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Number of Pages: 304
Vendor: WaterBrook Press
Publication Date: 2006
|Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.5 (inches)|
Availability: Expected to ship on or about 09/26/15.
Gerrit has lived in a small farm town called Van Dalen his entire life. But when the Gaylord Conservatory of Music in Chicago offers Joan the position of senior piano professor, Gerrit sacrificially trades the green fields of Van Dalen for the gray avenues of Chicago. He tells her that she is his home now. But when they reach Chicago, loneliness and a feeling of being out of place gnaw at him.
The story also addresses the struggle Gerrit and Joan face to overcome their theological differences. For example, while they agree on the basics of Christianity, Gerrit is a staunch Calvinist, and Joan is an Armenian. Gradually, they learn not to let these differences come between them. Without siding with either the Calvinist or Armenian camp, The Recital promotes a happy unity in the body of Christ.
Some readers may be uncomfortable with a few issues in the book. Joans son Randy and his girlfriend have premarital sex, but it is not condoned. Instead, the author focuses on Gerrit and Joans struggle to know how to respond appropriately to the news. Elmer also acknowledges the beauty of sex inside of marriage, but some readers may not approve the implied references to sex, which is not explicit or graphic.
Written in a very conversational style, the book provides enjoyable reading with touching messages. Occasionally the attempts at humor seem a little cheesy, but it had me laughing out loud at other times. Overall, The Recital is an emotional, compelling story with a positive theme. Jonathan Young, Christian Book Previews.com
“With his characteristic mix of humor and heart, Robert Elmer delivers another gem in The Recital. Read it and be warmed.”
–James Scott Bell, bestselling author of Presumed Guilty
“Robert Elmer writes a great love story, not a romance, but a real make you laugh and make you cry love story based on a twist of the old whither thou goest principle. In The Recital, we meet real live characters who take you with them on their journey to make love work. From country small town to big city life, I was rooting for Gerrit and Joan all the way. Thanks Bob for a great story.”
–Lauraine Snelling, author of Saturday Morning and Brushstrokes Legacy
“Robert Elmer has another winner! His characters come alive and make you feel as though you are catching a glimpse of the lives of real people.”
–Patricia H. Rushford, author of the Angel Delaney Mysteries
“Robert Elmer's mastery of dialogue captures his characters on paper, whether they be a Dutch descendant farmer, a concert pianist, or a Chinese student in Chicago. He also captures their hearts and reveals them to the reader. The Recital is engaging and compelling, speaking the everyday language of the Christian walk. A must-read!”
–Donita K. Paul, author of the Dragon Keeper Chronicles: DragonSpell, DragonQuest, and DragonKnight
“Move over Mitford...Robert Elmer has cornered the market on ‘charming’! The Recital hits all the right notes. I loved it.”
–Roxanne Henke, author of After Anne and With Love, Libby, part of the Coming Home to Brewster series
“The Recital had me in tears, laughing out loud and everything in between. It’s not often that a sequel measures up to its predecessor, but I think The Recital may even surpass The Duet–and that’s saying a lot! An absolutely wonderful read!”
–Deborah Raney, author of A Vow to Cherish and A Nest of Sparrows
Located in: Idaho
Submitted: July 28, 2006
Tell us a little about yourself. My first novel for readers over 12 was The Duet (WaterBrook), followed by The Celebrity and now the Recital. I'm writing new youth fiction with Zonderkidz, with the release of the new series called THE WALL. (Cold War adventure stories for kids. Exciting stuff!) I just co-wrote a fun book called OFF MY CASE with Lee Strobel (also Zonderkidz) and a new nonfiction title called REDISCOVERING DAILY GRACES (NavPress). That's the latest, and I'm having a blast! By the way, I always enjoy visiting Chicago, the setting for The Recital, and lived in the area as a child. Theres no better place for great deep-dish pizza.
What was your motivation behind this project? One of my publishers (WaterBrook Press) came up with a catchy little line for me and my novels: Stories of renewed hope and second chances. And I have to say thats more than a marketing line. I love to take two seemingly very different characters, toss them into the same scene, and then force them to discover what they might have in common, after all. And if they do find something in common, is that enough to build a relationship on? What kind of relationship? And then the second issue I love to explore is related: So you blew it once. Are there any second chances? If so, what do they look like, and how can we claim them? When God offers that second chance, are we willing to accept it on His terms? Those ideas got me going on what I hope will be a story that will touch peoples hearts, because theyre central issues we all have to face to one degree or another.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? Id like readers to re-examine their own definition of where is my home? beyond the clichéd is where the heart is. Id also like them to put themselves in the position of both characters, and consider about what it means to give away ones self-interest, to place another persons desires above our own.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? In the Christian market, Kathy Tyers is one of my favorite authors, also Karen Hancock. Bill Meyers has written some good stuff. I loved Eli. I also enjoy books by Deb Raney, because she knows how to build genuine emotions from realistic characters. And as a kid, my favorite author was Beverly Cleary. I still remember when Ralph the Mouse started up his motorcycle for the first time. Vrooom!
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: Here's my take on The Recital: Life isnt just happily ever after when Gerrit and Joan decide to marry, but the baggage each brings to the altar certainly makes life interesting for the new couple. For one thing, they still dont agree on their theology differences. And when they move to Chicago to pursue a teaching opportunity for Joan, Gerrit the country boy must find new purpose in an unfamiliar new urban world. Its not an easy change for him, but his friendship with Zhao, a visiting Chinese musician, puts things in a new light. Meanwhile, Joan struggles with her work as a piano professor, as well as with figuring out how to accept her husband for who he is. She also grapples with issues of forgiveness and acceptance of her wayward grown son. Ultimately, Joan and Gerrit must redefine the meaning of love and home as they learn painful new lessons about biblical, mutual submission. That's it!
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