Saturday, June 14, 2014

All Right Here by Carre Armstrong Gardner

Ivy and Nick are existing in a marriage that is strained, at best. Both have hurts that are driving a wedge between them. One of the biggest is Ivy's inability to have children.

Their lives change, however, when the house next door gets new renters. Finding the house locked, Ivy leaves her welcome gift at the door, only to see it soon snatched inside. A few days later is becomes clear. Three children have been abandoned by their mother. And they never did know a father.

Needing food and baths, Ivy takes them in. Child Protective Services allows Nick and Ivy to sign up for foster care instruction and keep caring for the children.

Add to the mix all the in-laws and you have the setting of a good story. Nick's family feels Ivy just doesn't belong in their family. And taking in African American children? The tension is excruciating. Ivy's family, while warm and accepting, has issues too.

The first half of the book went a little slow for me. But the second half, well, you had better have a tissue ready.

The main story deals with a stale and maybe dying marriage. The introduction of the three foster kids changes the dynamics of the relationship – some for good and some for added stress.

I really liked the characters and their growth as the story progressed. Both Ivy and Nick face their hurts and the coldness they have developed in their marriage. Nick's family? They can just wallow in their superiority! And Ivy's family is a story to be continued, I hope, in a sequel.

This novel is a moving story of restored relationships, forgiveness, love, and acceptance.

Carre Armstrong Gardner is a nurse by profession,pursuing music and writing in her spare time. She, her husband, and their three teenagers live in Portland, Maine.

Tyndale House Publishers, 400 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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