Monday, October 31, 2011

Oogy: the Dog only a Family Could Love-Larry Levin

Oogy: the Dog only a Family Could Love

Larry Levin

Grand Central, Oct 18 2011, $13.99

ISBN: 9780446546300

The Philadelphia police raided a suspected drug dealer’s home in Montgomery County. There they found a ripped apart canine barely alive. They took the dog to Ardmore Animal Hospital where the battered animal fought for his life while Saint Diane insists Dr. Bianco save the dog with half of his face missing. Apparently, the “owner” assumed the dog was not a fighter; ergo useless except as training bait for his fight dogs.

Larry Levin and his adopted twin sons (Noah and Don) were taking their elderly ailing cat to the hospital to be put down. They meet Oogy recovering from surgery when he escapes his cell to kiss the boys to the amazement of the veterinary staff as Oogy should have been an angry beast instead of a gentle trusting canine. With Dr. Bianco insisting to a reluctant Jennifer that Oogy is “Mr. Happy Dog”, the battered canine joins the Levin family where he bonds with Larry and becomes the protective “third twin” to the boys.

This is an engaging memoir that focuses on a dog that beats the odds to bring joy to a family. Canine lovers will appreciate Oogy’s story as the odious abusers could not rip the heart and soul out of this remarkable canine.

Harriet Klausner

Pharmacology-Christopher Hertz


Christopher Hertz

AmazonEncore, Dec 62011, $14.95

ISBN: 9781612181387

In the early 1990s, Sarah Striker is leaving Kansas City, Missouri to attend school in San Francisco. However, before leaving home, over grilled cheese her beloved dad informs her he has cancer, but insists she go. She promises to send home money to help pay for her father’s medical treatment.

In San Francisco, Sarah rooms with six people and obtains work at the Horseshoe CafĂ©. She makes money selling weed to her sibling bosses, which Sarah sends home so her dad can undergo radical medical treatment. Sarah publishes the Luddite issues which leads to a high paying gig for a pharmaceutical firm peddling its attention deficit disorder elixir through a blog. However, as she begins to learn the side effects of the miracle drug, Sarah’s ethics and her father’s expensive treatment place her in an uncomfortable position even as she alleviates some of her guilt with a zine exposĂ©.

Pharmacology is an entertaining character study that captures the essences of the early states of the internet information (and misinformation and disinformation) of the Clinton first term. The support cast in San Francisco and the protagonist’s parents enhance a look at the era and at Sarah. However, the heroine makes the tale work as she confronts her conflicting values.

Harriet Klausner

Roam: A Novel With Music-Alan Lazar

Roam: A Novel With Music

Alan Lazar

Atria, Nov 1 2011, $22.00

ISBN 9781451632903

Nelson the half beagle, half poodle lives with Katey and Don. The canine especially loves his Katey though he fears the marriage between her and Don is falling apart. When Don accidentally leaves a gate open, Nelson follows his nose and wanders outside the perimeter. However, he soon becomes lost and his frantic efforts to sniff his way back to his “Great Love” fail, but he never quits trying to find his Katey. Over the next few years, Nelson trucks with Thatcher and joins a wild wolf pack. As Nelson survives still seeking his beloved Katey, he loses a leg before a widower’s young son saves him from state execution leaving his dream alive.

Roam is an engaging whimsical tale of lost love told mostly from the ultra loyal childlike canine perspective of charming Nelson. The hero is placed in several perilous situations, but his obsessive quest keeps him going. With seven songs (on the internet) enhancing Nelson’s search, readers will never listen to Here Comes the Sun the same way again as we root for the determined dog to reunite with his lost Great Love.

Harriet Klausner

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century-Ian Mortimer

The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century

Ian Mortimer

Touchstone, Oct 25 2011, $15.00

ISBN: 9781439112908

Using the refreshing format of a travel guide, medieval historian Dr. Ian Mortimer provides a profound look at living in fourteenth century England. Besides a sense of touring, armchair travelers will learn much about diverse lifestyles beyond the typical warriors, farmers, and religious leaders as society is not just abuser-abused relationships. Part of the fun is how easily Dr. Mortimer explodes contemporary myths about life six centuries ago starting with the belief that squalor was the norm although cottage smog was a norm. With insight into medicine (or lack of) as the plague devastates England and the continent, readers will learn how people worked to put food on the table and the in your face with profanities sermons. With corpses hanging on the edge of town and in water supplies, history fans will appreciate a tour of Medieval England with Dr. Mortimer as a super guide who amongst other tidbits provides “Ten Places to See in London” a city of approximately 40,000 as an example of what to expect in this strong “Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century.”

