I have been a fan of Beth Wiseman's books since the very beginning. Her Amish novels have this irresistible quality about them. I start one, and before I know it, three hours have passed and I've devoured one! Because she hasn't disappointed me yet, I've been anxious to see how she'll make the transition into the contemporary genre.
For the most part, I enjoyed it. The overall tone had some of the simplistic styling that I'm accustomed to reading in Beth's Amish novels. But to counteract that simplicity, the subject matter was complex and realistic. It was dramatic and relevant. There were questions posed that all of us have asked ourselves at one time or another. There were situations that the characters found themselves in that most of us hope to never relive. However, several story lines and POV's were used, and I think maybe one or two less might have helped to make the overall story tighter.
In my opinion, Beth has great strength with romantic story lines. That is one feature that I always enjoy from her Amish novels. I think, perhaps, if her future contemporary novels are more romantic in nature as opposed to strictly women's fiction, or maybe even a mix of both, I'll be more inclined to read them.
Without a doubt, though, I will continue to read her Amish novels. She has been one of my favorites for so long now that I mention her in the same sentence with Cindy Woodsmall as a must-read Amish fiction author. I'm glad to know that even with her new foray into the contemporary genre that Beth will continue to write Amish fiction.
Need You Now shows Brad and Darlene's marriage and what is missing. Darlene takes a job working with special needs children and meets a little boy she falls in love with. Unfortunately the little boy's father is a widower and is available to really listen to Darlene, filling a gap in her marriage. Darlene struggles with this attraction, while dealing with problems in her own marriage, problems with her kids, and even a problem with her neighbor.
Need You Now addresses many problems people face right now, in today's world. All the characters have problems. There is not one character that seems to have it all together and no problems. Most people will find something they can relate to in the story. I would recommend this for anyone that enjoys contemporary fiction.
Need You now is a contemporary story set in a small town in Texas. It deals with the struggles of Darlene Henderson and her family. The Henderson family has left the big city in hopes of raising their children in the safe environment of a small town.They learn throught the story that trouble isn't confined to the city and sometimes the "perfect" child is the one with the real problems.
Darlene Henderson is at a very vulnerable place in life. Her children don't need her as much as they use to. Her husband has a long commute and works long hours to provide for his family. She has moved to a new community and has left her old friends behind. She takes a job at a special need school to fill her days and bring in some extra money. At the school she becomes interested in the father of one of her students. Much of the story line deals with this attraction and the emotional affair she struggles with. Another main part of the plot dealt with Darlene's middle child, Grace. Grace struggles with the move, and begins a downward spiral into self destructive behavior. There is also a third plot dealing with a bitter neighbor.
Overall I enjoyed the book. It was a quick summer read with a good story and interesting, imperfect characters. I thought it dealt realistically with marrital problems and perfectionism. It was a good reminder to me that no child is perfect, and that the one child you think has it all together, may be the one who is falling apart. I think my complaint about the story is that it had too much going on. It seemed like I was reading a condensed version of a series. I would recommend this book to women who enjoy family dramas.
I receive this book for free from Book Sneeze for the purpose of review.
This is the story of Brad and Darlene Henderson and their three teenaged children, Chad, Grace, and Ansley. After Chad, their oldest, experiences alcohol and possibly drug problems in high school, the family moves from Houston to the small rural town of Round Top, Texas. Brad, a CPA bucking for partner, continues his job in Houston and the long commute keeps him away from the family more than before. Brad and Darlene are both strong Christians and are raising their children to be also. Darlene ministers to a neighbor who has been bitter with God for years because of the death of her child. The neighbor, Layla, turns out to be a former movie star. Darlene had not recognized her, but Brad did from watching old movies. As time goes on, Darlene and Layla become friends and, eventually, Darlene learns that she helped Layla restore her faith in God.
As I was reading the book I thought of the saying, "wherever you go, there you are", because moving to the small town didn't solve the problems. If anything, they were made worse. Brad is away more because of the long drive and having to work extra hours to become partner. Darlene takes a job partly because the children are more independent and they are in a safer environment.
The reader gets to hear the story from the viewpoints of Darlene, Brad, Chad, and Grace, as well as a few people outside the family. This gives the reader insights about the children sometimes before the parents. This increased the suspense and made me want to read on to find out what happens next.
As in real life, events in the story affected different people in different ways. Sometimes a problem causes one person to turn closer to God for love and support. The same problem might cause another person to reject and blame God. Our strong faithful Christians in this story didn't always react the way we expected. But that's the way it is in the real world. How strong is your faith?
I loved the book and the characters. I laughed with them and cried for them. I even wanted to fuss at them at times. This is the first book I've read by Beth Wiseman, but I'll be looking for more. She has a great talent for making the story interesting from the first page to the last. There's no filler. All meat.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an advance review copy of this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
When big-city life threatens the safety of one of their children, Brad and Darlene Henderson move with their three teenagers from Houston to the tiny town of Round Top, Texas.
Adjusting to small-town life is difficult for the kids, especially fifteen-year-old Grace who is coping in a dangerous way.
Married life hasn't always been bliss, but their strong faith has carried Brad and Darlene through the difficult times. When Darlene takes a job outside the home for the first time in their marriage, the domestic tension rises.
While working with special needs children at her new job, the widowed father of one of the students starts paying more attention to Darlene than is appropriate. Problem is, she feels like someone is listening to her for the first time in a long time.
If Darlene ever needed God . . . it's now.
Experience a family's triumph over lies, betrayal, and loss while still clinging to the One who matters most.
This is the first book of Beth Wiseman's that I have read. I understand she writes very popular Amish fiction. I thought this book was just okay. I feel that the characters lacked a certain depth. The only interesting character was the next door neighbor, Layla. I probably would not recommend this book to others.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneezeÂ®.com <http://BookSneezeÂ®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own