I have been a Neta Jackson fan since the first Yada Yada Prayer Group novel. The first book in the Windy City Neighbors Series, Grounded, follows in the tradition of bringing you into the heart of the characters and watching them learn and grow in ways they could not imagine. Their characters have an impact on the reader because they are so easy to relate to. It is often easy to forget that Christians on the public stage are real people just like us, with temptations, weaknesses and struggles in their faith. Even as I may get exasperated with Grace Meredith for missing what seems so obvious, I realize that I do the same thing. I need to learn those lessons along with her.
There are many stories yet to be told in this series, but you can see the making of them in this first book. Based on the parallel novels they have written before, I know the books coming in this series will fulfill my desire to know "the rest of the story."
Be careful when reading these books in public. I often found myself laughing out loud or crying - it can get embarrasing!
I loved "Grounded" by Neta & Dave Jackson. I have always been a big fan of their books and "Grounded" was just as great as all of their others. It is my new favorite of their books. Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down because it was that good. I actually felt like I was Grace Meredith and did not want the book to end. As you read the book you will feel the emotions that Grace Meredith goes though. Grace's fiance broke off their relationship because he was bothered by her outspoken stance on purity and because he did not like that she traveled a lot for her job. Grace was faced with new questions about her future, and her faith. She meets her neighbors and starts to get to know them. One couple helps her with her faith and helps her realize what she really wants and who she wants to be with. I can't wait for the other books in the series to see what happens with Grace.
Wonderful book - Neta and Dave have done it again.
April 17, 2013
Age: Over 65
Having read all of the Yada Yada series of books, House of Hope series, the Souled Out series, Mr. Bentley books and Lucy Come Home, I could not wait to begin reading "Grounded" - the first of Neat and Dave Jackson's new series - Windy City Neighbors. I was not disappointed - I could not put it down, reading until the wee hours of the morning and sad when I was finished. I wanted to read the next book in the series now!
Set again Chicago, I am beginning to visualize the city even though I have only been there twice. But through the series of books, it is beginning to be so familiar and feels like home in lots of ways.
Grace Meredith's character is amazing - she goes through things all Christian women go through sometime in their life - questioning how she feels and learning how to make decisions from reading God's word! What a concept! And bringing other Christians in her life are an added blessing - to her and the reader. Her songs and way of writing them were an inspiration and the words still linger in my mind long after finishing the book.
Learning how to depend on her faith and get to know her neighbors better really brought me to thinking and praying that I could do as she did - in all these ways. And then to have a wonderful surprise - favorite people from past books - move in next door! Wonderful! Can't wait to see who else will be in the next books.
My emotions were all over the place - happy for Meredith in her singing, disturbed by her fiance's decisions and wondering what was behind it. So many things happening and you felt you were there with her, experiencing them with her.
"Grounded" is a book that stands alone - you do not need to know the background on these people or have read the other books - but it is even better if you have read the Jackson's other books. The people lives intertwine and the references to others you remember brought a smile to my face. The "parallel novels" and the way Neta and Dave write made me feel I was right there beside Meredith in her concerts, at home or traveling. Sometimes I wanted to say "You Go Meredith" or "Yes God - She is doing good"!
The mode of travel was of special interest to me as my husband and I plan a cross-country trip next month - the same way Meredith did. Can't wait to relive some of her experiences.
If this book is any indication of the ones to come in this series, I can't wait. My bookclub is anticipating reading all of them as soon as we can get enough copies. Thank you Neta and Dave for your love for Christ and showing us how He gives us the grace and faith to live life, showing others how He works in our lives
Grace Meredith has a successful career singing contemporary Christian music. On tour doing her New Year, New You theme for young people, encouraging them to wait for marriage before involvement in intimacy, Grace encounters life-changing experiences. She had hoped her fiance would join her for her last night on tour, to support her in her singing career and her ministry to young people across the country. What she got instead was a broken engagement and disappointment. Although struggling with a sore throat and grief over her broken engagement, Grace forces herself to fulfill her commitment, only to meet with more trauma upon heading home to Chicago. Grace feels like a fraud, encouraging purity to young people and yet carrying a secret that consumed her. Those secrets from her past weighed heavily upon her during a lengthy recuperation from a virus affecting her throat, and the stress accompanying it.
In this first book of a series called Windy City Neighbors, much is revealed regarding secrets held within, and accepting gifts freely given from relative strangers, and from our heavenly Father. Learning to let go and forgive one's self is a strong theme in this story of finding faith in difficult times. God's gift of forgiveness comes freely, but forgiving ourselves can be far more overwhelming. As Grace is encouraged to "think" about her name, she discovers that grace is a gift that comes with no strings attached. Grace is what brings us through times of trouble and gifts us with freedom from our past sins.
I enjoyed this warmhearted story of discernment, forgiveness not only of others, but forgiveness of self, and learning to accept the gift of grace that is offered freely when our hearts are open to receiving it. In our fast-paced lives we tend to spend less time increasing growth in our faith lives, and the authors of Grounded have presented positive examples of renewing our spiritual lives through time spent in the Word, in prayer and through grace.
Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book by Wynn-Wynn Media in return for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and I received no monetary compensation for this review.