Harriet Klausner

Marina Melee-Lynne M. Hickey

Marina Melee

Lynne M. Hickey

Casperian, Jun 1 2011, $15.00

ISBN: 9781934081327

George Marshall learns the true meaning of three strikes and you’re out when his lawyer Uncle Bernie loses his third divorce case. His father, CEO of Marshall Enterprises, is sick of his playboy son so he ends his allowance as the firm’s alleged CFO.

Deciding to leave Texas, George sails the Caribbean where he learns that American expatriate Tracker is selling his Sao Jorge marina at a cheap price in order to go home. George buys the marina unaware of its deficiencies. He soon is overwhelmed with code violation fines and local operating fees that leave him teetering near bankruptcy. As he sleeps with the governor's wife, George hires three maybe capable locals while his mom hires a private investigator to check in on what trouble George has fallen into this time.

Filled with mirth, Marina Melee is a wonderful Caribbean adventure starring a silver spoon slacker who matures while stumbling away from home as he did back in Texas. Character driven by a strong cast to include George, his family, the islanders, and his mom’s hirelings, fans will appreciate this jocular tale of an “Ugly” American in Sao Jorge.

Harriet Klausner

A Pinch of Love-Alicia Bessette

A Pinch of Love

Alicia Bessette

Plume, Oct 25 2011, $15.00

ISBN: 9780452297111

In Wippamunk, Rose Ellen Roy, known better as Zell, remains grieving for her deceased husband Nick, who died one year ago while on a volunteer mission of relief in New Orleans following Katrina. With her dog Ahab at her side, she wears his camouflage apron as a means of remaining connected to Nick though she does not cook, but cannot enter the attic filled with their memories.

A fire caused by Zell’s first use of the stove since Nick’s death brings Garrett Knox, his replacement at the Wippamunker to her place. She informs the Chief that the cooking fire was caused by the postman bringing her Meals in a Cinch with Polly Pinch. Zell says she was baking cookies for her new neighbor, Garrett’s motherless nine year old daughter Ingrid. The two females soon plan to enter the uplifting cooking contest that the Polly Cinch flyer proclaimed.

This is an interesting character study of a woman who is beginning to move through the phases of grief due to her new neighbors especially the somewhat too precocious Ingrid encouraging her to bake meals and treats. The cast is fully developed including the late Nick and even Ahab has a personality as readers will enjoy Zell baking a new recipe for life though she still feels survivor guilt.

Harriet Klausner

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Puppy That Came for Christmas: How a Dog Brought One Family the Gift of Joy-Megan Rix

The Puppy That Came for Christmas: How a Dog Brought One Family the Gift of Joy

Megan Rix

Plume, Oct 25 2011, $14.00

ISBN: 9780452297487

In her early forties, Megan and Ian Rix wanted a baby, but even fertility treatments seemed to fail. Rather than mope, they train golden retriever pups as Helper Dogs for people with disabilities. However, six months as “foster” parents to Emma, followed by Freddy broke their hearts when the canines moved into their permanent homes. Ready to quit as trainers, Traffy The Puppy That Came for Christmas, joins the household. However Traffy remained a permanent member of the Rix household.

With an obvious nod to John Grogan's Marley and Me, Traffy is indeed the dog who brought joy to the Rix family. Well written, canine lovers will appreciate Megan Rix's account of how much happiness a dog that is part of a loving family brings to the bonded household.

Harriet Klausner

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Talking to the Dead-George Noory and Rosemary Ellen Guiley

Talking to the Dead

George Noory and Rosemary Ellen Guiley

Forge, Oct 11 2011, $24.99

ISBN: 9780765325389

Throughout recorded history, people have tried to communicate with the deceased. Up into the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century, most contact attempts were through a medium. Machines like the telephone and the telegraph began to change that need of a medium. Edison stated he was a believer in the ability to talk to the dead and implied he was working on a telephone like device. Newer technologies like computers have increased the belief of many that one day two way communication will occur.

