City, and so they part ways. Undeterred and still financially able to do so, Theresa moves into the fixer-upper she impulsively bought at first sight. She'll have to be the one to perform the restoration she envisions, but Theresa doesn't mind. The peace of suburbia suits her. So does her more traditional job as a receptionist at a small-town law firm. But below its placid surface, she soon learns, suburbia harbors familiar big-city evils.

In fewer than fifty pages, this novella captures the tranquil charm of suburban living. The small details of the house's restoration show what a captivating home it once was and has the potential to become again. These details make the house one of the story's characters as much as any who contribute dialogue or action to the narrative. Everyone who enters the house leaves behind something that makes it a more enriching home, whether that be admiration for its existing beauty or renovations that will enhance its appeal for the future. Strong and independent Theresa sees the dissolution of her engagement as a minor change of plans rather than a major upset. Nor does she shun a more traditionally female job as a receptionist. Instead, she views it as an opportunity to get free legal advice. This book will likely appeal especially to those who are reinventing themselves or their living situation following adversity.

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