This is such a thoughtful and heartwarming story about family and that you don't always have to be blood relations in order to belong. It starts out with Ellen and Charlie who have just lost their husband and father and follows Ellen through her recovery from the loss and Charlie growing up. Ellen finds that when Nick died in a car accident that is his fault, it negates his life insurance and she is force to take on roommates. The new roommates start to act as a family since they each have a need that one another fulfills.All of the characters are well drawn and not cliched. Matt, the womanizer, although he doesn't seem like he really enjoys it, has to play the part for his job becomes true to his heart. Sabine, who takes the bad situation of her husband cheating on her and sees the humor in it. Allegra, the romance writer, becomes the matriarch and gives Ellie the confidence boost she needs. Yes, there are parts that were a little predictable, but the writing is so wonderful, it is an easy thing to overlook. Any fan of British Chick Lit is going to adore this one.