Radio host George Noory and paranormal expert Rosemary Ellen Guiley provide a fascinating look at the ancient and recent past, the present, and the possible future for the living and the dead talking to one another. Although the two authors affirm there is no scientific validated reliable proof of such contact, they provide interesting anecdotal entries as Mr. Noory has done on his radio show. Although a four page appendix explaining how to experiment on your own seems more an inane afterthought, Talking to the Dead is an enjoyable look at the history of possibly the final communication frontier.

Harriet Klausner

Christmas Note-Donna VanLiere

Christmas Note

Donna VanLiere

St. Martin’s, Oct 25 2011, $14.99

ISBN: 9780312658960

Accompanied by her two small children (Emma and Ethan) while her husband is overseas with the military, Gretchen Daniels moves into an apartment building to be closer to her divorced mom Miriam and to her job as a hygienist. On their first day in their new place, they meet their neighbor reticent Melissa McCreary, who barely acknowledges the Daniels family. Melissa is an urban hermit who owns almost nothing and relates with no one.

The landlord seeks Melissa who is not home. He asks Gretchen to inform Melissa that her mother Ramona died and she needs to clear out the apartment. Gretchen offers to help Melissa with the difficult task. The apartment is a disaster of junk with no items of value except personal stuff. However, a note reveals to a stunned Melissa that she has two siblings. Gretchen and Melissa begin a search.

The latest Donna VanLiere Christmas inspirational (see The Christmas Shoes, The Christmas Blessing and The Christmas Hope) is a terrific tale of two females bonding as friends. Each gains much from their friendship. With a great late twist, fans will enjoy this entertaining holiday tale by one of the best authors at providing good will to all.

Harriet Klausner

Sunrise on Cedar Key-Terri DuLong

Sunrise on Cedar Key

Terri DuLong

Kensington, Nov 1 2011, $15.00

ISBN: 9780758268655

A decade ago Grace Stone and Beau Hamilton broke up. She moved to Cedar Key, Florida where she opened up "Coffee, Tea and Thee". Recently she convinced her beloved Aunt Maude to move from Brunswick to Cedar Key. However, while helping her relative, Grace learns her coffee shop and her apartment were destroyed in a fire.

Maude invites Grace to live with her in the historic "Coachman House" and partner with her in turning the large home into "The Blue Moon Knitting Retreat". Grace and Lucas Trudeau, the newcomer who owns the Book Shop, meet and are attracted to one another. Meanwhile her estranged sister Chloe arrives, which in Grace’s mind means trouble and nastiness as she and her sibling have never gotten along.

This is a warm tender contemporary tale starring a strong cast who bond one stitch at a time. The amazing Grace is the glue that holds the plot together as she reinvents herself for the second time. The secondary characters enhance the engaging novel as knitting brings together a caring sisterhood. Terri DuLong provides a charming Cedar key sunrise.

Harriet Klausner

Ed King-David Guterson

Ed King

David Guterson

Knopf, Oct 18 2011, $26.95

ISBN: 9780307271068

In 1962 Seattle, thirtyish actuary Walter Cousins’ wife Lydia suffers a nervous breakdown. He hires teenage English exchange student Diane Burroughs as an au pair to take care of his two kids, four years old Barry and three years old Tina. A week into her employment, he is sleeping with her. Diane becomes pregnant but vanishes with her newborn.

For years afterward, Walter sends child support payments to Diane for a child he has not seen. He remains ignorant to the fact that Diane abandoned her infant. Alice and Dan King adopt Ed; he is raised in a nurturing reformed Jewish family. As a teen Ed gets into a fatal highway incident, but walks away shaken only and has an affair with a high school teacher. He becomes a brilliant mathematician working on the field of search. Diane and Ed meet at the same exhibit she attended years earlier with Walter and his kids. They are attracted to one another even as his firm Pythia becomes mega. However, his genome mapping leads him to much of the truth about who he is not.

This is a brilliant satirical modernization of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex in which the Gods are computers and fate is avarice fueled by happenchance that brings womanizing Walter, Diane the con artist, and Ed the older woman lover with a Freudian Oedipus Complex together. The three protagonists are not likable individuals yet their human foibles make for a fascinating, often amusing lampooning of contemporary relationships.

