• Becca McCulloch

Review: Designer You

Designer You

Pam Wheeler checked every box: Happy marriage? Check. Fantastic kid? Check. Booming career? Check.

So when her husband dies in a freak accident and their DIY empire goes on life support, Pam must fix the relationship with her troubled and grief-stricken daughter and save the family business.

Pam and Nate were a couple who just couldn’t get away from each other, sharing not only their bed, but also a successful lifestyle empire as DIY home renovators, bloggers, podcasters, and co-authors.

When Nate dies in a freak accident, Pam becomes a 44-year-old widow, at once too young and too old—too young to be thrust into widowhood and too old to rejoin the dating pool.

Now the single mother of a headstrong and grief-stricken teenager, Pam’s life becomes a juggling act between dealing with her loss and learning how to parent by herself. On top of all that she also must reinvent herself or lose the empire that she and Nate had built so carefully.

It is time for Pam to seize the opportunity to step up as a mother, come out from behind Nate’s shadow, and rise as the sole face of the Designer You brand, and maybe, possibly, hopefully, find love again.


This book is sad. That’s a good thing. It nails grief. Whacks it on the head and slams it into the board kind of “nailed it.” But wow - it’s gonna smart a little. I lost my dad last December. So the first 10 pages were fantastic. And then it was too close to home for another 200 pages. 

The emotional experience was dead-on, probably the most realistic representation I’ve read in a book. Not too cloying. Not overly weepy. Just...ongoing. Even the improvements gave only brief flashes of relief. 

I did love her journey with her daughter. I had a lot of thinks about my own journey with my children and how it’s too easy to let the preferred parent do all the interventions but how vital it is that both parents value and build relationships with each child. 

I do recommend this book, especially if you’re struggling to understand someone who is grieving. There are a few cliches but overall, it’s a well-written journey through a profound loss. In my grief classes, the therapist says that recovering means accepting that grief will always be your guide, a teacher of lessons you wouldn’t learn otherwise. This book would make a nice field guide for that unwanted journey. 

Purchase Link - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DH6B38H/

Author Bio – Sarahlyn Bruck writes contemporary women's fiction and lives in Philadelphia with her husband and

daughter. She is the author of DESIGNER YOU, published by Crooked Cat Books on August 31, 2018. Sarahlyn teaches writing and literature at a local community college and also coaches writers for Author Accelerator.

DESIGNER YOU is Sarahlyn's debut, and she is hard at work on her next book. Want the latest updates? Follow along for news, events, and announcements at sarahlynbruck.com.

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Social Media Links –

Website: www.sarahlynbruck.com 

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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5803427-sarahlyn-bruck   


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