The Summer Kitchen  (Blue Sky Hill #2)
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The Summer Kitchen (Blue Sky Hill)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  843 ratings  ·  169 reviews
From the author of A Month of Summer, an inspiring new novel in the Blue Sky Hill series about one woman's effect on a struggling Dallas neighborhood.

With her adopted son missing and the rest of her family increasingly estranged, Sandra Kaye Darden is drawn to the little pink house where her Uncle Poppy once provided security. What begins for Sandra as a simple painting p...more
Paperback, 354 pages
Published July 7th 2009 by NAL Trade (first published May 6th 2009)
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The Summer Kitchen is Lisa Wingate's new exciting and inspirational book! It is one of those straight through books-Can't put it down until finished.

Seventeen year old Rusty and his twelve year old sister, Cass Salley Blue, runaway from home just after their mother's funeral, to avoid foster care. Barely earning enough to keep a place to live and food on the table, they end up in a dilapidated apartment in a struggling section of Dallas. SandraKaye Darden is preparing her deceased uncle's little...more
I could not decide whether to give this novel 3 stars or 4!

This book started out strong for me, but after about 2/3 of the way through, I kind of lost interest for a while (to be fair, it could be because I am in the middle of a lot going on right now with family life!)

However Lisa Wingate always has something new to teach us, and in that way this novel did not disappoint.

The Summer Kitchen has two main characters with very differing circumstances. Cass, a pre-teen, is trying to find her uncle s...more
Loved this gentle, but thought provoking book. Well-to-do SandraKaye Darden's oldest son, Jake, has left college to return to his native Guatemala from which he was adopted by SandraKaye and her husband. Left behind is their biological son, Chris--talented musician, struggling academic trying to fill the dream his father had for Jake--to continue the line of Dr. Dardens. SandraKaye's mother and sister are addicts but she has escaped that life due in great part to the love and care of Uncle Poppy...more
The Summer Kitchen has 2 amazing characters. both of them dealing with difficult circumstances who live totally different lives. How they meet and connect by way of peanut butter snadwiches is a wonderful story that wil touch your heart. an easy read but very worthwhile as it will make you think.
I had never read this author before but will look of more of her books.
not sure what is up with me and these 'feel good books' but i loved this one too! would definatly recommend it. no its not phenomenal literature with big character devlopment,etc its just a good old down to earth story. keeps your interest, and its just GOOD! go get it!
Janet Jenkins
Just finished it and really enjoyed it. I like Lisa Wingate's books.
Not entirely sure where I came across this one; thinking it may have been in a bag of books that my grandmother gave me. I wish I would have realized it was one of a series as I would have tried to track down the first one in advance as I like to read series in order, however, it is definitely a stand alone story and I don't really see myself taking the time to find the rest of the series. I'm not sure that giving it three stars is really fair, as it was very well written and did grip me enough...more
Another very good book by Lisa Wingate, again told from various points of view. This one tells the story of Sandra Kay and Cass Blue. Sandra Kay grew up with a basically unhappy childhood, but many happy memories of time spent in the little pink house owned by her Uncle Poppy. They neighborhood, and house, have fallen into disrepair, and Uncle Poppy had been murdered. Sandra's family is falling apart; her adopted son blames himself for the murder and has disappeared. Her other son wilts under t...more
Wonderful story of a woman going through a devastating lose. Rather two loses. And then really more.

She initially starts her journey by just trying to fill time to get through a rough period. But she finds herself drawn into something most people leave to city programs and government.

She cannot ignore the painful existence of people she suddenly notices. Once she is aware of how they are living she feels that even though she is only one person she must do what she can for these few.

As the story...more
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I only liked this book. It seemed at book club that I was in the minority, they all seemed to really enjoy it. For some reason, I just wasn't that drawn into the characters' stories. It was more a chore to read than a delight. I found nothing in it really compelling. The characters I most enjoyed were the children being cared for, 3 year old Opal and 17 year old Christopher and Teddy the grown man with disabilities.

It seemed that the emotion the author was trying to elicit was sympathy for the...more
When a tragic event befalls Sarah she is thrown upside down. Her elderly uncle is murdered and her adopted son decides to go and look for his birth parents while the rest of the family just avoids one another in an effort to try and act like nothing has happened. Sarah is getting her Uncles house ready for sale.... cleaning/ meeting w/ real estate agent/ painting.... the house is a rough section of town and as she goes back and forth she cannot help but notice the individuals that are living amo...more
Good, but not great! Could have used a bit of editing down. Characters are well defined and sympathetic. Told in first person by two women - one middle-aged experiencing losses that have turned her family upside down, the other a 12 year old posing as 17 in order to avoid questions about why there is no adult in the family, brother is 17, posing as 20 for same reason. The older woman, SandraKaye, discovers hungry children in the area of her deceased great uncles house and begins bringing them sa...more
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Jul 30, 2011 Becca rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
Sweet, tender and easy to read, this is a well-conceived story about a wealthy suburban mom who gets outside of her own brokenness to make a difference in a community. (Think "The Blind Side" without the melodrama) The author does a nice job of telling the story from 2 very different voices and makes the moral of the story appear cleanly without any preachy, guilty overtones. The character of Cass was very compelling. This is an example of how Christian fiction can be done well.

