What Matters Most by Bette Lee Crosby

July 16th, 2013 kimbacaffeinate Review 211 Comments

16th Jul
What Matters Most by Bette Lee Crosby
What Matters Most
by Bette Lee Crosby
Genres: Women's fiction
Source: Author
Purchase: Amazon
Goodreads
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Louise Palmer is a settled-down person. A woman who wants nothing more than to remain in the same house until the day she dies. When her husband, Clay, announces an intention to quit his job and move to Florida, her life is thrown into a turmoil of mixed emotions and strained loyalties. Torn between Clay’s desire for “the good life” and the lifelong friendships of her quilting club, Louise struggles with what to do…until her best friend hatches a scheme to thwart the move. Before she discovers the truth of what matters most, a marriage will be tested, family relationships will fall apart and the friendships Louise tried to hold onto will change dramatically

I have read and enjoyed a few of Bette Lee Crosby’s books and was delighted at the chance to read What Matters Most. Crosby brings her characters to life and shares with us friendship, change, growth and most of all “what matters most.” Three word review: touching, realistic, inspirational.

Louise Palmer has mapped out her life since she was a child and if you asked her she could tell you exactly what she would be doing twenty years from now but all that changes when her husband Clay decides to take early retirement and sell their family home to move to Florida. Overwhelmed with the thought of leaving her friends and children she and her best friend devise a scheme to stop the move. The tale that unfolds was realistic, and inspirational with fleshed out characters I came to adore.

One of Crosby’s gifts is creating realistic characters that are flawed and then she allows them to grow throughout the novel. Louise Palmer could be me, she could be my next door neighbor and we all know a person just like her best friend Billie. Louise seems well rounded and adjusted in the beginning of the tale but as Crosby peels back her layers we begin to understand her actions and see her weaknesses. I imagine each of us can identify with her, as we often label our success as woman, wives, and members of our community by some of the things Louise did. I loved the transformation she undergoes and found her to be both likeable and genuine. Clay is a solid guy and a wonderful provider. He isn’t as sensitive as I would have liked or as physical but I imagine he is typical of a lot of spouses. *Clueless!* Secondary characters were an absolute hoot and added to Louise’s tale and I giggled quite often. Louise’s complaining, judgmental Aunt was hilarious and we all have one in our family. Lord, the things that came out of her mouth. The lovely old woman at K-mart was inspirational and one you just wanted to hug. Cherry is a woman I know you all have met, from the way she talks to how she dresses. She was delightful, over the top and had me laughing and cringing.

What Matters Most touches on so many subjects we as individuals face throughout our lives and of lessons learned. Some of us learn them early and some never do. What I love about Crosby is that she places her characters in realistic situations. I have moved six times in my marriage and the last has taken us the furthest from family and friends and Louise’s experiences hit home a few times. From the trip to their new home there were humorous and ridiculous moments as Louise tries to cope and I slipped right into the tale as her troubles became mine. The tale flowed beautifully with moments of panic, humor, fear and inspiration. I fell in love with her quirky, realistic characters and enjoyed the ride. While it offers up lessons it also had it’s fair share of humor and I giggled my way though this. I closed this book with a smile as I said good-bye to my new friends.

Fans of realistic characters, real life situations and humor will enjoy What Matters Most and it’s inspiring message. Betty Lee Crosby is the author of Spare Change, The Twelfth Child, Cupid’s Christmas and Cracks in the Sidewalk.

Copyright (c) 2011-2013 Caffeinated Book Reviewer

About Bette Lee Crosby

It is the wit and wisdom of that Southern Mama Crosby brings to her works of fiction; the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away. Her work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. She has since gone on to win twenty awards for her work; these include: The Royal Palm Literary Award, the FPA President’s Book Award Gold Medal, Reader’s Favorite Award Gold Medal, and the Reviewer’s Choice Award.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She's a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat... Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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211 Responses to “What Matters Most by Bette Lee Crosby”

  1. laura thomas

    I’ve read all of Bette’s books and her characters and situations are so genuine and touch my heart. I am mostly a horror reader, but I do love charcter driven stories of all genre.

