By: Lori Nelson Spielman

Published: July 2, 2013

Publisher: Bantam


When I was 39 I created a “bucket list” of forty items that I wanted to complete by the time I turned forty. The things I wanted to accomplish at forty are much different than the things I would have dreamed of accomplishing as a teenager.  In THE LIFE LIST, Brett must complete a list that she wrote as a teenager, but she is now an adult. A list with items such fall in love, have a baby, buy a horse, be an awesome teacher, and perform live on stage seem impossible because she has to complete these items in a year. Some of these items would change the course of her who future. Brett’s mother has passed away, and for Brett to receive her inheritance, she must complete this Life List. Brett assumes, after her mother’s death that she will take over as CEO of Bohlinger Cosmetics, marry her current live-in boyfriend and live happily ever after.  But, her mother clearly has different plans for her.  Through this list, Brett is able to continue to have conversations with her mother through letters her mother has left behind. These letters open doors to Brett that she thought were closed a long time ago.

Brett must first come to terms with the fact that her inheritance is tied to this list.  She must have regular meetings with the lawyer that has the job of monitoring her progress. On top of grieving for her mother, she must try to understand her mother’s motive for all of this.  Finally, she must decide how to tell her boyfriend, Andrew, that she a list to complete that could change their entire future.

Brett’s struggles, frustrations and emotions are real and easy to empathize with. The dialogue moves you through the story quickly and you can’t wait to see how Brett accomplishes each of the items on the list.  There will be laughter and tears as you travel through the pages. You will be reminded to live each day of your life to the fullest.

This is a really wonderful story of a mother’s love for her child and a daughter’s love for her mother. It reminds us to take chances, stay young, and live our dreams. Maybe the life we really want is the one we dreamed of as a teenager, but life just gets in the way.  Take a couple days out of your schedule and read Lori Nelson Spielman’s debut novel, THE LIFE LIST.  I hope another book is on her Life List.

Lori Nelson Spielman – source

A former speech pathologist and guidance counselor, Lori Nelson Spielman currently works as a homebound teacher for inner-city students. She enjoys fitness running, traveling, and reading, though writing is her true passion. She and her husband spend their winters cursing the god-awful Michigan weather, and their summers sailing the glorious shores of Lake Michigan.  For more, visit her website, You can also find her on Facebook, HERE and Twitter, HERE

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  1. bermudaonion on August 19, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Oh wow, I can't imagine having to fulfill and old bucket list. This sounds really good!

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