I switched to Christian fiction when saved at 35, so 21 years later tons and tons of books are behind me- some great, some fair, and some relegated to the "book sale pile". Ratings on all sites for this series were so good I bought the first two. Tried 3 times to get into it, but gave up for too simplistic writing and too predictable a plot. Sadly, the whole genre is lumped together as weak because of unremarkable writing when there really are stunning Christian novelists out there. Maybe this was written for 20-somethings looking for a formulaic romance novel?
: Ohmygosh, Virginia Smith writes a hilarious, tender story that chronicles family life for the Sanderson sisters. Change never is easy, and twenty three year old Joan is fighting it on all sides. Joan receives a call from her mom, Im going to kill her.Hi, Mom. What has Gram done?Shes alphabetized my underwear drawer.She what?Its not funny Joan. My bras are all in the first row, color-coded alphabetically.Joan and Carla, live with Gram, Carlas 85 year old mom, whos driving her crazy. Joan is stuck in the middle of these twohow could she keep peace? What would happen if she didnt?Joan meets Ken, the doctor-neighbor next door. She invites him to church along with the rest of her family. Kens different. He talks about a relationship with Jesus. Joan hears a missionary talk in church who says, I want to tell you today about a God who is real. I know hes real, because I have lived in a place where His is the only hand that kept me from torture and death. I have seen His power displayed in ways that leave no doubt that this God we serve takes an active role in our everyday lives, if we let him. This is a fun, light hearted story of familyabout women struggling with each other and the tides of change in the seasons of life. Could Joan trust her heavenly father when her earthly father abandoned her? Was Ken real? Life starts to take on a different meaning as she learns about the personal relationship Ken has with Jesus is real! Joan wants this too. Thats when things really get interesting. Thanks Virginia, for this story about family and sisters in our ever-changing world where God is still in charge of everything, if we let Him. I'm glad that I received a review copy of this book and I cant wait to read the other books in this series.
A doctor moves next door and Joan thinks he is interested in her younger sister Tori who doesn't live with her. As soon as the doctor makes a few positive comments about Tori to Joan, she (Joan) gives him the cold shoulder and drops the idea of even standing a chance with him. Joan's mother thinks her mother (Gram) should be put into assisted living but Joan is vehemently against it. Gram is very organized, arranging items by color, etc. They are living in Gram's house. It isn't right to oust her from her own place. Gram invites the doctor for dinner with Joan and her sisters, Allie and Tori. Allie invites Joan to compete with Tori in winning him over and teaches her how to flirt. Joan practices by flipping her hair. When the doctor comes for dinner, both girls really flirt it up. Their mom calls them outside and they argue over him like little kids over a favorite toy. Like he'd want either one at that point! He attends church with them one Sunday and is obviously not impressed. He and his sister Karen live their life for God, and Joan's family doesn't seem to have that type of relationship with Him. They wonder if this guy is for real because of this relationship. In a schoolgirl sort of way, Karen comes out and asks Joan point blank if she likes Ken. This story totally lacks anything of depth or interest in the least. Joan and her sisters are all shallow and unlikeable, whiney and competitive with two of them fighting over the guy. Joan goes out and purchases clothes under Allie's direction - clothes she wouldn't have purchased otherwise, to look better than her sister so as to impress the guy. He wonders what is going on with them. Joan goes to this other church and all of the sudden she's reforming and comes up with an idea at her own church. I am glad I'm done reading this!
I will probably finish reading STUCK IN THE MIDDLE this weekend. I know I will order the second book in this series. Although it is aimed toward a younger audience, I am really enjoying Virginia Smith's writing style. STUCK IN THE MIDDLE addresses several topics such as: being 25 and unmarried, dealing with a mother and grandmother and two sisters and changing or adjusting to a change in worship styles. Well done Virginia.
I LOVED Stuck in the Middle! It is by far the best book I have ever read. Virginia has a way of grabbing your attention and not letting go until the last page, and she leaves you wanting more!! I cant wait for the 2nd book in the series. I have read some of her other books and this is the best one yet!!