  2. kimbacaffeinate

    thanks Tanja, while this might not be the book for you, I encourage you to try different genres in all the age groups. I use to loathe contemporaries. Seriously! and now I love them..LOL

  3. kimbacaffeinate

    thanks Kristen, woman’s fiction covers an array of topics and they tend to be realistic,and sometimes thought provoking..they can be funny, sad, etc

  4. kimbacaffeinate

    I think if the characters are fleshed out you can find something in them to connect with..I am forty *cough* something and read YA, NA and adult..and can usually find something.

  5. Trish Hannon

    Sounds lovely, sometimes a great women’s fiction is a nice change of pace from YA, NA, thriller, dystopia, etc. It can be so easy to connect with the characters. A new author for me but one I’d love to try someday,

  6. Debbie Haupt

    Thanks Kim I’m always looking for good women’s fiction

  7. Heidi

    Moving is the worst. I think we can all relate to that. I agree Bette’s characters are realistic and relatable for sure. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Melissa (Books and Things)

    I love a book that you just identify with! Oh and poor clueless Clay. LOL This does sound like a fun one to just enjoy.

  9. candacerobinson

    This sounds pretty great. I don’t much (any?) books with older people (like my own age or older) but this sounds like one I could connect with too.

  10. Andrea

    This author is new to me, and it’s easy to see why you enjoy her books. You were clearly pulled so completely into the story, and that is great.
    Thanks for the recommendation!

    Andrea recently posted:
  11. Jenea Whittington

    The author is new to me. It’s funny how we plan our lives out as we are growing up, only for them to change. This sounds like a good read. Wonderful review.

  12. Kristin Clifton

    I always wondered what readers considered as “women’s fiction” and now I totally know!!! I usually steer clear of realistic fiction but I can totally see how this one really got ya (and pulls other readers in). Everyone can surely relate to this hubby and the wife’s plans to derail him. Humor is always good 🙂

  13. Jenny

    I love when I find books that really resonate with me, and depict situations I’ve gone through or experiences I’ve had, it just makes me want to hug the book close to my chest and never leg go. So glad this book was that in part for you since you’ve had to move away from friends and family Kimba! Beautiful review as always:)

    Jenny recently posted:
  14. kindlemom1

    This sounds like a great realistic read! I don’t think I have heard of this author before so I am glad you brought her to my attention. I like reads like this one every now and then.

  15. Tanja

    I haven’t heard of this author before but well I don’t like woman’s fiction so it’s logical. I’m more of YA reader and I never enjoy these kind of books. I’m glad you enjoyed it though. Great review 🙂

  16. GRgenius

    Wow, sounds great. Definitely makes my upcoming read of it much more anticipated. Thanks for the share!

  17. Beckie

    Thank you Kimberly for hosting such a fun event. 🙂 I had a lot of fun.

  18. artsy musings

    Can you believe that I haven;t even read a single book on this list except the one you haven’t read (Pushing the Limits). Ugh I feel bad! But I seriously want to read most of the books you mentioned especially Partials and The Darkest Minds. Woot.

    Check out my End of Year Book Survey post.

    Sana @ artsy musings of a bibliophile

  19. Kathleen Ann Coleman

    Your picks leave me with three thoughts:

    1. I want to read Skylark.

    2. Why is Cinder still sitting here unread?

    3. Gah! How did I forget to put This Is Not A Test on my list?! I loved it *and* I got to have it signed by Courtney Summers last month.

    Hope the holiday season has been good to you and that the new year is even better! 🙂

  20. Kathleen Ann Coleman

    Okay, here we go! 🙂 I’m going to be wearing the dress on the cover of The Mephisto Covenant, bringing Criminy Stain from Wicked As They Come as my date and riding that scooter from Flirting In Italian. (Let’s hope I don’t catch frostbite! That’s gonna be COLD!) Want to see the covers and read all the details? click here! I can’t wait to see what everyone else comes up with. <3

  21. TributeBooks

    Very cool, Kimba! I hope one day they open up their program to small, indie publishers as well.

