The Winner's Game   -     By: Kevin Alan Milne
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The Winner's Game

Center Street / 2014 / Paperback

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Product Description

When their teenage daughter, Palmer, is diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition, a family of five relocates to the Oregon coast. They're hoping to find a peaceful refuge---but their emotional storm only intensifies as Palmer's siblings bicker constantly. Finally, they enlist the help of the older generation. Can Grandma Dottie's homespun wisdom bring relief? 352 pages, softcover from Center Street.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: Center Street
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 8 X 5.14 (inches)
ISBN-13: 9781455510092
Availability: In Stock

Publisher's Description

Ever since seventeen-year-old Ann Bennett was diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition two years ago, her family has been pulling apart. Ann and her two younger siblings fight constantly, as do their parents. When the doctors announce that Ann's only hope of survival is a heart transplant by the end of the summer, the Bennetts decide to wait for news of a donor at a family vacation home on the Oregon coast, near Haystack Rock. But rather than healing their differences, the time away only widens the rifts between them. That is, until they learn about The Winner's Game, a game their great grandparents invented to save their marriage decades ago. It doesn't work immediately, it takes some time to figure out the right way to play, but little by little things start to change. It seems everything might be okay, until the day tragedy strikes, and they are confronted with what it really means to love--and to be a family.

Author Bio

Kevin Alan Milne is the author of The One Good Thing, The Paper Bag Christmas, The Nine Lessons, Sweet Misfortune, and The Final Note. He earned an MBA at Pennsylvania State University. Born in Portland, Oregon, Milne grew up in the nearby quiet country town of Sherwood, Oregon, where he currently resides with his wife and five children.

Editorial Reviews

"Milne's sweet, simple tale will remind readers of the importance of family and faithfulness. This novel pulls at the heart strings, yet never ventures too far into sappy territory. The characters are relatable and real, and the Oregon coast setting is spectacular."—RT Book Reviews, starred reviews
Inspirational and heartwarming, Milne's newest work weaves his familiar feel-good tone into an enjoyable story about friendship, love, and family that is sure to please fans and newcomers alike.—Booklist on The One Good Thing
"Milne's latest is a touching story about a legacy of love. Although the plot is a simple one, it will resonate with readers looking to reach outside themselves and spread kindness to others."—RT Book Reviews on The One Good Thing
"The One Good Thing by Kevin Alan Milne is everything that a novel should be. It is uplifting, inspiring and entertaining. The story draws readers in from page one and holds them captive to the end."—Desert News on The One Good Thing
"The magic of Kevin Milne's books is that they make you stop wishing the world was a better place and inspire you to actually get up and go make it one. The One Good Thing is exactly that kind of book."—Jason Wright, New York Times bestselling author of The Wednesday Letters on The One Good Thing
"Stirring and dramatic, Milne's work echoes that of Nicholas Sparks in its focus on love, commitment, faith, and the ultimate heartbreak of being human." Booklist on The Final Note
"...the story is ultimately heartwarming, and readers will be cheering for Sophie the whole time. This short book might not contain long-lasting happiness for us all, but it's certainly a good place to start."—San Francisco Book Review on Sweet Misfortune
"This one's a keeper."—Omaha World-Herald on The Paper Bag Christmas
"This is a small book in size but the message it sends is so big-this book points out the true meaning of Christmas."—American Chronicle on The Paper Bag Christmas

Product Reviews

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  1. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    Deeply moving
    April 15, 2014
    Christianfictionaddiction
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Kevin Milne has penned a deeply moving story, one that explores the true meaning of love and family and left me with a strong sense of hope. The characters are beautifully developed, and I enjoyed moving between the different points of views of the different family members. The actions of Cade and Bree left me laughing many a time, while Ann's humanness and struggles and ultimately bravery left me inspired. Just when I thought I'd figured out where the story was headed, the author threw in a twist and things ended up even better than I expected! The idea of "The Winner's Game" is a brilliant one and I'd honestly like to give this concept a try in my own family with my wife and children. Milne does a great job at depicting the struggles any of our marriages can face, and how it can be all too easy for couples to grow emotionally distant and start cracking under the strain of life's challenges. The author doesn't paint an unrealistic picture of a marriage magically being repaired. Rather, he shows how commitment and hard work (albeit rewarding) can pay off to turn things around. In an age where divorce has become the first reaction couples have to stress in their marriage, this book serves as a beautiful reminder that there is another, and better, way.

    "The Winner's Game" will not only provide you with a few hours of enjoyable reading, but will remind you of all the blessings family has to offer as well. I strongly recommend this well-written novel, and award it 4 out of 5 stars.

    Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher for the purposes of this unbiased review.
  2. Victorville, CA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    An unforgettable novel with a lasting message!
    March 4, 2014
    Heart2Heart
    Victorville, CA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Just when seventeen-year-old Ann Bennett believed she had everything going for her and she was truly at the top of her game, disaster struck that would change not only her life but the lives of her entire family. As a high school competitive swimmer Ann had hoped to clinch her final meet and show everyone just how good she really was. The butterflies she was used to feeling as nerves before each race, never bothered her until they began to attack her check and begin to bite as she was way ahead of all the other swimmers. It was at that moment that Ann died.

    When the EMS crew revived her, tests would indicate that Ann had congenital cardiomyopathy, a defect she has had her whole life. It was the strain of swimming that caused her to have a seizure in the pool and then she went into cardiac arrest. She was truly lucky to be alive. But when Ann had hoped that she could be treated for the heart issue, she was dealt another hand of fate. She needed a heart transplant or she would die while possibly waiting for one. Each day until she received one, would truly be a wait and see game. A miracle. A day to be thankful for.

    The strain is was having on her entire family was more than she could bear. Her parents decided to utilize the family beach house in Cannon Beach as a way to get away from everything and hopefully find a way to get back to some sense of normal if that was possible. Her parents were barely on speaking terms and were using the weekend as family time, while her dad would stay in the city during the week and work. It was a separation to see if they could work things out somehow and provide some peace to all their fighting when they were together.

    Ann's youngest sister, Bree and her brother Cade were growing tired of all the special treatment Ann was getting having to pick up doing her chores so she could rest and not be strained in any way. While her brother looked forward to spending the entire summer at the beach, her sister Bree was more than resentful at having to give up her time with friends this summer just for Ann's sake. However instead of making things better, the in-fighting between everyone was simply growing out of control. It seems like nothing will help heal them until Emily, Ann's mother finds her grandmother's journals that outline the details of the success of their marriage. Quite simply, everyone must be willing to play The Winner's Game. But will there be enough time to restore what's broken in their family before fate intervenes for the last time?

    I received The Winner's Game by Kevin Alan Milne compliments of Center Street Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Groups for my honest review. This is such an amazing story because of the depth Kevin goes through to show the feelings each of the family members is dealing with as each chapter rotates among all five. We get a sense of how they are dealing not only with the mortality facing them with Ann's heart, but also in coming to terms with how to move forward despite all the overwhelming odds working against them. Parents are fighting, kids are fighting, and Ann simply wants to be a normal girl for just the summer without people treating her any different. Is that even possible? I love the concept of the winner's game so much that we have incorporated it into our family. It truly is a life changing game! I personally rate this novel a 5 out of 5 stars and even cried when telling my husband about it. We both teared up as I told him how it all ended. That to me is a sign of a great novel when it can pull at your heart strings!
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