What Matters Most
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From a USA Today Bestselling Author of Women’s Fiction Best Sellers, comes an Award-Winning Story of Friendship.
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. So, when her husband, Clay, announces his retirement and a plan to move to Florida, their marriage is thrown into a turmoil of mixed emotions and strained loyalties. Torn between his desire for “the good life” and the lifelong friendships of her quilting club, Louise struggles with what to do…until her best friend suggests a scheme to thwart the move.
In a humorous look at life, Louise will discover the truth of what matters most, but before it happens her marriage will be tested, family relationships will fall apart and the friendships she tried to hold on to will change dramatically
Winner of The Royal Palm Literary Award and the FPA President’s Book Award Silver Medal.
Literary Awards for What Matters Most –
Royal Palm Literary Award
FPA President’s Book Award
Praise for What Matters Most –
“Life is funny. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, everything changes.”
-Bette Lee Crosby
Louise Palmer is a settled woman. She’s impeccably dressed. Her home of thirty-five years is perfectly furnished. Her friends are carefully chosen. Her husband, Clay, is predictable. Having had a rough childhood, Louise relies on the predictability of her comfortable suburban life in New Jersey. Little does she know that a letter from Florida will change her life, upend her perfect world, and dredge up hidden feelings of insecurity.
Clay Palmer is tired. He’s bored. He’s ready for a change. In fact, he’s afraid he’ll end up dead, if his life doesn’t change. Clay wants a little excitement in his life, something that his job at the bank and the long, cold New Jersey winters can’t provide. Little does he know that a letter from Florida will change his life and lead him to the dream life that he’s longed for all these years.
This book will remain in my heart as one of the best books I’ve ever read. The characters and the messages they convey jump from the pages and touch a soft spot in my soul. It’s a love story. It’s a story of friendship. It’s a woman’s journey to the fullness of life. She gives up what means the most to her and finds what matters most in the most unlikely places. Bette Lee Crosby’s wonderful way with words, her wit, and her wisdom shine brighter than ever in “What Matters Most”. – Alle WellsRead the book discussion questions for What Matters Most Read an excerpt from What Matters Most Meet Louise Palmer Meet Clay Palmer
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L is for Louise
First you envisioned the picture. Then you assembled the pieces. Louise began when she was eleven. She started with a brown shoebox, then added snippets from magazines—a square of blue sky, smoke rising from a chimney, lace curtains, a red door, a wedding gown, a gold ring, photographs with obscured faces—images of what she saw as a picture-perfect life. Night after night she pulled the shoebox from its hiding place and spread the contents across the floor, arranging and rearranging the dog-eared pieces until everything was as she imagined it should be. By the time she was sixteen, Louise knew exactly what her life would look like.
Through the years she painstakingly slid those pieces into place—a loving husband, a house with black shutters, an oak tree in the yard, a baby boy, and then a girl. Once the youngsters had grown into a son and daughter she could be proud of, the picture was perfect. Louise could now sit back and enjoy the completeness of a well-planned life. In her mind she simply had no reason to scramble the pieces and start over again. Her husband, Clay, didn’t see it in quite the same way.
The long gray envelope from Horace P. Fredericks, Attorney at Law, arrived on the second Saturday in January, smack in the middle of an icy New Jersey winter. Had it been July or August, Clay might have approached things differently. But as fate would have it, that Saturday was the coldest day of the year. Icicles hung from the trees, six inches of frozen snow covered the yard, and a gusty wind that had howled throughout the night rattled a metal garbage can down the middle of the street.