Today I’m participating in the Blog Tour for Misa Rush’s Family Pieces.

What do you do when you when you find out there’s a hole in your family, and you’re not sure that it can be filled?   As a family tradition started by her grandfather, each member of Karsen’s family has a puzzle piece charm. Each charm links to the rest of the pieces in the family. After the unexpected death of her mother, Karsen learns that these puzzle pieces don’t exactly fit together perfectly- a pieces is missing.  Can that missing piece have anything to do with the secret revealed by magazine editor Addison Reynolds, miles away in New York City?

This discovery of the missing charm is just the beginning of the change that besets Karsen’s once-charmed life. She’s faced with a number of seemingly imperfect choices and embarks on a journey that changes her life forever.

I don’t want to say any more about the plot because I’m afraid I’ll inadvertently give away something crucial, and I hate to do that.

Family Pieces was not what I expected- but in a good way. The story did not unfold as I thought it might, which keeps it from being predictable. Misa Rush gives us complicated characters facing some gut-wrenching choices.  She explores themes about what constitutes a family and the lengths we’ll go to in trying to keep that family intact.

Some of Karsen’s decisions- like jetting off to New York City on the spur of the moment-  may seem implausible, but who’s to say really what any of us would do if we found ourselves in Karsen’s position?

One thing I’ve thought about a lot since finishing the book is if the resolution came together too neatly. Without giving away spoilers, Rush could have gone down the path of cliched angsty drama. She chose  not to, and while that may take away from the story for those who love melodrama, I don’t think the story loses anything for the tidier tying up of loose ends. In fact, I think it’s more realistic in some ways than obstacle after obstacle after obstacle diverting the characters.

I think Family Pieces has something for all chick lit readers- the drama of a family tragedy, curveballs thrown by life in general, humor, romance, and friendship.  It’s another read that’s perfect for the summer. And now I want a puzzle piece charm of my own.