So, I'm reposting this one with a bigger cover image, so that you can get the full effect. This is one that I have available for giveaway from the author, but have yet to hear from a winner. Anyone else interested while I'm in a good mood and willing to give a chance?? *wink*
Amanda Janvier and husband Neil take motherless niece Tally into their seemingly storybook life, all the while refusing to acknowledge that their son Chase is haunted by memories of the horrific house fire no one talks about. Secrets of the past can’t stay hidden forever behind their white picket fence.
Susan Meissner cannot remember a time when she wasn’t driven to put her thoughts down on paper. Her novel The Shape of Mercy was a Publishers Weeklypick for best religious fiction of 2008 and a Christian Book Award finalist. Susan and her husband live in Southern California, where he is a pastor and a chaplain in the Air Force Reserves. They are the parents of four grown children.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
When I heard about this new novel from Susan Meissner, I was extremely excited because to me "The Shape of Mercy" is now a classic that all students who study the Crucible should also have to read. While "White Picket Fences" is a completely different type of book it is still incredible writing. For me, I would not necessarily call it a favorite, but overall as a whole (redundant I know, but making a point here) I enjoyed it. Looking at the cover of this book tells you the most of what you need to know. There is the white picket fence slats and then a spiders web weaving it's way right in. Perfectionism would make one want to get rid of the web and go back to perfection, but the artistic persona would believe that the web was part of the whole picture that made it a different kind of perfect. Really, this cover could not be more appropriate for the message within the story.
Several characters share their point of view and take the slot as the main protagonist going throughout the book. There is Amanda, the mother who realizes everything is fading from her grasp and her way of dealing seems to be to sit and watch it go. Then there is Tallulah, or Tally, the cousin that has had a roller coaster life, or at least it would seem that way to an outsider. Learning the obstacles and neat realities of her life is an adventure and really not all bad. Lastly of main people, there is Chase, the son who deals with a memory that he cannot see the entirety of and possibility seems to push him further and further to the edge.
There were times while reading that I was just ready for something to happen. While there are some action events in this novel that is not the type of novel that it is. This book is more about the inner part of a person and how things change and affect it. It is incredible the way that Susan writes and she can really get to you as a reader and challenge your own emotions and the way that you see things in your own life. So many people try to live the life of perfection and it is interesting how they react when things do not quite pan out that way. The questions and changes to the lives of the characters is not what one would expect after reading the book blurb or hearing a summary. There are psychological elements here and they are barely touched upon in the writing, but present non the less.
I personally, put this book on the keeper shelf, but recommend that when you read it to have some time available so that you can mull over just what it is that you should take from reading the novel.
*This book was provided for review by Waterbrook Multnomah.*
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- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: WaterBrook Press (October 6, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1400074576
- ISBN-13: 978-1400074570