The Christmas Note (Audio DC) by Donna VanLiere is difficult to rate. Some parts were very enjoyable and there were other parts that I thought should...moreThe Christmas Note (Audio DC) by Donna VanLiere is difficult to rate. Some parts were very enjoyable and there were other parts that I thought should be deleted. There are four discs to this set. I was ready to quit listening to this story after I finished disc number one. The main characters are two women.
Gretchen Daniels is a wife of a soldier who fought in Afghanistan, she has two children and has just moved into a new neighborhood to get settled. She came off several times in disc one as being very sanctimonious. She did admit that her children were more considerate of other people than she was. The neighbor next door. Melissa McCreary seems an exaggerated type of the mean lady next door. She is the type that would slam the door in your face if you knock and ask her something.
I decided to try the second disc and for the most part, I liked that the two women were beginning to learn about each other and not be so critical of each other. Gretchen does volunteer to help Melissa clean out her deceased mother’s apartment. She offers first but she really hopes that she won’t be taken up on it. Melissa is shocked that someone would help her. Actually, she was just going to let the landlord dump everything.
There is a lot of emphasis on Christian values and principals. This was to the point of irritating to me because it seems to interrupt the flow of the story and seems to be laid down pretty heavy. I would prefer the points presented by the author to be much more subtle.
I did think that the author did a wonderful job of reading, she had different voices for the characters and made the story more interesting by the way that she said things. (less)
I stayed up until three in the morning finishing Reunion by Hannah Pittard. I could not stop reading it. Kate Pulaski is a screenwriter who is washed...more I stayed up until three in the morning finishing Reunion by Hannah Pittard. I could not stop reading it. Kate Pulaski is a screenwriter who is washed up and has just made a mess of her marriage. When I started this book, I was amazed at how much I didn’t like the main character. She is a perpetual liar, she spends money without the thought of tomorrow, she is very manipulative and critical of others, and she hates her dad. So, why didn’t I want to stop reading? The author is amazing, she hooked me without my knowing it and I think that she could do this to any reader.
At the beginning of the story, Kate was ready on a plane already that had been delayed and she gets a phone call telling her that her dad had died, that he had shot himself. Her brother and sister want her to come to her dad’s house, she doesn’t even want to do that. But she does end up on a plane to Atlanta, her hometown. Over four days, her secrets and her brother and sister’s emerge, she learns that she is similar the man she hated, her father. The four days are filled with emotional turmoil and painful lessons, and discovery and when all this is revealed, I began to understand her, why she acted the way she did and how she stopped hiding from herself. The more that she stopped deceiving herself and started to challenge others, the more I liked her.
This book is an emotional journey that I was reluctant to take because of what I knew of Kate at the beginning but I found myself so wrapped up in her self-exploration and courage to face the truth that I could not lay the book down, I had to know what was going to become of Kate. Now I want to read more of Hannah Pittard’s books.
I received this Advance Reading Copy as a win from FirstReads but that in no way influenced my thoughts or feelings in this review. (less)
Marley and Me by John Grogan has been on my shelf for a long time. My friends had raved about this book but wanted to read it at my convenience. Final...moreMarley and Me by John Grogan has been on my shelf for a long time. My friends had raved about this book but wanted to read it at my convenience. Finally, I picked it up and popped CD, number one in my boom box. John and Jenny were enjoying being married and Jenny mentioned that there was something missing. She found an ad in the newspaper about Labrador puppies. They went out to the puppy mill to fell for one (this was some time ago). They also love Bob Marley’s music so they named the pup that they were drawn to after him. Marley had been a “clearance pup”. They would find out later why his price was reduced.
Marley as a pup was exploding with energy, did goofy things that made them laugh and also had an uncanny knowledge of knowledge of when to be quiet and gentle. He grew up to be ninety-seven pounds of an unforgettable dog. This story tells of his life from the puppy mill to home, the addition of the children, one by one, the attempt at dog obedience school and so many adventures.
The author approached me to read and review The Amish Widow's Faith. Joseph Hersh does well with the general theme. I think he has a good future in Am...moreThe author approached me to read and review The Amish Widow's Faith. Joseph Hersh does well with the general theme. I think he has a good future in Amish fiction.
The story starts out with Samantha and Robert Yoder enjoying their happy married life. They were at the point of getting questions about when they would be starting a family. They were enjoying being married so much that they had put it off for a while. Then Robert suddenly dies of an aneurism. She is shocked! They had planned to grow old together. Samantha doesn’t know how to deal with it. Her grief is so great that she goes into deep depression. Her mother tries to get her up and living life again but she is encased in grief.
Time passes and she still dreams of Robert and even imagines him in the room but when she tries to touch him she realizes that he is not real. She decides to go to the grief support group that was recommended to her. This is a strong main story of the experience of grief and dealing with it. I think I would like to suggest to the other to develop some side stories about Samantha’s family and maybe put some more events in her life to make the story richer. Even though this Amish fiction story deals with grief, it also is romantic Amish fiction later in the story. I tend to lean towards Amish mysteries or Amish fiction with lessons. I think that the author is on the right track but hope that he develops a fuller, richer story in the future.
I recommend this book to all who love Amish Romance. Also I received an e-book copy from the author free of any carge but that in no way influenced my thoughts or feelings in this review. (less)