2,000 people, five churches, a championship girl's basketball team, and widowed newcomer Charlotte Carter. Locals know the Round-the-Clock Cafe closes at 8:00 p.m., but they don't know if Chatlotte's "Tanglewood," a home for troubled girls, fits their quiet Texas town. Will they grow? Can Charlotte go it alone? 256 pages, softcover from Moody.
Mitford meets Mayberry in the first book of the Coming Home to Ruby Prairie series. In the small town of Ruby Prairie, Texas, even the most blessed of plans can go amazingly awry. A Town Called Ruby Prairie tells the story of newly widowed Charlotte Carter, who moves to town with plans to open a foster home for troubled girls. Fiercely independent and determined to succeed on her own, Charlotte soon learns that caring for six teens is much more challenging than she expected. One crisis follows another until the quirky, good-hearted people of Ruby Prairie rally their support to keep the home open. This humorous and inspirational story celebrates the joys found in the simple things of life--faith, friends, family, and community.
ANNETTE SMITH is a registered nurse as well as a writer and speaker. She has published a number of books, including Coming Home to Ruby Prairie Series, Eden Plain Series, The Whispers of Angels, Stories to Feed Your Soul, Watermelon Days & Firefly Nights, and Homemade Humble Pie & Other Slices of Life. Annette and her husband of over twenty years, Randy, have raised two children and have served as foster parents. They reside in Tyler, Texas.
In the first installment of the Coming Home to Ruby Prairie series, Smith
dishes up a lightweight tale of smalltown life, sprinkled with plenty of
Christian values. The 40-year-old widow, Charlotte Carter, has no children of
her own, so she fills her rambling pink frame home, Tanglewood, with a motley
crew of foster children: the rambunctious nine-year-old twins, Nikki and
Vikki; rebellious 15-year-old Beth and needy Donna, Maggie and Sharita, all
with baggage from the past. Down at the 'Round the Clock Cafe, colorful locals
swap quips with Kerilynn Bell, mayor of Ruby Prairie and owner of the
restaurant, while the aging members of the dwindling Ruby Prairie Women's
Culture Club keep the social and charitable functions of the town humming
along. Charlotte is sure she can take care of the girls by herself, but when
disaster strikes, she realizes she's taken on more than she can handle. Ruby
Prairie's community comes to the rescue. Smith is the author of several books,
including Homemade Humble Pie & Other Slices of Life, and is also a former
foster parent, lending authenticity to her story line. But she deals out
dialogue with a heavy hand, and the tension in the plot never rises past a
simmer. Numerous point-of-view changes slow down the pacing. However, a
generous dollop of humor and a sweet story line might interest Christian
readers who want a gentle, Mitfordish read without too much angst. (May)
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