  22. Andrea

    I’ve heard a really good things about Ruthie Knox’s books. I’ll have to give one of these a try!

    Andrea recently posted:
  23. Shelley Romano

    Great choices! I’m definitely hoping that Kensington sends me these as well. If not, we can hope they put these up on NG!

  24. Bea

    Dang, you had a great week! I’m glad the book finally arrived. I can’t believe you’re wearing flip flops, you crazy woman. 😀

    Bea recently posted:
  25. Bea

    I remember hearing about this; it seems like a really great idea and it sounds like it was fairly easy to use.

    Bea recently posted:
  26. Bea

    That would be great if they did! That would make it so much more useful.

    Bea recently posted:
  27. Bea

    I loved both those books so much. I keep stalking NetGalley for the next one. 😀

    Bea recently posted:
  28. karina

    Gorgeous book haul, Kimba! I kind of like the look of Starstruck but have no idea what the book is about 🙂 Ashes on The Waves is also on my wishlist, so I’ll be keeping an eye out for your review. Enjoy all! 🙂

  29. karina

    I will sign-up, Kimba, but I won’t be able to update my progress weekly I think as I’ll be away. Still it will be a perfect time to clean up my shelves again this year! Have a lovely week, darling and enjoy both your reads! 🙂

  30. Debbie Haupt

    One of my favorite houses is Kensington, thanks for the post. The novel I’m most waiting for are two due out this summer one by Ben H Winters who’s first in the trilogy just won an Edgar award for Best Original PaperBack and Mark Lawrence’s Emperor of Thorns.
    deb

  31. Pnrurbfantasyreviews

    I just received How To Misbehave and look forward too the seemingly “fun” sexy story. Thanks for sharing, muffin!

  32. Barbara Walker

    I’m not young enough to keep picking up these series’ that I haven’t already started along with everything new I buy. lol It sounds really good though and you make me want to!! Why can I picture you hopping around, twitching and making noise while reading this? 😀 Awesome review, chica!

  33. karina

    OMG, Kimba! Fab review and rating! 🙂 So excited to read Prey now (reserved it in my library as soon as they get it).

  34. Barbara Walker

    It’s sexist of me, but lately I have a difficult time reading this genre of book with only male MCs. I think romance has ruined me. 🙂 I like that it’s a continuing series though and there are some elements that I’d like in more of a mystery/suspense book. Interesting.. Great review, I’m glad you mostly enjoyed it!

  35. Danielle Chapman

    Oooh! What neat picks! I had not come across these books before! 🙂

  36. Danielle Chapman

    Sounds like a very interesting read… Thanks for the review!

  37. Tonyalee

    Busy week for you, huh? 🙂 I’m looking forward to your discussion post!

  38. Tanya M

    I love these quick, faster than it takes to brew a cup of coffee reviews! Great idea and glad you found a perfect escape this week.

  39. Book Swoon

    Hi Kimba. The Sorority sound good to me, I love Paranormals too.
    Here is my link for this weeks The Book Swoon’s WOW

  40. Pnrurbfantasyreviews

    I haven’t read The Hunt, yet, so I skimmed your review. It looks like another winner for you! I’m going to check this series out! Fab. review!!

  41. Michelle

    I think this idea is super cool! I don’t have very many friends with e-readers but this is certainly a cool idea for gifts and possibly even giveaways in the future. Thanks for sharing with us Kimba! I’m going to keep this in mind.

  42. Carmen B.

    Sounds like a unique portrayal of zombies! Thanks for pointing out that it’s not really a retelling though – I wasn’t aware of that, or that it’s set in the present/’normal’ world from what it seems like? The characters sound awesome though! I also like that you said the novel pushes the YA boundary. Great review, and thanks for the giveaway 🙂

  43. Michelle

    Awesome review Kimba! I’m not really sure what to think about this one…I want to read it but then again I don’t. It sounds like it would be a fun read, but something is kind of holding me back.

