Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Ante Up by Chautona Havig

   This is a good novel about family relationships, loyalty, forgiveness, and more. It is the last one in the Aggie Series but the author has included synopses of the previous novels so it can be read on its own. Aggie became the guardian of her sister's large family years ago. Now Aggie is married and she and her husband are adding to the brood.

   The novel opens as Aggie's family returns home to vandalism, again. The culprits seem to be guys Vannie, the oldest niece, knows. The damage may be a result of comments made about the odd clothing she wears.

   The novel includes good examples of family dynamics, such as forgiveness. It also includes the troubles of young teens as they try to understand their coming of age and the actions of other teens. A major feature of the novel is Aggie's very pregnant state, including an uncooperative bladder.

   I found the author's writing style a bit confusing for me. There are lots of broken sentences that left me wondering what was going to be said. This also happened with thoughts.

   Sometimes I just didn't understand what is going on. Here's an example. Vannie, the oldest of the kids, and a newly found friend in the form of a guy, have finished teaching kids' Sunday School. As they are walking back to the church:
   “A strange rapping, tapping sounded nearby. She started to make a joke about Poe when Laird's face showed in the men's bathroom window. He plastered his cheek against it, palms on the pane, and slid down out of sight. 'Oh, brother.'”
   Josiah laughed with her all the way back to the church steps. 'I know how he feels, though. Sometimes...'”
   And the scene moves on to another thought and topic. I have no idea what that scene was all about. I wish Josiah would have told us what he meant about knowing what Laird felt. I haven't a clue.

   There is some good humor in the book. For example, one of the boys sings, “So shall I be saved from anemones!”

   I recommend this novel to readers who enjoy a novel about a conservative Christian family making their way through the adventures and trials of life.

I am taking part in a blog tour of this book and you can read other reviews here.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Chautona Havig lives in a small, remote town in California's Mojave Desert with her husband and six of her nine children. She writes stories of fictional people who have real problems, weaknesses, and triumphs. Through their stories, she tries to share the Hope that is within her.

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 386 pages. Purchase your copy here.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Celebrate Lit for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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