Harriet Klausner

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Day Before Happiness-Erri DeLuca and Michael Moore (Translator)

The Day Before Happiness

Erri DeLuca and Michael Moore (Translator)

Other Press, Nov 1 2011, $16.95

ISBN: 9781590514818

During the war, Naples building super Don Gaetano befriends a boy. When the lad errantly kicks his soccer ball, he climbs a drainpipe to retrieve it. There he sees Anna a Jewish girl inside a room hidden from view except his lofty position.

Residents of Naples want to move on now that WWII is over although signs of the combat and atrocities are everywhere. The orphaned youngster realizes his mentor Don, who was in danger of Fascist execution during the war, hid a Jewish child there. He hopes his Anna will return soon. When she does, he knows she is his love, but though they share a heavenly tryst, she has a gangster boyfriend and lost her mind as her madness comes from her years of concealment.

The Day Before Happiness is not an easy read though it is a well written late 1940s historical thriller. The story line is character driven by four people and with a nod to The Diary of Anne Frank, Erri DeLuca captures the battered soul of a people, a country and a continent struggling to deal with turning blind during the Holocaust.

Harriet Klausner

Me, You-Erri DeLuca and Beth Archer Brombert (Translator)

Me, You

Erri DeLuca and Beth Archer Brombert (Translator)

Other Press, Dec 1 2011, $12.95

ISBN: 9781590514795

In the 1950s the teen spends the summer with his uncle and Nicola on a Neapolitan barrier island. The lad stays mostly with Nicola who uses the uncle’s boat to fish and taught the sixteen year old how to fish.

He meets Caia, a Yugoslavian war orphan who was rescued from Nazi atrocities that left her family dead by Italian soldiers. She is spending the summer on the island with a friend. Nicola warns him to be careful with his affections. Still he falls in love with Caia who is Jewish and begins to explore Italy's role in World War II in which his father was a soldier. The Slav and the Italian teen forge a tender relationship as she allows him to use the Yiddish pronunciation of her name "Chaiele" and dubs him her Tateh as he feels a need to protect the vulnerable orphan. When he gets into a fight with German tourists singing the SS anthem he takes it as an affront to his girlfriend but his cousin Daniele intercedes. Meanwhile he increasingly gets more and more frustrated as his demands about the war remain unanswered except by the stoic fisherman.

This is a powerful look at the psychic aftermath of the Nazi reign of terror on Europe. The Italians feel ashamed for what happened but would prefer Caia as a surviving reminder of Never Forget atrocities to leave, and the family of the protagonist who narrates the drama prefers he stop asking questions on events they want buried and forgotten. While the Americans debate the merits of the three New York centerfielders, Europe struggles to deal with turning blind during the war and wanting to remain myopic afterward re the Holocaust.

Harriet Klausner

The Cats in the Doll Shop-Yona Zeldis McDonough and Heather Maione (Illustrator)

The Cats in the Doll Shop

Yona Zeldis McDonough and Heather Maione (Illustrator)

Viking, Nov 10 2011, $14.99

ISBN: 978670012794

In New York City, the letter arrives from Russia written in Hebrew informing Mama and Papa that their eleven year old niece Tania is coming to live with them as her Mama obtained a position as a maid but with no children allowed. Whereas eleven years old Anna is exhilarated with a cousin her age for at least a year until her aunt can come too; her nine years old sister Trudy and her smarty pants teenage sibling Sophie are not quite as exuberant with the prospect.

As they anxiously wait to show their cousin their parents’ store Breittlemann’s Doll Shop, the three sisters tend to an injured kitten they name Plucky; Papa remains adamant no felines in his house as cats are outdoors in the old country. Tania arrives sad and lonely. Anna soon realizes her belligerent cousin is like Plucky unable to communicate and feeling lost without her Mama.

The continuation of the early twentieth century New York Lower East Side tenant family drama (see The Doll Shop Downstairs) is a great middle school historical. The timely engaging story line is character driven by the four young girls and the intrepid cat as readers will enjoy a slice of life while learning how much immigrants have brought to this great nation.