  44. Melissa

    Oh I should join, but I don’t know what the month will bring with kiddo and sports. Great challenge though. 🙂 Best of luck!

  45. Melissa

    Hmm, I do enjoy my magic and witches. I’ve not read many lately, but are fun. 🙂 Thank you!

  46. Melissa

    Ooooo, I love Ann’s books. Amazingly done. And I want to see how Andres and her work together. But this sounds so much my kind of read. 😀 So many elements here I love, and well…Steampunk! LOL!

  47. Erin F

    thanks for the great review and giveaway! I really want to read this book now 🙂

  48. sstogner1

    I love it when an author comes up with a new twist on an old idea. And this cover is to die for! I haven’t read Gena before (I know, right?!) thanks for the giveaway

  49. Melissa (Books and Things)

    Like HP for the younger set. Might work for some cousins I know that are just too young for it. I might also suggest it to my mom who read the first 4 HP books in one week. 😀 Might have to check it out. 😀

  50. Melissa (Books and Things)

    This is so full of WIN! 🙂 Love that you got the marriage one. That was too funny! Isn’t being a part of this tour so much fun? 😀

  51. Darlene's Book Nook

    I’m glad to see you really enjoyed this one! I enjoy Showalter as well, and I’m on a bit of a zombie kick so this one is on my Wishlist! Thanks for the giveaway!

  52. Jenea Whittington

    Love the cover on this. I happy you connected with the characters and enjoyed this. Great review. 🙂

  53. Filia Oktarina

    I want read Bronze Gods because this book was catch my eyes when i see it, and i love steampunk genre, so i am really curious with this book. 🙂

  54. Ladybug Literature

    Naw, I am just in it for the freebies? I am totally kidding. This book just recently got added to my TBR list on Goodreads. The buzz word “steampunk” was what got it instantly added and having the author be A.A. Aguirre was what kept it there. The cover looks very Sherlockian so… win!

  55. Ina M.

    I wouldn’t enter this giveaway if I hadn’t wanted to read Bronze Gods! ^_^ It caught my interest quite a while ago – supernatural, magic and steampunk sounds like an awesome combination, and one that’s right up my alley! Many thanks for the uber-cool giveaway! ^_^

  56. Ana

    I would love to read this one, just checked it on GR and saw it has GREAT reviews. Would definitely want to check it out, I’m so curious why everyone likes it:)

  57. ALMENDRA

    i want to read because i read a lot of review about the book and … it look very good .. and then i decied that i would read … I need to read jijij and the cover look great .. the guy .. mmmm delicous

  58. Anita Yancey

    I would like to read it because it really sounds good, and I have never read a Steampunk novel before. I would love to try this one. Thanks for this chance.

  59. Trish Hannon

    I haven’t read any steampunk books yet. I’m fascinated by them though and this seems like a good place to start.

  60. Lekeisha Thomas

    Yes, definitely want to read this! A Twitter follower of mine got me into reading steampunk novels. I’ve been hooked ever since.

  61. Pabkins

    Because its steam punk duh! and it sounds kick ass! I would have nabbed it by now but bah had to pay for BEA airfaire and hotel…had to SO cut down on spending this month LOL

  62. Barbed1951

    Oh yes, I want to read Bronze Gods! I’ve adored everything of Ann Aguirre’s that I’ve read and I’m looking forward to seeing how the addition of her husband Andres makes the story even more exciting. I love steampunk and I’m glad Ann and Andres have decided to write a story in that genre.

  63. Lauren

    I’m really loving this tour and these notes! The chemistry between these two is adorable. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  64. Timitra

    I would love to read Bronze Gods because I’m intrigued by the premise of it and also cause I love the cover!

  65. Carmel

    This sounds pretty cool! I love the documents and YES I do want to know more. Thanks for the chance! 🙂

    Carmel recently posted:
  66. Christy (Love of Books)

    Haha- you are naughty bloggers. I want to read this, but you know how it is. Hell, I’ve had Enclave since it came out and haven’t read it yet. -sigh-

  67. Donna

    I would love to read it, I just found steampunk and am excited to have found another genre!

