After the Leaves Fall, Threads of Change Series #1   -     By: Nicole Baart
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After the Leaves Fall, Threads of Change Series #1

Tyndale House / 2007 / Paperback

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Product Description

Her childhood marked by rejection and loss, Julia Bakker longs for life to finally begin. Determined to escape her conservative Christian hometown, she chooses college for a radical reinvention. But following a momentous mistake, the self-defeated Julia returns to her loving grandmother's farm. Will she learn to hope in a God who makes all things new? 350 pages, softcover from Tyndale.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 350
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2007
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1414316224
ISBN-13: 9781414316222
Availability: In Stock
Series: Threads of Change

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Publisher's Description

Julia DeSmit can't wait for her life to begin. After her mother leaves when Julia is nine years old, she's raised by an unassuming, gentle father and a saintly, matriarchal grandmother until her father dies just as Julia is becoming a young adult.
On the cusp of womanhood, Julia feels jaded by her circumstances and longs for a new identity. College seems like the perfect place to start over. But when Julia makes a mistake that will change her life forever, she returns to her grandmother's farm, defeated and convinced of her own worthlessness. Only through the gentle prodding of her loving grandmother does Julia begin to accept the imprint her childhood has left on her life and look for hope in a loving God who longs to make all things new.

Author Bio

NICOLE BAART was born and raised in a small town in Iowa. After lifeguarding, waitressing, working in a retail store, and even being a ranch hand on a dairy farm, she changed her major four times in college before finally settling on degrees in English, Spanish, English as a second language, and secondary education. She taught and developed curriculum in three different school districts over the course of seven years.

Teaching and living in Vancouver, British Columbia, cultivated a deep love in Nicole for both education and the culturally inexplicable use of the word eh. She became a Canadian citizen for the sole purpose of earning the right to use the quirky utterance.

Nicole wrote her first complete novel while taking a break from teaching to be a full-time mom. She is also the author of hundreds of poems, dozens of short stories, a handful of articles, and various unfinished novels. The mother of two young sons and the wife of a pastor, Nicole writes when she can: in bed, in the shower, as she is making supper, and occasionally sitting down at her computer. As the adoptive mother of an Ethiopian-born son, she is passionate about global issues and works to promote awareness of topics such as world hunger, poverty, AIDS, and the plight of widows and orphans.

Nicole and her family live in Iowa.

ChristianBookPreviews.com

Sometimes it takes losing everything in order to see what has been there all along, and that’s exactly what happens in Nicole Baart’s debut novel, After the Leaves Fall. A young girl, Julia Bakker, struggles through the pain of never having her absentee mother’s love, the loss of losing her father to cancer when she needs him most, and the hurt of a love affair that is one-sided. She finds herself running away from her problems and into the path she thinks she wants. When college life doesn’t go quite as planned, she returns home to discover how much more clearly she can see when the only direction left to look is up.

In this deep and moving story told from Julia’s perspective, the chapters seem almost like journal entries on key events in her life, but are told with such poetic description it’s hard not to feel every ounce of emotion Julia feels. The author does a marvelous job of drawing the audience in from page one as she describes, with clarity and vivid detail, the emotions a 15-year-old girl feels as she stands with her grandmother at her father’s graveside. Julia is so realistic it’s not only hard to believe she is a fictional character, but that this is only Nicole Baart’s first novel. The only disappointing factor is that you’ll have to wait for the sequel in order to tie up some of the loose ends.

After the Leaves Fall is so emotionally gripping and true to life, readers will find it hard to put down and even harder to forget. The message—that all the bad stuff that happens to us ultimately makes us stronger and causes us to be brought closer to a loving God—is something that certainly rings true. Whereas this book is most definitely not fluff, it is inspiring and, ultimately, a feel-good novel. I would recommend this to women in their teenage years and older, especially to those who are looking for a good cry or a novel that will make readers think. – Shannon Potelicki, Christian Book Previews.com

Publisher's Weekly

In her promising debut novel, Baart writes compellingly about a young girl's struggle with loss, love, identity and faith. Julia Bakker knows what loss is. Her mother abandoned her, her beloved father died, and her childhood love has gone to college and found another. As a teen, she lives with her saintly grandmother, who urges her to go to church camp, but Julia finds only “quick answers and thrilling conversions” there. Disillusioned, Julia decides it is up to her, not anyone else—“even some impossible, far-flung God”—to reinvent herself. “The truth was, I didn't know who I was, and I was afraid of being defined by who I wasn't. By what I didn't have.... By remembering with predictable, cyclic accuracy all I had lost.” After chronicling her early years, the story follows Julia as she enrolls in college to study engineering and become someone who is “too smart to attach, too independent to want to, and so secure as to be untouchable.” Soon, Julia is repeating her mother's mistakes. The love of her rock-solid Christian grandmother and a newfound (and not completely well-explained) reliance on God help fortify her for the difficult path ahead. Sparkling prose makes this new novel a welcome addition to inspirational fiction. (Oct.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Product Reviews

4.7 Stars Out Of 5
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Displaying items 1-5 of 10
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  1. elinsmom
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Really great coming of age story
    June 26, 2014
    elinsmom
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    This book hooked me from the start. I was drawn to Julia and was rooting for her through out the story. She is a great character, and this is one of my all time favorite series. Highly recommended.
  2. Teachlds
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    A sweet novella...
    March 12, 2011
    Teachlds
    This review was written for After the Leaves Fall - eBook.
    Though the story lacks imagination, its real-life drama kept me reading. Where can I find the sequel?
  3. Mncorral
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    February 25, 2011
    Mncorral
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for After the Leaves Fall - eBook.
    I enjoyed reading this very much. It is a wonderfully written book.
  4. Tricia
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    September 12, 2009
    Tricia
    For Julia, loss isn't just part of her life, it IS her life. And yet, in reading "Leaves", I got so roped in, bound up in the complexities, hoping that not only would her loss and rejection end, but that she would find the One who would walk her through it. (Isn't that what He does? We want him to take it all away, and yet it seems he goes there with us.) And then I realized, while we still live on earth, while we are still breathing and living and doing, there will always be loss. It's not IF. It's WHEN. Whether it be through our own personal choices, or choices someone else has made, it still has to be dealt with, walked through. It may not be in the way Julia experienced it, it may be so subtle, that only WE know it. Because of our own personal hurts - and because there are books like "Leaves" to show us, I hope we can figure out how to love each other - and the 'Julia's' around us a little more. I am online right to buy Summer Snow. And I know I won't be able to receive it as quickly as I will be reading it!
  5. Jill Williamson
    Oregon
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    December 26, 2008
    Jill Williamson
    Oregon
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Julia DeSmit hasnt had the easiest life. Her mother deserted her when she was nine and her father died when she was fifteen. The only people left are Thomas, her best friend and first love, and her loving grandmother. But when Thomas falls for someone else, leaving Julia with a broken heart, she decides to get away and discover the real world by going to college. College seems like a great escape and a new beginning, but its not all it was cracked up to be. Classes are harder than she expected and shes tested by people, situations, and expectations. When a bad decision unexpectedly changes her life, Julia ends up back at her grandmothers farm, utterly defeated. With her grandmothers kind, gentle nature, Julia learns of hope and what starting over is really like.This book is challenging and makes you think; it wasnt a fairy tale, happily-ever-after kind of story. Ms. Baart makes Julia such a real character. Julia was evidence that sometimes we make mistakes, get hurt, and everything doesnt always work out, but good things can still come from the bad. I enjoyed this thoroughly. Definitely check it out!
Displaying items 1-5 of 10
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