Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Jewel of Gresham Green- Lawanna Blackwell

The Jewel of Gresham Green
Lawanna Blackwell
Bethany House, Aug 2008, $13.99
ISBN: 9780764205118

Fearing for the safety of her daughter though she too is in danger, Jewel Libby flees her home; heeding the advice of trusted friends she journeys to rustic Gresham to ask the Vicar Andrew Phelps and his wife Julia Hollis for sanctuary for her and her child. They take the newcomers into their home.

Meanwhile Andrew and Julia are concerned about their relationship with her two adult children. Aleda the writer has become a hermit who wants nothing to do with anyone even her mother. Philip the surgeon is being pulled into opposite directions as he his wife loathes his closeness to his extended family and makes efforts to pull him away from them. When Andrew becomes ill, he needs Philip’s medical skills, but efforts to help his stepfather angers his spouse. Meanwhile, Aleda inadvertently abets a nasty individual causing problems for the Gresham villagers especially her mom and ailing stepfather. Ironically fearful in hiding Jewel becomes a gem as she brings compassion and caring to a family in trouble.

Fans of the Gresham Chronicles will relish this jewel of a tale as Lawanna Blackwell continues the account with more of a focus on Aleda’s two adult children. The story line is character driven by the extended family which also includes Jewel and her daughter. Ironically they provide the lesson and inspiration to the extended Phelps-Hollis households of second chances and everyone needs someone who cares them and who they can care about too. THE JEWEL OF GRESHAM GREEN is a strong addition to a great saga.

Harriet Klausner

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