  68. thegeekyblogger

    I tend to lose the story in the gadgets. I think steampunk is something I enjoy more on screen than reading. I do love the covers though and OUTFITS!

  69. candacerobinson

    I’m really loving this tour, it’s so fun and fits the book so well! I’m reading the book now but had to pause to get some others read. Hopefully tomorrow I’m able to finish it up. I’m really loving it though!

  70. Heidi

    Ha Ha… the documents are getting funnier as they go. Mikansi is really fun. I hope you are reading this one soon, Kimba!

  71. Lark

    That second document sold me — too funny! This is a great tour. Thank you for the giveaway! And the book is definitely going on my TBR list right now.

    Lark recently posted:
  72. Toni

    It seems like a really cool tour. You get to post investigative documents and such. How awesome!

    Toni recently posted:
  73. Turning the Pages

    I absolutely loved her Razorland series and I’m really looking forward to reading this book that she penned with her husband 🙂 It looks like it’s going to be a really good read!

  74. Heather

    After reading these letters and case files you guys “stole” it is apparent that the relationship between Mitkani and Ritsuko is going to be entertaining on it’s own. Add to that steampunk elements, angry women(jilted), various criminals, magic….how can you miss? It’s a no brainer! I must read it! Whether I win a copy or buy it. (there goes my book buying ban).

    Heather recently posted:
  75. kimbacaffeinate

    *raises eyebrow and looks around for possible ears* Borrowed, we B-o-r-r-o-w-e-d them. I so agree this is a no brainer, good luck and enjoy!

  76. Blodeuedd

    Well I am shallow and the cover looks cool so that is the first reason 😀 And more have followed

  77. Lynn

    Because it sounds amazing and I loved Ann’s other series! I’m saving all these case files so that I can re-read them after I read the book. 😀

  78. Tanja

    Ah you people are killing me with these posts. I’m really intrigued to read it and see if it’s as amazing as it sounds. Great post!

  79. miki

    i do want to read this because i discovered a love for steampunk and i loved what iread from this author so far

  80. thegeekyblogger

    You know, I am not a steampunk fan but I think I will eventually give this one a whirl 🙂 It intrigues me!

  81. Ren

    Far before the book released, I’d know about Bronze Gods from Ann Aguirre’s tweets and I really love the cover. Right now I’m on steampunk read-a-thon and I always love a “whodunnit” type of story. Yes, pretty please pick me as winner 🙂

  82. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    Heh, he actually did get her a hat! Well, he IS a perfect gentleman, even if he is a bit… restless. :))
    Thank you so much for being on the tour. I can’t believe this is the last stop, it’s been so much fun.

  83. Elizabeth Bevins

    I’d love to read this book! I have never tried steam punk fiction before. I’m eager to try it since I love to read! I need another genre to explore.

    Thanks for the chance!

  84. Stacy T

    I love steampunk, so this is right up my alley! I have read Enclave and it was one of the most surprising books that I read last year.

  85. kindlemom1

    I have seen this one around everywhere and it looks like such a good read. I think the little notes and messages on all the our stops is such a fun idea!

  86. Rin

    YES! I really want to read Bronze Gods. There are 2 main reasons.

    1) Steampunk!

    2) I really loves Enclave/Outpost, so I’d love to read more Ann Aguirre, especially an adult book.

    Brynna

  87. GRgenius

    Certainly curious and I love the scanned images of the documents! They really shared those with you? Uh-huh. I’m leaning more towards to bribery option… ^_^

  88. Danielle Chapman

    Sounds like an interesting book by an author I actually have not heard of before! 🙂

  89. Bella's Shelf

    A book like this could of melted all that dang snow in front of my house Kim. We are free! We are free! 5 feet of snow last Friday until Wednesday. We were prisoners! We shoveled our way out of the street because there were no plows 😛 My arms almost fell off, I almost had passed out, but we did it. lolz.

    Enough of my whining, right? We are ok and good to go now! I did get to read a few books 🙂 Missed ya Kim!

