Summer Snow, Threads of Change Series #2   -     By: Nicole Baart
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Summer Snow, Threads of Change Series #2

Tyndale House / 2008 / Paperback

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Julia DeSmit is finally learning to accept her new life. Optimistic and anxious to begin again after dropping out of college, she is taking fumbling steps down a challenging yet hope-filled road.But the careful existence Julia has begun to build falls hopelessly to pieces when her estranged mother, Janice, appears on the front porch one icy March night. Mother and daughter have not seen or talked to each other in ten years, and a decade of anger, resentment, and bitterness follows in Janice's wake, along with a surprise Julia could never have anticipated. Julia is convinced that which is broken cannot be mended. Yet when she faces the very decision her mother did years before, she begins to realize what it means to truly accept grace. Will it be her undoing or the impetus for a change she'd never dared hope for?

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 350
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2008
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1414316232
ISBN-13: 9781414316239
Availability: In Stock
Series: Threads of Change

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Publisher's Description

Julia DeSmit is finally learning to accept her new life. Optimistic and anxious to begin again after dropping out of college, she is taking fumbling steps down a challenging yet hope-filled road. But the careful existence Julia has begun to build falls hopelessly to pieces when her estranged mother, Janice, appears on the front porch one icy March night. Mother and daughter have not seen or talked in ten years, and a decade of anger, resentment, and bitterness follows in Janice's wake, along with a surprise Julia could never have anticipated. Julia is convinced that which is broken cannot be mended. Yet when she faces the very decision her mother did years before, she begins to realize what it means to truly accept grace. Will it be her undoing, or the impetus for a change she'd never dared hope for?

ChristianBookPreviews.com

In Summer Snow, Nicole Baart pieces together a story about learning the power of grace. Julia DeSmit is learning how to handle her life after she has to make adjustments because she has become pregnant. On top of her unplanned-for pregnancy, Julia, who lives with her grandmother, is faced with the obstacle of trying to figure out her feelings toward her estranged mother, who turns up on her doorstep after a ten year absence. When it seems that her mother will leave her doorstep, Julia learns that her mother, Janice, had another child, Simon. Julia’s grandmother, trying to help Julia learn to extend grace, offers Janice and Simon the chance to live with them. Conflicting emotions arise in Julia during her emotional journey. She discovers that grace isn’t a borderline issue but a yes or no extension.

Although the structure of the plot is very easy to follow, there are several things at the end that are left unanswered. Before picking up this book, the reader should be aware that this novel is a sequel to Baart’s first novel After the Leaves Fall. As a reader who read Summer Snow without reading the first novel, I can tell you that you can read this book without reading its predecessor. I’m not sure if the author has plans for a third novel, but there are some relationship issues that don’t get resolved in either book. Also, there were a few other things in the novel that still need closure as to relationships, careers, and social obligations.

The characters in the book have very little unique characteristics. In fact, many of the characters are stereotypical and are close to being unconvincing. For example, Julia is the stereotypical girl who thought she was loved, but then the father of her child didn’t want anything to do with her. She, of course, then had to drop out of college and work in the junky grocery store. Some of the situations Julia gets in, although the author was trying to create pity in the reader, actually annoyed me because of the molded stereotype.

I didn’t find the story that original, which leads to even more disappointment when it was matched up with below average characters. I was slightly impressed, however, with the quality of the writing. Baart has a clear narrative voice that comes alive in the writing. Within the first few chapters, I already knew what was going to happen in the rest of the novel. With a little more work on originality, I think Baart could write an exceptional novel.

Although the novel isn’t particularly unique, Baart does bring up a few good points about the extension of grace to others. Not particularly for or against this novel, I would have to rate it as an average piece of work. This story is more for the female audience due to the pregnancy issue and the questions about relationships as viewed from a feminine perspective. I wouldn’t recommend anyone younger than the young adult audience for this novel. -- Timothy J. Steece, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Publisher's Weekly

