Friday, October 4, 2013

Home to Heather Creek Series

Before the Dawn Charlotte had just returned from San Diego with the three grandchildren. The children had lost their mother to an automobile accident. Charlotte and Bob had gone there as soon as they received the news of their daughter's death, but Bob had had to return to their Nebraska farm shortly after the funeral. Charlotte had stayed with the kids for the week, dealing with the aftermath of their daughter's death.

Now, here they were. Sixteen year old Sam, thirteen year old Emily, and ten year old Christopher, transported from the bustle of city life to their grandparent's farm … out in the boonies. Charlotte wondered, how would the children adjust? How would they do in school? Sam loved
soccer and the high school hadn't even thought of a soccer team. Emily loved chatting with her friends and there was hardly any cell reception on the farm. And Christopher, quiet Christopher. How would he adjust? And Charlotte wondered about her and Bob too. They were in their mid sixties. How could they possibly do this? She knew it would only be with the Lord's help.

What a great novel of a family struggling to make it through a huge adjustment. Fears, hurts, and mistakes all rear their ugly heads as Charlotte tries to love the children into their family.

The characters are well crafted. I could feel Charlotte's pain and frustration at trying to help grandchildren she'd hardly ever seen. I was angry right along with Emily as she tried to face a world so different from the one she had known. My heart went out to Sam who tried to be so strong as he took care of his younger siblings. And sweet Christopher. My stomach ached along with his those first days in a strange school.

Be sure to have a tissue when you get close to the end of the book. I mean it. Even hard nosed farmer Grandpa Bob … well, you'll just have to read the book.

Kathleen Bauer is the pen name for a team of authors writing the Home to Heather Creek series. This novel was written by Carolyne Aarsen, a city girl transplanted to the country when she married. While raising four children, foster children, and various animals, she learned to handle cows, drive tractors, ride horses, and train colts. She gardened, pickled, and canned and also learned how to write. Her first book sold in 1997 and since then has published over forty books.

Guideposts, 282 pages.

Sweet September In this sequel to Before the Dawn, the summer is over, school is back in session and the harvest has begun on the farm.

Charlotte and Bob's grandchildren are still having difficulties after being moved from San Diego to the Nebraska farm. The kids miss their mom and Charlotte grieves the loss of their daughter.

But life on the farm goes on. Charlotte is often overwhelmed by her responsibilities and relies on the Lord and her close friends for support. Bob, in his mid sixties, is miffed when their son hires a combining crew to do the soybean harvest. Sam is having a great deal of trouble with his high school classes. Emily still doesn't like being on the farm, especially when it means gathering eggs from the stinky chicken coup. And Christopher is so quiet … but he has found a treasure.

A little mystery is added to the ongoing story as Charlotte's vegetable garden is found damaged one morning. Produce has been stolen. A few days later Emily finds that all of the eggs have been stolen. The family gets into some hilarious scenes as they try to find out who or what is stealing their food.

This is a gentle novel. There is no exciting action or complex plot lines. There is just a set of godly grandparents trying their best to raise their orphaned grandchildren. Each of the members in the family faces difficulties and it is fun to watch how they ultimately support one another.

I always like to learn about something when I read a novel and this one contains some interesting history about farming in Nebraska.

This is a fine continuation of a touching story about a family trying to survive and thrive when life has not been what they had planned.

Kathleen Bauer is the pen name for a team of authors writing the Home to Heather Creek series. This novel was written by Tricia Goyer. She is the best-selling author of thirty-three books and over five hundred magazine articles. She is a two time winner of the Carol Award, a Christy Award and an ECPA Award nominee. Tricia is on the blogging team at MomLifeToday.com and TheBetterMom.com. She gives much of her time to volunteer work and is the creator of NotQuiteAmishLiving.com. She also hosts a weekly radio broadcast. Find out more at TriciaGoyer.com.

Guideposts, 250 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of these books from the publisher through the Litfuse Publicity Group for the purpose of this review.

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