Harriet Klausner

Monday, October 10, 2011

Death and Oil: A True Story of the Piper Alpha Disaster on the North Sea-Brad Matsen

Death and Oil: A True Story of the Piper Alpha Disaster on the North Sea

Brad Matsen

Pantheon, Oct 18 2011, $25.95

ISBN: 9780307378811

On July 6, 1988, explosions devastated the Piper Alpha offshore oil rig in the North Sea off Scotland with the blaze burning for weeks afterward. One hundred and sixty two workers and two first responders died in the tragedy. Starting on the twentieth anniversary and two years before the Deepwater Horizon calamity, Brad Matsen interviewed a wide range of people impacted by the North Sea disaster. The research into the rig’s history and that of other rig incidents will stun readers. However it is the first hand accounts by the survivors and others that bring to life Mr. Matsen’s well written often angry look at the impact of mechanical failure, human error, government lack of oversight due to highest level decisions to choose drill baby over safety, and a lack of corporate responsibility and accountability that also chose drill over safety. While I wonder what the results of a survey would produce done in the Gulf region as to how many people were aware of Piper Alpha as this seems so eerily familiar to what happened at Deepwater Horizon.

Harriet Klausner

His Steadfast Love-Golden Keyes Parson

His Steadfast Love

Golden Keyes Parson

Thomas Nelson, Nov 1 2011, $15.99

ISBN: 9781595546296

In 1860 Texas, Amanda Belle expects to never marrry as she already has a family to raise. She promised her dying mother she would help her father the preacher care for her brother Daniel and younger sisters (Emmaline, Mary and Catherine). However, when Army Captain Kent Littlefield begins attending her dad’s church, Amanda knows she is attracted to him.

In 1861, Texas secedes from the Union. Daniel joins the Confederacy while Kent remains with the Union. Amanda worries about the safety of the two men she loves. She turns to God for guidance especially on slavery, but the Lord is mute. When her father, dies, Amanda knows her three siblings come before her aching heart and soul as she remains steadfast to God to help her and others through the horror of war.

Aptly titled His Steadfast Love is a character driven inspirational Civil War tale that makes a strong case that armed conflict is rarely if ever the answer to disputes. Although the story line starts slowly, once the war ignites, the novel accelerates with vivid descriptions of the experiences of the lead trio and others. Readers will appreciate this exciting Americana tale as Amanda wonders why God is silent allowing man to cause so much pain to fellow man.

Harriet Klausner

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Visionary-Pamela S. Thibodeaux

The Visionary

Pamela S. Thibodeaux

Five Star, Nov 16 2011, $25.95

ISBN 9781432825492

Fraternal twins Taylor and Trevor Forrestier establish T & T Enterprises in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Their firm focuses on architectural and interior design. However, each remains haunted by a horrific abusive childhood that they fled from when they came to Louisiana.

Alex Broussard hires T&T to renovate an old stately home. Taylor uses her uncanny skill to “see” what the interior once looked like in its heyday and sketches it as she would prefer to return the house to its glory past. As Taylor and Alex fall in love, she struggles with caring for someone besides Trevor, who is very protective of her. He worries about her though she insists she has found God. When Trevor is hurt he looks inside himself and how he feels about office worker Pam and God. Still in spite of each twin finding love, neither can let go of their emotionally crippling childhood even as a hurricane threatens the area.

This is an engaging inspirational family drama with two romantic subplots. The story line is character driven by the twins who never moved passed their abusive childhoods until forced to confront feelings for God and people besides each other. Readers will appreciate this fascinating tale as the child is the adult; summed up by Trevor who always had love with his sister, but now finds love with Pam and the Lord but fears taking chances on the latter two as he will always suffer from nightmares.

Harriet Klausner

The Spirit of Christmas-Cecil Murphey and Marley Gibson

The Spirit of Christmas

Cecil Murphey and Marley Gibson

St. Martin’s, Oct 25 2011, $14.99

ISBN: 9780312645014

This warm tender Christmas anthology contains forty-two- true short stories by contributors who mostly are not writers. The length of each entry is perfect with five pages being the average and none over ten. The editors open with their favorite Yuletide moments; as Cecil Murphey and his pregnant wife are alone at college until a professor invites them to dine and Marley Gibson describes her family love (and kitty humor) when her grieving mom cancels the holidays. After the editors set the mood, Dan Piper leaves readers teary-eyed and never looking at a can of tuna in the same way. Whether the writer takes you to a crowded post office (by Wayne Scheer), in Cocoa Beach (with Jean Matthew Hall) or an Irish pub in South Korea (Pamela Jo Floria), this is an inspiring collection filled with loving caring people who give time and more like the doll Joanne Y Gyrate’s dad gave her. Readers will enjoy this wonderful compilation that captures the Spirit of Christmas but is much more as the anthology is for all seasons since the authors capture the spirit of what makes us human.