In her sophomore outing and excellent follow-up to After the Leaves Fall, Baart continues her saga of Julia DeSmit with the same careful prose and enjoyable storytelling she showed in her debut. Julia’s pregnancy is starting to show and she’s dropped out of college to live with her grandmother and work at Value Foods in a small Midwestern town. Her beloved “boy next door” is marrying another, and the father of her coming child is out of the picture. But when the unexpected happens, Julia discovers the bitterness of being unforgiving, the possibility of second chances, and the place in her life that only God can fill. Baart communicates deep spiritual themes with a light touch, and some scenes, such as Julia and a friend watching cottonwood fluff (“summer snow”) blow over a lake at sundown, are lovely. She also has a knack with characterization, and wise words come from both expected and unexpected places. This is a treat for faith fiction readers, and proves Baart is not just a one-hit wonder. (May) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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Displaying items 1-5 of 6
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  1. elinsmom
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    July 2, 2014
    elinsmom
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    This is a great follow up to After the Leaves Fall. We continue to follow Julia as she makes major life decisions and meets new people. This is not a series where everything is tied up neatly at the end, but it is a lovely story that I enjoyed very much.
  2. Jill Williamson
    Oregon
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    December 26, 2008
    Jill Williamson
    Oregon
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    I was so excited for this book, the sequel to Nicole Baarts debut book, After the Leaves Fall. I couldnt wait to find out what was in store for Julia, and this book did not disappoint. Julia is anxious and excited to figure out her new life after dropping out of college and returning to live with her grandmother. Things arent easy, but Julia is putting the pieces back together and things are beginning to look up. Then Julias mother, Janice, who abandoned her when she was nine, shows up on the doorstep one snowy evening. Julias secure, hope-filled life begins to shatter again. Why would her mother come? How could she ever forgive her mother for years of estrangement, bitterness, and pain? And what about the surprise her mother brought with her?Then, Julia ends up in the same position her mother was in years ago. She grows, learns, and discovers what grace is really about.Touching, a good read, and an uplifting hint of a happily-ever-after. I was right there in the novel with Julia; I felt her pain, experienced her coming to terms with things, and felt her growing up. If youve read After the Leaves Fall, this book is a must.
  3. Deborah
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    September 4, 2008
    Deborah
    I was afraid that I would be lost because I hadn't read the book that came before this. I didn't have to worry though because Nicole's writing allowed me to enter the characters' lives easily even though I didn't know their past. The writing is so beautiful and eloquent as the reader is taken on a journey within the small town. Family ties are tested throughout the book and mother-child relationships are the mainstay of the novel. This story is so sad and you feel so much for Julie throughout the novel. I really felt like I had entered her life and became a part of her family. However even though with all the drama that is going around, there are still touches of hope sprinkled throughout the story. I liked Julie's coworker very much. Also Simon is a cutie and brought happiness to Julie when she needed it. The ending almost brought me to tears and I'm sure it will affect other readers the same way. This book touched me so much that I had to go back and read After the Leaves Fall and I was not disappointed. The characters from these two books will stay with you long after you've turned the last page. Nicole Baart has written a wonderful gem and it is not to be missed. I am looking forward to her next novel but until then this book is HIGHLY recommended.
  4. nora
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    July 3, 2008
    nora
    Julia wants to life her live not just survive, she finally accepts who she is and what the future holds for her. She's a brave young woman and doing very well living this unexpected life until her mother shows up on her front porch. It was such a shock Julia couldn't believe it was really Janice! Julia was in the middle of a whirlwind; memories were eating her alive. She was stuck and couldn't make sense of these feelings or what she thought of any of this. It's been 10 years since her mother left! Its then that Julia realizes she has spent more than 10 years of her life feeding a bitter root she had towards her mother. She had to cut the root in order to be set free. She couldnt let these feelings keep her stuck in the past any longer. Julia begins to learn about "Freely Given"grace. Undeserved. Extravagant. Easier said than done by Julia. She had some hard choices to make in her life. Many things happen in this story that lead Julia to understand what really happened between her mother and father all those years ago. This gets Julia to look at her mother in a new light - through the Light of the eyes grace not the world - and to give away what has been freely given to her by her grandmother. Its then Julia realizes that she is not alone and it's ok to admit these haunting feelings in order to move on. That's what she really wants - to be the best 'Julia' she can be for the upcoming challenges that she is about to face. It cant be done on her own strength Julia knows that now. This might be the hardest thing shes ever had to do.This novel ended with me wanting more. It also makes me want to read the first book in this series, "After the Leaves Fall", to find out about Julia's life before her mother abandoned her 10 years earlier. It definitely left me wanting to read the third book in this series to see how things turn out.
  5. Amanda Snow
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    May 6, 2008
    Amanda Snow
    Oh boy, has Nicole Baart done it again! Summer Snow, the sequel to last year's amazing After the Leaves Fall, is just as fantastic as it's predecessor. The characters in these books are just so real, so relatable, that I couldn't help but form connections with these "people" I've never met. Summer Snow picks up pretty much right where the previous book left off. Julia is pregnant and still living with her beloved grandmother, after dropping out of college. Constantly dealing with worry about the baby coming, finances, and overall life disappoint, Julia is suffering from an insane amount of internal struggle, but has learned to lean on God to help her through. When her estranged mother shows up one afternoon, completely unexpectedly with a little boy she claims is Julia's half-brother in tow, Julia has no idea how to react, except with her signature anger and frustration. She doesn't know what her mother wants, but does know it can't possibly be anything good. As she takes a chance at connecting with Simon, her new-found brother, as well as come to terms with the impending birth of her baby, Julia slowly begins to understand why her mother may have done some of the things she did, and starts to think that maybe through God's grace and forgiveness, a new relationship can be formed.It is impossible to convey the amount of emotion and heart in this novel. The individual relationships between characters, whether it be between Julia and Simon, Julia and her mother, or anyone else, the feelings the characters are described as having are emitted in the most perfect way, truly allowing you to connect. Such an important part of enjoying a plot is to be able to put yourself into the story and with this book, that is definitely an easy task to accomplish. I loved the story, the writing, the characters, and the feelings I got after finishing each page and chapter.
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