The writing has...more
I'd like to give this 3 1/2 stars - pleasantly surprising. My copy says on the front that the author is as "good as Nicholas Sparks" - if I was Lisa Wingate, I'd be ticked. Nicholas Sparks is sappy; the literary equivalent of a big-budget popcorn movie that's all bang, but no buck. (Completely off topic: if Miley Cyrus is the best you can do for a movie, it ain't good.) I was fully prepared to dislike this book, but found myself putting off chores to keep reading. I was particularly appreciative...more
I just finished reading The Summer Kitchen by Lisa Wingate for book club this month. What to say. I enjoyed this story, and the message behind it was inspirational and motivating. That being said, the whole time I was reading this story one of the main characters "Sandra Kaye" really annoyed me the whole time. The weaknesses of her character were so prominent right up until the end of the story. I kept wanting to yell..."You're a 49 year old woman. Act like it"! She was clueless almost the whole...more
I just pulled this off of the shelf at the library because I like the cover. I know. Real die hard are't I. :o) But it turned out to be a good book. Little did I know when I pick it out that it was part of a series. Now I've got to decide if I want to start and end it. Another great thing about Lisa Wingate is that she keeps it clean. I can't say that I'm 'Little Miss Goody Two Shoes', but I am tired of starting books that I just don't want to finish because of content or language.

It is sad to k...more
SandraKaye seems to have the perfect life: doctor husband, two sons, member of a large church, & a comfortable home in the suburbs of Dallas. But the tragic loss of the uncle who helped raise her puts her family in turmoil and causes them to find out well they really know each other.

On the other side of town, orphans Rusty & Cass are just trying to survive on their own. But it's not easy for a teen-age boy to take care of himself & his younger sister, especially when he brings home t...more
So, I was a little worried when I started this book and Wingate was compared to Nicholas Sparks and Richard Paul Evans (two of the sappiest writers ever!!!!) but it went a little better than I feared. Wingate tends to emotionally throw up over most pages - I wish she would have told us how people were feeling through their actions a little more instead of letting us in on every single thought they were having (obvious thoughts I might add). With that said, I did enjoy the story and the character...more
This was a quick, easy "beach read". I enjoy this author as I know her books are clean and they have a sense of community and family to them. This was not my favorite book of hers I have read as I found it a bit predictable at times. Overall it was exactly what I needed this week when, feeling under the weather, I just wanted to curl up with a good book.

Favorite quote: "One thing you gotta learn in your life is that it's okay sometimes to let people in your business. Sometimes the people are th...more
So far, so good. I would definitely recommend the Summer Kitchen.
With the main characters, SandraKaye and Cass telling the story in the first person, they are real to life and about as far apart on the spectrum as you can imagine. On one hand there is the high class doctor's wife living a world apart from Cass the orphan living in the ghetto with her brother, but when their paths intersect... it's a great story.
This book is causing me to think about those in need, when I'm not reading. I can't...more
Jan 03, 2011 Jessica rated it 3 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Patsy
Recommended to Jessica by: Julie M.
This was a very well written book and the ending was about 3 Kleenex for me. One of those where you honestly cry at the end of it. The thoughts that SandraKaye captured really resonated with me. The pushing your children for your goals, not theirs. Her dealing as an adult with being raised by an alcoholic and substance abusing mother. There were just little things here and there that i just thought, I need to remember this. She really captured the little details that makes this author really goo...more
I have read these books in the wrong order, but it doesn't matter. In some ways, I am glad I read the last one first because I can see the connection of the characters in a better light. This was the second book in the three part series and it was my favorite. I enjoyed them all, but I really got into the characters in this one. Again, it was interesting to read the last one first! I think I will do that again!

This series dealt with changing neighborhoods, changing economic times and how the cha...more
After I finished this book, I just kept thinking to go sit down and read some more of it.
I expected to find this book mildly entertaining,more of a fluff read than anything else. I was surprised by the plot that drew me in quickly and allowed me to empathize with the two main characters. I loved the narrative switching back and forth and wondered how the characters would finally meet and interact. The ending was a little quaint and convenient; I expected the ending but yet I think I would have been disappointed had anything else occurred. A suburban mom realizes that there is more t...more
i just could not get into this book. i can't believe how long it's taken me to finish it. i know i'm not a fan of a book when i can't get excited about reading it...on top of all the emotions and the sentimentality and the drippy sappiness of the novel was also too many descriptions. it took way too long to get to the point; there were so many adjectives and images that overtook the story. the story itself had potential, and that much i enjoyed...but it got to the point where i was just weeding...more
Sue Black
I have never read any of Lisa's books and just picked it off the shelf on a whim. I ended up not putting it down. It is told in 2 perspectives. First -the story about 2 runaway siblings and their endless struggles trying to put a roof over their heads and food on the table.
Second - a housewife who has many family struggles - husband, children and her past. She tries to put her uncles house back together in a shady part of town and ends up putting her own life back together as well as the 2 runa...more
Ok, this is another one of those great reads. I could not put this book down. In one scene, Ms. Wingate writes so vividly, my heart was racing as if I was running with the little girl in the story. Two very different worlds that meet - sounds so cliche, but it really isn't. Two worlds meet when someone from one side steps through the artificial barrier that separates them - just as the main character does. This was one of those books that your bookshelf wouldn't be complete without.
Finished about an hour ago & not sure what to rate it. My first thought is that I really liked it, but the first half of the book I thought it was kind of slow. And some parts really annoyed me. Like why didn't SandraKaye just go to Guatemala & look for her son. Other than that I found the book to be enjoyable & it was hard for me to put down once I got to the second half. I also liked the crossover from characters from A Month of Summer. Inspiring without preachiness, a good summer...more
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Lisa Wingate is a popular inspirational speaker, magazine columnist, and national bestselling author of several books, including Tending Roses, Good Hope Road, The Language of Sycamores, and Drenched in Light. Her work was recently honored by the Americans for More Civility for promoting greater kindness and civility in American life. Lisa and her family live in Central Texas.
More about Lisa Wingate...
Tending Roses (Tending Roses #1) Talk of the Town (Daily Texas, #1) Good Hope Road  (Tending Roses #2) A Month of Summer (Blue Sky Hill #1) The Prayer Box

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