Harriet Klausner

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lost Melody-Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith

Lost Melody

Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith

Zondervan, Oct 25 2011,

ISBN: 9780310289869

In Manhattan, Jill King rides the train to Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute to attend a workshop culminating with her playing in the great hall. Jill and friendly Robert chat and as they shake hands, the train crashes. She is pinned down by something but by her side also trapped is Robert.

One year later, Jill suffers from headaches and is haunted by her piano sitting unused in her apartment as the horrific train accident ended her dream of becoming a concert pianist; the scar on her left hand is proof that she will never play like she once did. She also wonders about Robert who vanished once help arrived. She hides in Seaside Cove, Nova Scotia while her nana and her boyfriend Greg Bradford worry about her and her mom struggles with recovering from a stroke. However, Jill suffers from a nightmare that has her panicking over an inferno destroying her town. She sounds the alarm at a cost to Greg’s political ambitions and their relationship while the townsfolk assume she lost more than her musical ability.

Lost Melody is a strong character driven whimsical inspirational tale starring a flawed individual who suffers from PTSD. Jill is terrific as she holds the story line together while receiving the pity stares of the neighbors she wants to save from the disaster she dreams is coming. Using the disaster of the Mont-Blanc in Halifax Harbor in 1917 as a base, Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith provide a heavenly tale of a woman who learns about pride being a deadly sin as there are plenty of stanzas to play perhaps not in Carnegie hall, but in Seaside Cove if one chooses life.

Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Goat Woman of Largo Bay-Gillian Royes

The Goat Woman of Largo Bay

Gillian Royes

Atria, Oct 4 2011, $15.00

ISBN: 9781451627411

Former convict Shadrack “Shad” Myers is a bartender at the Largo Bay Restaurant and Bar in Jamaica. He and his employer American businessman Eric Keller notice an odd sight on a tiny island that the Yank owns across the bay. They head over for a closer look at what appears from a distance to be a goat. Instead, they meet fortyish pretty Simone Hall who explains she wants to be left alone as a hermit while coping with a tragedy.

Simone offers Eric rent to remain alone on his island. She keeps a dairy of sorts and begins to welcome Eric’s visits. However, others spot her and soon Largo bay is abuzz about the female hermit. Her concerned brother Cameron Carter arrives from the States hoping to take Simone home with him. At the same time, thugs Tiger and Sharpie, who work muscle for factory owner Milton Manheim, decide to visit the Goat Woman of Largo Bay.

The cast including Jamaica make for an engaging character study of a emotionally scarred woman struggling simply to breathe as she has taken a timeout from life. Readers will root for Simone to reclaim her moxie while Shad, Eric and others encourage her to return to the living. Though there is some limited suspense that adds little to the story line, the Goat Woman of Largo Bay is an enjoyable look at caring people helping to heal a hurting individual.

Harriet Klausner

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sunrise on the Battery-Beth Webb Hart

Sunrise on the Battery

Beth Webb Hart

Thomas Nelson, Oct 11 2011, $15.99

ISBN: 9781595542007

Jackson and Mary Lynn Scoville have come a long way from their rustic roots in Round O, South Carolina. They made a fortune selling coastal real estate inherited from his family and were able to relocate to Charleston where they want a better cultivated life for their daughters (Catherine, Lilla and Casey) than they had growing up.

However, materialism has proven a false idol to Mary Lynn who feels out of her element in the high society of the city. Instead she returns to God who she has forgotten like an amnesiac, but He has now gotten her attention. She wants Jackson to join her but he wrote off God years ago as a bad bet. A strange incident brings Jackson back into the fold, but like he does with everything he goes zealously all out; leaving his wife to wonder if she erred when she prayed for his deliverance.

This an entertaining second chance with the Lord tale starring a family who must decide what matters in life. Each member of the Scoville quintet is fully developed with differing personalities and motivations, but especially the parents and Catherine. Although the story line starts slow as the cast, location and premise are set, readers will relish this engaging character driven tale that asks the audience whether we run with or from God.

Harriet Klausner