Charlene Ann Baumbich's Stray Affections is a lively and quirky story that will please any dog lover or snow globe collector. With the help of an unexpected "flurrious" event, the story moves forward at a good pace, bringing the characters together in a unique way. The author's writing style is distinctive and enthusiastic and I now want to read her Dear Dorothy series!
The story starts out by introducing us to Cassandra and her brood of 4 boys. We soon learn that she has a penchant for collecting knick-knacks of "critters" - usually dogs.She attends a Collectors' Convention, without her usual companion Margret, and gets swept away by a snow globe that contains three dogs and a young girl. She impulsively buys it - paying more than she probably should have - but pleased with herself anyway. Unfortunately the day end by her getting popped in the nose by a large bag, having her wallet stolen, and then being interviewed on TV as both her eyes are developing bruises.Her mom, Betty, sees the news and is immediately all over Cassandra with the "I told you so's". Cassandra and her mother have never had a great mother/daughter relationship. Cassandra's father passed when she was young and her mother was constantly putting her down, to the point where Cassandra and her friend Margret started calling her Bad Betty.The snow globe seems to be the only high point recently in Cassandra's life. Upon looking into it - soon after she purchased it - she has what she can only describe as a "flurrious" moment - where the snow in the globe twirled to the point of a white out. When it calmed down, the dogs and the little girl where gone.My thoughts: I enjoyed this book very much and read it in just a couple of sittings. I liked the way that all the story lines seemed to be in upheaval at the same time - and that they all could see the changes that were being made or needed to be made. I actually liked Bad Betty. It gave, what appeared to be a perfect life (Cassandra's) a little tension. I would recommend this book to a friend - good book to read in front of a cozy fire!
Charlene Ann Baumbich's writing style is so easy and well paced that it requires no effort to get caught up into her wonderful story.The story centers on Cassandra Higgins who is doing life, but not really living it. She sacrificed her dreams a long time ago. She felt that she didnt deserve them anymore.Cassandras life begins to take a wild and crazy turn when she purchases a snowglobe at a collectors convention. The figures inside the snowglobe remind her of herself and the dogs she loved as a child. With a rotten childhood marked by her fathers alcoholism and eventual suicide and her mothers unapproachable hardness, these animals had been her saving grace. Them and Grandpa Wonky. Somehow holding that snowglobe felt magical and it made her remember feelings and dreams that had been buried for years.When the figures disappear from the snowglobe Cassandra is mesmerized by the mystery of it.Her questions and obsessions about the snowglobe, combined with her erratic behavior, begin to stir the people around her to change.Stray Affections is a beautiful story of new beginnings and second chances.I also love the aspect of this story that reflects the different perspectives of the characters and how they perceive each other. I loved reading about Cassandras mom Bad Betty who didnt mean to be bad, but simply loved in a fearful way that her daughter read as judgement.I think its always good to be reminded about assumptions. Stray Affections is careful to show all the angles of a character making them full and solid enough to be believable . . .even familiar.This is a wonderful book. I loved the story. At the back of the book youll find recipes and a readers guide that just enhance this book with a bit more fun.Happy Reading!
Stray Affections by Charlene Ann Baumbich is a delightful and sweet story with a wonderful message of grace, love and forgiveness.Cassandra is a loving wife and mother of four boys who also runs a daycare out of her home. However, issues from her childhood and a long lost dream still haunt her. During an annual trip to a collector's convention she is captivated by a stunning snow globe. From the moment she sees this snow globe strange things start happening. She and her whole family are taken down a strange path on a wonderful journey that leads to all sorts of discoveries, twists and turns, fun and adventure. I loved the characters and the close-knit community setting in the story. The author makes you feel right at home and wishing you lived in this wonderful little town and right next door to these delightful characters.
I found "Stray Affections" by Charlene Ann Baumbich to be captivating, magical, tender and even healing. This is a story of love and loss, struggle and triumph, and releasing the old and embracing the new. The characters are memorable, the story is gripping, the pace is quick and the ending is very satisfying. The power of love and forgiveness are a threaded throughout, while hope and the excitement of new beginnings come together neatly in the end, like a lovely bow encircling a beautiful package.