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I am a mother who works full-time but who is also a chauffer, chef, seamstress, fitness instructor, teacher, maid, gardener, runner, organization expert, salesperson, secretary and wife. I love my family and life is always busy but fun! Come along with me for the ride:-)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Promises to Keep

by Ann Tatlock

Book Description
Eleven-year-old Roz (Rosalind) Anthony and her family have just moved to Mills River, Illinois, to escape an abusive situation. Only days after settling into their new home, they are surprised to find the previous owner, Tillie Monroe, on their front porch reading the newspaper. Though her sons have sold the house and sent her to a facility for the aged, she is determined to die in the place she lived her life, and somehow manages to find her way "home" day after day. Feeling sympathy for the elderly woman, Roz's mother allows Tillie to move back in. Mara Nightingale becomes Roz's first friend in Mills River. In spite of their many differences, the girls discover they have something in common that binds them together--both are hiding secrets. So they make a promise--"cross my heart and hope to die"--never to tell anyone else. When danger stalks the Anthonys, Tillie exhibits unimaginable courage and selfless love in her determination to protect the family she has adopted as her own.

Shortly after her mother leaves their father and they move into their new home, the Anthonys are greet daily by an elderly woman named Tillie. Tillie was the previous owner who did not want to leave her home but her sons moved her into an elderly home and sold the house. She wants to come home and die there and Ms Anthony needs someone to help her with the children. It’s a match Heaven sent.
The Anthonys moved because their father was a violent drinker. Their mother left because she feared for her life and for her children’s lives. Slowly over time, the Anthonys and Tillie become like family.
However Wally, the eldest son, is angry and thinks about enlisting in the Vietname War. Rosalind secretly visits with her father. He manipulates her into secrecy and asks questions about Janis (their mother) and things that are happening. He promises that things will be different, that he’s trying to change and he wants to be a family again. Roz feels guilty but keeps the secret because she hopes that they can become family again. However, her father does not necessarily want the same things.
Tillie is the spark of energy and fun in this novel. It is fast reading and Ann Tatlock’s writing brings you right into the heart of the story and you don’t want to stop reading. The story is written in the first person with Roz being the main character. As the reader, you realize long before Roz does just how manipulative her father is and you want to protect her. Tillie is the rock of the household and family. The story moves very quickly and has a good ending. The story is suspenseful because, although you know it will turn out well, you can not guess how it will do so. I would recommend this book and any other book by Ann Tatlock – she is a wonderful writer and you will not be disappointed.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House, in exchange for an honest review on my blog. I was not obligated to give a positive review in any way.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Harvest of Grace

by Cindy Woodsmall

I have read all three books in the Ada’s House Series by Cindy Woodsmall and I, once again, loved this book. All three are wonderful but this book (#3) seems to sum up some earlier things from the first books that were sort of left “hanging’. That being said – I highly suggest reading the first two books before reading this one. You will not be disappointed in any of them although this one was my favorite!
The Harvest of Grace’s message is focused on it’s title – Grace and forgiveness. Not just from God but with and for each other. Sylvia Fisher has left her family’s dairy farm to work on the Bank’s farm. The Banks have lost a son who left to get help for his alcohol addiction – much to his father’s embarrassment and anger. Sylvia soon becomes like a member of the family. When Aaron, their son, returns home to hopefully persuade his parents to sell the farm and move near him because he is no longer drinking & has plans for a new business - he is suspicious of Sylvia. Why did she leave her family, why is she so involved in his family (never mind that he has not been around), etc? He wants to know her “secret” and yes, she does have one.
As you read, you also find more about the lives of Cara, Ephraim, Lena, Gray, Deborah, Ada, and Jonathan from the first two books. The reader is given more information about these characters and those things left “hanging” referenced in the first paragraph above are resolved.
I do highly recommend this book as well as the first two books in the series – The Hope of Refuge and The Bridge of Peace. You will not be disappointed!

NOTE: I received this book free from Waterbrook Press but was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.


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