Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Ghost of Christmas Present - Book Review

The Ghost of Christmas Present: A Novel
Author:  Scott Abott
Publisher:  Howard Books

Book Description:
It’s the fourth Wednesday of November, and Patrick Guthrie is giving thanks. He’s giving thanks that his eight-year-old son, Braden, will finally have a procedure on his heart that will cure him of the same life-threatening condition that took Patrick’s wife several years earlier. But when Patrick suddenly loses his job teaching drama at a New York City high school, his already desperate financial situation becomes dire. Rebecca Brody, a social worker, shows up at his door with a judge’s order for him to appear before the city’s family court to determine if Patrick is financially fit, and Patrick realizes he is in danger of losing his son.
Patrick knows that he must somehow make it through the holiday season to a new job waiting for him in the new year. He also knows that Ted Cake, his former father-in-law, blames Patrick so much for the death of his daughter that he, a rich and disagreeable man, is the one pushing the city to call the custody hearing and give the boy over to him. Now Patrick has only three weeks before Christmas to somehow make enough money to pay his bills, present himself to the family court as a fit father, and keep Braden in his life.

My Thoughts:
I enjoyed this book from start to finish. I completely sympathized with Patrick in that he only wanted what was best for his son. It was bad enough to lose his wife to a heart condition and then find out his son has it too. Ted just made me see red in trying to get custody of Braden. You would think that he would be like Patrick and just want the best for Braden.

Why are there so many parents and grandparents that can’t get along for the children’s sake?
Disclosure: Many thanks to Howard Books for the opportunity to review The Ghost of Christmas Present. I received a complimentary copy of this book for purposes of  facilitating this review.

The Bridge - Book Review

The Bridge: A Novel
Author:  Karen Kingsbury
Publisher:  Howard Books

Book Description:
Number one New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury delivers an instant classic with this heartwarming Christmas story about a hundred-year flood, lost love, and the beauty of enduring friendships.
Molly Allen lives alone in Portland, but she left her heart back in Tennessee with a man she walked away from five years ago. They had a rare sort of love she hasn’t found since.
Ryan Kelly lives in Nashville after a broken engagement and several years on the road touring with a country music duo. He can still hear Molly’s voice encouraging him to follow his dreams; Molly, whose memory stays with him. At least he can visit The Bridge—the oldest bookstore in historic downtown Franklin—and remember the hours he and Molly once spent there.
For thirty years, Charlie and Donna Barton have run The Bridge, providing the people of middle Tennessee with coffee, conversation, and shelves of good books—even through dismal book sales and the rise of digital books. Then in May, the hundred-year flood swept through Franklin and destroyed nearly every book in the store.
Now the bank is pulling the lease on The Bridge. Despondent and without answers, Charlie considers the unthinkable. Then tragedy strikes, and suddenly, everything changes. In the face of desperate brokenness and lost opportunities, could the miracle of a second chance actually unfold?
The Bridge is a love story set against the struggle of the American bookstore, a love story you will never forget.

My Thoughts:
The Bridge is a short story, unlike most that I read now. As a Christmas story it was what I expected; however, it didn’t rate as one of the top ten. It’s probably not one that I’ll re-read. It would have been nice to have had more background, which would have made it longer.

Molly and Ryan went to college together, became friends, fell in love, and split up due to family influences. They finally get back together in trying to help rescue the bookstore, The Bridge.

Disclosure: Many thanks to Howard Books for the opportunity to review The Bridge. I received a complimentary copy of this book for purposes of  facilitating this review.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sugar Fork - Book Review

Author:  Walt Larimore
Publisher: Howard Books

About the Book:

This captivating story takes place in the Sugar Fork Valley of the Great Smoky Mountains wilderness during 1925–1926. Nate Randolph and his five unique daughters wrestle to survive after the death of Callie (his wife and their mother) as well as to maintain their farm, forests, family, and faith against an evil lumber company manager seeking to clear-cut their virgin woodland.

A cast of delightful characters, including gypsy siblings, Cherokee Indians, a granny midwife, a world-famous writer, and even a flesh-and-blood Haint, join our heroine, sixteen-year-old Abbie Randolph, in her life-and-death struggle. Abbie falls in love for the first time, helps run the farm, and mothers her independent sisters while battling to preserve her faith when senseless murders threaten to destroy her family and way of life.

Will the Randolph family survive intact? Will the farm be saved? Only a miracle could make it happen.

My Thoughts:

I loved this book. It really opened my eyes to life in the Smokey Mountains in 1925. The story showed the people in the mountains weren't ignorant, backwards, or simple at all. Abbie has been through the mill even before this story hits. Her three younger brothers died while babies and her mother died last year. Then her father and fiance is killed. As she's only 16, her aunt and uncle come out and decide that her and her sisters will go to an orphanage.

There happens to be a law that says if she gets her drivers license, she'll be considered an adult; so, she gets her license. She's able to keep her sisters on the farm. I hope you'll pick this book up either for yourself or as a gift.

Disclosure: Many thanks to Howard Books for the opportunity to review Sugar Fork. I received a complimentary copy of this book for purposes of  facilitating this review.