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Groundswell by Katie Lee


by Katie Lee

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In the scientific world the theory is known as the "Butterfly Effect". In the real world, it simply means that sometimes the biggest ripples in a person's life are caused by the smallest events. For Emma Guthrie - a novice PA who's just dropped out of college after losing her scholarship - that was the way everything began. One day she walks into the trailer of the world-famous movie star Garrett Walker; when she walks out the door, she's fast on her way to becoming Mrs. Emma Walker - the wife of an A-list actor.

Soon, Emma has made the seamless transition from relative nobody to red-carpet royalty, trading her generic-brand jeans and flip-flops for closets full of names such as Chanel and Birkin - the typical clothing and accessories worn by every celebrity who swishes past velvet ropes to attend every lavish party and charity gala held on both coasts. With her husband's encouragement, Emma soon pens a screenplay based on her life. Her movie memoir, 'Fame Tax', quickly becomes a blockbuster sensation. Through it all, Garrett is her ally and her mentor...until their relationship is thrown into question by an incriminating text message that Emma discovers on Garrett's phone the night of the all-important Met Costume Institute Gala.

Undeniably devastated by her husband's blatant infidelity and hounded mercilessly by the paparazzi, Emma must flee New York City to try and get away from it all. Choosing the furthest possible location she can in order to clear her head, Emma's perfect destination turns out to be a sleepy coastal town in Mexico where she can sink back into obscurity. Absolutely no one recognizes her and there is nothing to see but unspoiled beaches for miles. Here, she meets Ben, a gorgeous, native Californian - a surf instructor, who teaches Emma about the healing properties of surfing, shows her the joys of the simple life, and ultimately reopens her heart to the possibility of love.

In a story that showcases some of Manhattan's trendiest restaurants to the yacht-and-celebrity infested waters of the vacationer's paradise known as St. Bart's, Katie Lee's debut novel offers an irresistible insider's glimpse into a glittering world - and a captivating story about how losing everything you thought you wanted can often be the first step in the journey toward finding what you need. I must say that while I watch Katie Lee all the time on her television show 'The Kitchen' - and I assumed that she wrote several cookbooks - it never even crossed my mind that she wrote a novel as well. I was actually quite surprised to learn that Ms. Lee was a published author of contemporary fiction.

In my opinion, this was just the right type of book for me to read. It was fairly fast-paced, and an easy enough read - and it only took me a day to read. Yes, there was romance throughout the story, and as most of you may already know - I don't usually like reading stories that are so focused on romantic elements. Groundswell: A Novel by Katie Lee was slightly different though; I found myself really enjoying the story and would give this book an A+! ( )
  moonshineandrosefire | Sep 28, 2015 |
Emma Guthrie, a newbie to the Hollywood world lands a job as a PA for a blockbuster movie. Her life changes drastically when she meets blockbuster movie heartthrob Garrett Walker. She is swept off her feet, and soon becomes Mrs. Walker, and her life changes in a instant. She comes to her own writing a screenplay based on her life, and soars up there right along with her husband. During a huge media event she finds out her husband is cheating on her. Hounded by the press Emma takes off to Mexico for some space, and comes to some revelations about herself and her marriage.

Groundswell is a fast read at 256 pages, though it's one of those books that I think needed more pages to make the story feel complete. It was very rushed especially when Emma escapes to Mexico. She just realizes things about herself and stuff out of the blue it seems. We don't see how she came to those conclusions, she just tells us she did. I hope i'm making sense.

