Summer Breeze, by Catherine Palmer and Gary Chapman, is one of a series of four novels based on the seasons of relationships described in Chapmans The Four Seasons of Marriage. This is the first of the series Ive read but Im definitely looking for the other three.Recently I heard Pam and Bill Farrel on the radio, discussing their book Men Are Life Waffles Women Are Like Spaghetti, so it was especially interesting to follow the characters of Derek and Kim in this book and see how they fit the Farrels categories. Derek, the water patrolman, wants to keep the areas of his life in neatly separated boxes (the sections of the waffle) while Kim sees everything as being intertwined (like pieces of spaghetti) and reacts accordingly. Predictably, their different perspectives and their different love languages create some tense moments.I also enjoyed eavesdropping as Dereks neighbor Charlie explains how he used fishing techniques (empathetic listening) to resolve a touchy situation with his wife. Derek is a quick learner and puts the ideas in play with his step-daughter and later his wife, who then uses them successfully with her mother-in-law.Altogether an entertaining book with some interesting lessons hidden inside. Recommended!
I wanted to kick the mother-in-law out right away, at least to an apartment of her own, maybe even close by. I also wanted to boot Derek in the fanny to wake him up to what trouble his mother was causing...I liked the book, it turned out OK considering the interfering Mom-in-law, and again I was looking forward to book 3.
Derek Finley feels his world is collapsing although he loves his wife Kim and her twin children Lydia and Luke from an abusive previous marriage. Helping him somewhat cope with his off the scale stress is he knows they love him too. Still he and Kim worry about paying their bills now that Luke has diabetes. Kim will need to return to the workforce, but both parents worry about caring for the children with no stay at home adult.The answer is simple; Derek's mom Miranda moves into the household. However, the third adult causes all sorts of troubles between her son and daughter-in-law as Miranda needs to be in charge. Besides being the commanding general she also practices some odd religious beliefs that frighten Kim as her children might emulate their step-grandmother. This once solid marriage appears in deep trouble from tropical storms.This story is based on Gary Chapmans belief that marriage changes like seasons and those in which the couple communicates their fears and desires will only get stronger. SUMMER BREEZE is an entertaining stand alone tale of two generations sharing a household that leads to conflict ironically because everyone knows what is best for Luke while Lydia feels left out. Using hyperbole to make the point that relationships run into storms followed by SUMMER BREEZE, this is a fine family drama filled with emotional people frightened that everything sacred to each of them is falling apart. Fans will appreciate the different reactions of the Finley family to Lukes diabetes while also reading the first marriage based tale, IT HAPPENS EVERY SPRINGHarriet Klausner