  90. Lauren

    Ooh from the sounds of your review I’m going to love Miranda and Win! I love historical romances, and especially ones with witty characters and delicious chemistry. Great review!

  91. Carolyn Brown

    Sounds like it would be an interesting read, especially with the chemistry between the two MC’s. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  92. Lark

    I love Victoria Alexander for her blend of humor and romance! Great review, Kimba — I look forward to reading this book.

    Lark recently posted:
  93. Brenda Leon

    Great review!! I love her books!! I can not wait to read this one as well. Historical romance is my favorite. I love going back in time, viewing time through their not modern eyes. When a book places me there and I forget my real time and place, it is a winner. Thanks for an opportunity to win!!

  94. Veronica

    I lvoe feisty, smart, female characters and this definitely sounds good!

  95. Bella's Shelf

    I saw this book advertised in one of my weekly magazines. I think its US WEEKLY. I said “THATS ON KIMBAS BLOG” to no one in articular..lolz..Thanks for the giveaway <3

  96. Dori

    Oooh, I like the bad boy gone good for the right girl, especially in historicals.

  97. Michelle

    This is pretty cool! I have not heard of this before. Thanks for sharing Kimba!

    Question: Are you doing bloggiesta this weekend?

    Michelle recently posted:
  98. Sam

    How very intriguing! While I must admit that the book most likely isn’t my type of read, it does sounds incredibly interesting. Thank you for sharing this post! 🙂

    Sam recently posted:
  99. Jenea Whittington

    What can I say, I am intrigued. Ancient prophecies are always fascinating and sometimes leaves you with goose bumps at what people believe. Cannibalism is right up there too. The cover is strange though. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  100. Tanja

    Yeah that’s true! I used to avid UF, but now I can’t stop reading them. I might try this one one day. 🙂

  101. Kimberly

    What a great guest post!it has me really interested in reading the book. I love books like this so I’m adding it to my wishlist.

    Kimberly recently posted:
  102. Heidi

    Well this is different and K am sure fascinating. I would love to know more about the prophecy and how it all played out, but not so much on the cannibalism.

  103. Tribute Books

    Kimba, thanks for sharing this couple’s fascinating story with all of your lovely blog followers 🙂

  104. Bella's Shelf

    I tried to do it but on my tab it won’t scroll up and down once edit opens. IDK why. I bought akeyboard too. Never hook it up or use it.

  105. kimbacaffeinate

    hahaha. I know!! Did you know with Disqus you can edit your comments? It’s not like other systems where your spelling error or brain fart is forever displayed, you can just go in and change your comment by hitting edit.

  106. kimbacaffeinate

    Wow thanks for sharing that Fran. I bet your hubby tells awesome stories. I am fascinated by different cultures, legends and beliefs as well.

  107. Bella's Shelf

    His Dad is Peruvian/Mom is like me, mixed European. His Dad’s family told a lot of stories, but they are city Peruvians. They aren’t from the mountains/rainforest where the culture and beliefs are more embedded and still practiced. The city is full of awesome culture but its obvious it has been city-fied. If that makes sense.
    Next week is Fraterfest!

  108. Bella's Shelf

    Sounds awesome! My hubby is from Peru and if you go into the rainforest section there are many beautiful and scary tribes and cultures. One remote one STILL practices head shrinking!
    Of course theres Manchu Pichu too.
    I am jealous he comes From such a beautifully diverse place.
    My ppl are from Germany, Ireland, Poland, there are awesome things about each of those too.
    I am excited for this one. Sounds wonderful. I love to learn about cultures and see how the introduction of the evil white man influences them..lolz

  109. Bette Lee Crosby

    Kimba, thank you so much for this beautiful review. I think a lot of my characters are in some small way bits and pieces of people that I have met over the years and they stay with me. I am delighted that you enjoyed reading What Matters Most and honored that you chose to review it.

  110. emaginette

    I’ve visited Bette Lee’s blog almost weekly and It is nice to know her books in my TBR pile should be dug out and dug into. Great review. 🙂