While I found the book very compelling to read, it was also a bit difficult to read, even depressing. Sometimes life is hard and people struggle just to get through the day. There was often a very somber tone to the book. That being said, now that I've finished, I don't feel sad but very reflective. Maybe sometimes that's a good thing.
The Renewal, book two in the Project Restoration Series, is an even more compelling read than book one. Leslie Ruskin, single mom trying to start over with her five-year-old daughter meets Jack Kenyon, master carpenter trying to recover his life. Both of them struggle with the need to renew not just the old Midlands Building Leslie purchased, but also their hearts. Day by day the building is restored to its old luster while Leslie and Jack both battle their histories and attraction for each other. And, within the pages of the novel, another story emerges. Leslie has the journal of her great-great-great grandmother Amelia Westland's life. As Leslie reads the treasured journal, she finds her own faith and hope and learns to trust her heart. Jack befriends a man named Earl who helps him wrestle his demons and open his heart once more. This book sort of sneaks up and grabs the reader. The romance is sweet and heartwarming, the history intriguing, and the mystery of what is behind the door no one can open keeps you guessing. If you have read The Renovation, this is an excellent sequel. If you have not, this book stands alone and will make you want to go back and pick up the first book also. I am eager to read the next one. Clear your weekend, sit down and enjoy the read. Don't be surprised if it makes you reminisce about falling in love and eager to do some home repairs.
Excellent book. Kept me guessing until the very last chapter. The author writes with great passion and knowledge. Easy to read; I couldn't put it down. By the end of the book, I had really good insight into the main characters. I would highly recommend this book to anybody!
Can something be so broken that even God cant restore it?Leslie Ruskin is starting over. Shes left a bad situation and only wants to leave the past behind. Her purchase of the historic Midlands Building is what she hopes to be the key to a new life for her and her five-year-old daughter. To do that though, she needs help. And that comes in the form of another stranger in town, Jack Kenyon.Jacks also starting overand has just as many demons from his past as Leslie does. Together they work to restore the old building. But the past has a way of rearing its ugly head as Leslies ex-husband suddenly shows up, bringing with him fear and uncertainty. And Jacks own struggles with depression and alcoholism threaten to destroy everything hes worked to build.THE RENEWAL is a compelling story of love and forgiveness. The characters are so quirky and fun you cant help but wish you could sit down to coffee with them. The storyline is intense and will keep you reading long after you should have gone to bed and leaves you well satisfied when the last page is turned. But more than that, this book ministered to me in a way I didnt expect. Leslies problems with panic attacks mirror my own, as does her difficult past. Heres a book that gave me hope and encouragement and strengthened my own walk with God. For those reasons alone, I cant recommend this book enough. Well done, Terri!
I'm one of those HGTV junkies (House and Garden Channel), so when my friend Terri Kraus asked for influences for her new book, The Renewal, the second book in her Restoration series, I raised my hand. As a professional interior designer, Terri knows her stuff and I was excited to read the story she crafted in such a setting as restoring older buildings to their prime.Leslie Ruskin, a single mom looking for a new start, comes to Butler, Pennsylvania and purchases an old structure known as the Midlands Building. A place with good bones in need of some TLC. She sees it as a place to put down roots with her five-year-old daughter Ava.At the same time, Jack Kenyon is looking to make a new start with his one-man construction business. He's got some skeletons in his closet he'd prefer keeping there and figures starting over in a new town he'll be able to do that. But God has other plans.When Leslie hires Jack to help renovate one of the apartments in her new building, neither realizes how God will work on these two lonely souls, restoring them while they restore the building.Terri tells the story in the manner of storytellers of old. With the turn of each page more facets are revealed and woven into the fabric of a whole through the intermingling of the townspeople both Leslie and Jack meet and how, as the story progresses, the issues that drive them are brought out. The spiritual arc also weaves itself into the story like a golden thread of hope, drawing both Jack and Leslie to a place where they are finally able to trust in God and in each other.Along with the story, I found the setting of an old building in need of restoration a wonderful parallel to the lives in need of the same attention.This is a great story to curl up with a cup of tea and spend an afternoon devouring.