Release Date: April 18, 2017
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Set in suburban Boston in a world of reality tv and home design, Blueprints is the story of two strong women, Caroline and Jamie MacAfee, mother and daughter, best friends. The day after her 56th birthday, Caroline is told that she is too old to be the public face of Gut It!, a family-based home construction show, and that her 29-year-old daughter, Jamie, will replace her as its host. Daughter ousting mother from a job she loves? The resulting rift occurs at a time when each needs the other more than ever.
For Jamie, an architect, life changes overnight when, soon after learning of the host shift, her father and his young third wife die in a freak accident that orphans their two-year-old son. Accustomed to neatness and planning, she is suddenly grappling with a toddler who misses his parents, a fiancé who doesn’t want the child, a staggering new attraction, and a work challenge that, if botched, could undermine the future of both MacAfee Homes and Gut It!
For Caroline, a master carpenter, hosting Gut It! was an inadvertent sideline that has become part of her identity. Facing its loss, she feels betrayed by her daughter and old in the eyes of the world. Already raw, when her ex-husband dies, she is thrust into the role of giving emotional support to his aging father, who suddenly has other designs on her time. And then there’s Dean, her long-time friend, who sets out to show her that age is just a number. His efforts to seduce her awaken desires in her that have been dormant for so long that she feels foreign to herself.
Who am I? Both women ask themselves this as their lives take dramatic twists. Their challenge is not only to find themselves but to find each other again.
[In her new novel titled Blueprints,] “Delinsky effortlessly brings the components together — romance, career shifts, changes in parent-child relationships.”
“Delinsky’s moving story is filled with love, betrayal and passion. Readers will share the highs and lows experienced by the characters. [Blueprints] is a story for mothers and daughters everywhere.”
—RT Book Reviews
“About the complicated dynamics of a family, the novelty of love no matter when in life you find it, and the importance of a good home makeover.”
“Themes of family dynamics, competition, power, and severed bonds bring just the right amount of drama to this otherwise feel-good story.”
—Rainy Days and Mondays
“Delinsky’s prose is never lacking for drama, which would make BLUEPRINTS a terrific read to begin with, but her extensive research into architecture and carpentry are what really makes this book special.”
“Love for family, the bond between a mother and daughter, the enjoyment of passionate love with a strong partner, strong women competent at what they do, all combine in this book to make it a downright pleasurable read.
“Excellent writing, superb storytelling, with an immediate connection to the characters and their conflicts. This is a story with a lot of heart, a lot of emotion, and it tugs at the soul.”
—Okie Dreams Book Reviews
“As a 56-year-old woman myself, I found it fascinating to get into Caroline’s head and watch how she dealt with her own fears and desires. I was just as caught up in Jamie’s story, and felt as motherly toward her as Caroline.”
—Midlife at the Oasis
“[T]he characters in “Blueprints” were entirely relatable to me. From Caroline’s feeling of being ‘aged’ out of her job, to Jamie’s sudden life change, I feel like in my own life I’ve ‘been there, done that’ or ‘am currently going through it.'”
—Three Different Directions
“The joy of [Barbara’s] writing is she quickly tells about the many characters and before we turn too many pages, we care about all of them and are rooting for them….It’s a terrific read! Why would we be surprised? It’s Barbara Delinsky!”
—Writer at Play
“Written in a fluid fashion that flows along at a lovely pace, this book made for entertaining and poignant reading. Packed with strong, likable and relatable characters, the story concentrates on many issues, such as ageism, mother/daughter relationships and is filled with many twists that occasionally made for shocking and heartbreaking moments.“
“Blueprints definitely made me realise that life is ever changing and you should live it to the full[est]. Each day is different from the next and should never be taken for granted.”
“[A] touching read about what’s important in life.”
“I loved the characters she created in this story, the storyline flowed well with a whole myriad of emotions felt through the words.”
“[A]n enjoyable read that was not only heart-warming but also pulled on the heart-strings.”
“I pronounce this one ‘The Big Beach Read of the Season.'”
—Hudson Valley News
The rain let up just in time. The final day of taping for the spring season of Gut It! was about to begin, and though the sun hadn't yet appeared, Caroline MacAfee's hopes were high. Well behind the stream of work vehicles pulling up on the road, the western sky was giving way to scattered patches of blue, as the June breeze pushed gunmetal clouds east, toward Boston and the sea.
How to describe what she felt as she stood at the head of an all-new cobblestone drive looking at the rebuilt facade of what once been a weary old Cape? There was relief that the hard work was done, and surprise – always surprise – that everything had come together so well. There was also a sense of ownership. Caroline hadn't asked to be the mouthpiece of the show, but after nearly ten years as host, it was her baby as much as anyone's.
Read the full excerpt.
How did Blueprints come about? I've been wanting to write about ageism for a while – actually from the time friends of mine starting losing jobs that they loved simply because they passed one birthday too many. They were still perfectly able to work, wanted to, often needed to financially. But no. Today's world is hung up on youth. Blueprints is my protest of that.
Not to worry, though. Blueprints isn't a political book. It's a book about family. More, it's a book about growth. If you've read others of my books, you'll know that character growth is a common denominator. That said, if you want your characters to grow, they can't start off perfect. This can be a problem, since if readers don't like your characters, they won't read on. It's a matter of balancing goodness and flaws. The characters in Blueprints are wonderful people with very human flaws. Caroline is short on self-esteem, while Jamie is compulsively organized. Dean is blunt and occasionally abrasive. Chip is still recovering from early self-implosion. Tell me you don't know people like these…
Typical of my books, Blueprints is filled with unexpected challenges that force the characters to grow. Thanks to these unplanned twists, their lives change dramatically from start to finish. For the better? You’re the judge of that.
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