Groundswell had the typical characters, the innocent bright eyed young girl, the suave charismatic heartthrob, and the conniving man stealing jealous bitch. I really wish author Katie Lee would have brought something new to this type of novel. I've read numerous books dealing with infidelity with the women coming out of the mess stronger, and better but I was hoping for more. ( )
  jjameli | Sep 27, 2011 |
The fist quality of the novel the reader will notice is how likable the main character, Emma, is. Emma undergoes several major changes in her life and the reader gets to experience them right alongside her. The reader may think that losing her scholarship and gaining the star in a movie would be almost a great thing to happen; however, not much in life is ever that perfect. The worst betrayal that can happen to a husband and wife happens to Emma-her husband cheats on her with her best friend. Emma's response it to leave the situation. She runs to Mexico where she experiences more self-discovery through surfing. The author connects Emma's love of the ocean to self-discovery very nicely, there is no confusion for the reader. Emma even gets to find potential love again. This book was a great summertime read, published around the perfect time to truly enjoy this novel. This novel is recommended for adults who enjoy novels detailing self-discovery. ( )
  Icecream18 | Jul 13, 2011 |
Emma is struggling financially, loses her scholarship and moves to Hollywood. She gets a job as a PA on a movie set and ends up marrying the star. Her fairytale ending doesn't go quite as planned since she discovers her husband cheating on her with her best friend. She ends up running away to Mexico where she discovers surfing and the connection with the ocean that repairs her heart as well as her mind. This rags to riches story is just a perfect summertime read that hits a lot of marks perfectly.

Emma is very likable and it is easy to see how such a nice girl gets wrapped up in the Hollywood lifestyle. She at least remains true to herself even though she does buy into the dream, which turns into a nightmare. Her journey of self discovery in nicely played with the background of surfing. I haven't read a book like this with such a unique twist. I have a feeling that the author used some personal experiences in the writing of this one since she married Billy Joel. I really enjoyed this one. ( )
  MaryinHB | Jul 7, 2011 |
Emma Guthrie is a Kentuckian turned New Yorker when the reader is first introduced to her in Lee's debut novel. She's struggling to make ends meet after she has to give up her college scholarship. Not wanting to return home and face her sister's "I told you so", Emma hangs in there hoping one day things will get easier.

And then they do. She's offered a position as a PA for a Garrett Walker movie. Things begin to move at a rapid pace when Emma first meets Garrett. A quick meeting in his trailer leads to him asking her out to dinner. Before long, they're dating and he's whisking her away to St. Barts for the holiday. As expected their whirlwind relationship leads to marriage and with Garrett's assistance Emma writes a screenplay that winds up being the blockbuster of the summer.

After seven years of marriage, Emma has left her old life behind. Being Mrs. Walker definitely has its perks. Emma's life is good and she appears to be happy and have everything she's ever dreamed of. But when she's given her husband's cell phone by mistake and sees a text from another woman, Emma realizes her world may not be so perfect after all.

Groundswell is the ideal beach read. Immediately I found myself drawn into the story and within two hours, I had read over half the book. Lee begins the story with Emma reading the text on her husband's phone and then flashes back to how they met. The story then returns to Emma and the text and continues from there.

Not much emphasis is placed on the seven years the couple was married. Actually, I didn't have an issue with that. Lee painted a picture of their marriage so the reader did not have to know every detail. At times, the story was predictable and I saw the ending long before I finished the book. I still found myself invested in the story and cheered Emma on.

I do have to say it reminded me a bit of Flirting with Forty by Jane Porter and How Stella Got Her Groove Back by Terry McMillan. A woman decides to travel to escape the craziness of her life and ends up meeting a gorgeous guy. So, if you've read and enjoyed either of these books, then be sure to pick up Groundswell. Even if you haven't read either book (I suggest you do - both are very good), throw Groundswell in your beach bag anyway. Being a little over 200 pages, you can devour it in one sitting. ( )
  scoutlee | Jun 22, 2011 |
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Eat, surf, love. When Emma walks into movie star Garrett Walker's trailer, she's a novice PA. When she walks out, she's on her way to becoming the wife of an A-list actor. She makes the transition from nobody to red-carpet royalty, until their relationship is thrown into question by an incriminating text message. Emma flees to a sleepy coastal town in Mexico and meets a surf instructor who teaches her about the healing powers of surfing.… (more)

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