Book Review: Multiple Listings

I received this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Multiple Listings by Tracy McMillan

To be published on March 8, 2016.

Goodreads Summary:
What would you do if your ex-con father suddenly came to visit…indefinitely? Family drama ensues when Nicki’s dad unexpectedly moves in with her, her son, and her boyfriend in this comedic novel from successful TV writer Tracy McMillan.

Nicki Daniels owns a home appraisal business, but real estate is her true passion: she lives for open houses and really knows her way around a floor plan. And especially at this juncture of her life, real estate has come to signify the stability she is trying to build with her teenage son, Cody, and her much younger boyfriend, Jake. She’s finally ready to find the perfect house for the three of them and work on a new business venture with Jake that she thinks will jump-start their lives together.

Meanwhile, Ronnie, a longtime inmate at a nearby correctional facility, is getting some good news for once—there was a mistake in his sentencing, and he’s eligible to get out of prison. After a sixty-day stay in a halfway house, Ronnie decides his best option to avoid homelessness is to move in with his estranged daughter: Nicki. Even though they haven’t spoken in years, her door is always open to him, right?

Inspired by the author’s life and imbued with wit and profound insight into relationships, Multiple Listings speaks poignantly—and often hilariously—about the ties that bind families of all types together.

My Review:
This book was so unique. It’s a mix of novel and self-help book. And I loved it! Told in alternating chapters in the two main characters’ voices, McMillan has woven together a humorous yet intense family drama and insightful relationship advice.

Nicki is 37 years old. She almost has it all – a successful career, a wonderful yet somewhat aloof teenage son, and a great boyfriend. But then her son gets suspended from school for truancy, her boyfriend flakes out on her, and her father shows up on her doorstep after 17 years in prison. She’s mad at him for abandoning her over and over during her life, and she doesn’t want to let him in again.

Ronnie, her father, has spent his most recent time in prison studying psychology and developmental biology. He has healed himself and gained a wealth of knowledge about human behavior. He is ready to start his life over again and make amends with his daughter and get to know his grandson.

This story is about family, the good and the bad. The characters were raw and real and very well developed. The writing was funny and compelling, and I couldn’t bring myself to read anything else once I started this book. Usually I have 3-4 books going at a time, and I couldn’t tear myself away from this book to spend time on anything else. I loved everything about it – the writing, the story, the characters (well except for Nicki’s whining sometimes).

McMilla rounds out the cast with a couple great minor characters as well. Cory is Nicki’s son, and he’s obsessed with Magic: The Gathering, which I have played, so that was fun. Ronnie and Cory develop a close bond and their relationship added so much to this story. Peaches is Nicki’s best friend. She’s kind of a mess, but she’s always been there for Nicki. She’s her reality check for any big decisions she needs to make. I enjoyed their banter.

I didn’t always agree with Ronnie’s choices, and as I mentioned Nicki sometimes drove me crazy, but I loved reading about this healing family. And the psychological insights added so much to the characters and my level of enjoyment while reading this book. Everyone may not like McMillan’s writing style, but it worked 100% for me.

My Rating: 5 stars
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