‘Designer You’ Is A Celebration of Life [REVIEW]


When a woman loses her DIY guru husband in a freak accident, she must learn to repair her life and her business in Sarahlyn Bruck’s Designer You. (Photo by Dawn Peterson, Flickr)

She is no stranger to rebuilding things. After all, she’s a home renovation expert. But when her life crumbles around her, will she be able to pick up the pieces and start over? Find out in Sarahlyn Bruck’s debut novel, Designer You.

Sarahlyn Bruck's DESIGNER YOU

Crooked Cat Books

Pam Wheeler is one of those women who seems to have everything: a happy marriage to a hunky husband, a phenomenal career, and a wonderful daughter. But then the bottom falls out of her life and she suddenly finds herself a widow with a company in crisis and a daughter who can’t seem to overcome her grief.

Despite the fan base she and Nate acquired over the years as they turned their passion for remodeling their own home, and eventually those of their clients, into the business of their dreams. Yet Pam knows that Nate was the talent behind the operation. Sure, she is great at the social media aspect of things, and she did learn her fair share about renovating buildings. But in the wake of unspeakable loss, will she be able to keep the company afloat even as she juggles parenthood and learning how to date again?

Grief is a tricky topic to write well. It is emotionally thorny, can be all-consuming, and is difficult to turn into compelling fiction. But Sarahlyn Bruck has embraced this theme and turned it into a redemptive story about a woman teetering on the brink, one who tries valiantly to figure life out despite all its layers and complexities constantly threatening to overpower her.

Pam is definitely traumatized, but she has an inner strength that shines through from page one, and as a reader I was quickly assured that she was not some insipid woman who would easily bore me with a woe-is-me attitude. No, instead, she is brimming over with strength, even if she doesn’t initially see it herself. Because of that, she is fascinating to watch, and I couldn’t help but quietly cheer her on and hope that by the novel’s end she would rise like a phoenix out of the ashes of her despair.

Grief is just one layer of this deliciously complex novel, however. It is also a story about a woman connecting with the only other person who matters in her life, her daughter, and about the way they must learn to communicate and rely on one another post-Nate. This is a story that begins by placing its characters in a scenario where there is nowhere to go but up, and as such, it doesn’t wallow in the dark, but seeks the light with the purpose of a heat seeking missile and ultimately becomes a celebration of life and the human spirit.  Thus, Designer You is a resounding success for Bruck, and it will surely garner her many well-deserved fans of her own.

Sarahlyn Bruck

Sarahlyn Bruck


Sarahlyn Bruck writes contemporary women’s fiction and teaches writing and literature at Bucks County Community College and also coaches writers for Author AcceleratorDesigner You is her debut novel. She is currently at work on her next book.

Her short fiction can be found in publications such as Flash Me MagazineDaily Flash Anthology, and Boston Literary Magazine

She lives in Philadelphia with her husband, daughter, and cat Jazzy. Readers are encouraged to visit her home on the Web at SarahlynBruck.com, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

By Sarahlyn Bruck
278 pgs. Crooked Cat Books. $12.99

TLC Book Tours Tour HostPurchase Designer You at one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Indiebound, and Strand Books.

Designer You is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

2 Responses to ‘Designer You’ Is A Celebration of Life [REVIEW]

  1. Pingback: Sarahlyn Bruck, author of Designer You, on tour August/September 2018 | TLC Book Tours

  2. Thanks for your review for the tour! I’m so looking forward to reading this one.

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