Waiting for Sunrise, Cedar Key Series #2
She's nailed it!
I've been following Eva Marie Everson's fiction career from the beginning and she has nailed it with this book. This is her best written, most compelling story, most heartfelt book she's written. I was reading along and finally stopped and said, "She's done it!" Gone are the long descriptives and in its place is a story that hooks you from the beginning. I saw every scene and felt every emotion. Everson has delved into the depths of mental illness and into the reaches of generational abuse. Yet, we see how God has the power and ability when placed into the hands of someone willing to take a hold of what He has to offer to turn, not only a life, but a whole family around. This book is a must read for anyone who has struggled to overcome familial trauma or who has dealt with mental illness in her family. You won't be able to put it down (I stayed up till 4am to finish it).
This is a sequel to the terrific first book, Chasing Sunsets, but they don't have to be read consecutively. However, I can see how this one and the next will complete the picture of life on Cedar Key in the 1940's. I highly recommend getting both, but it would be hard not to say that Waiting for Sunrise was my favorite.
August 16, 2012
Not for me
Patsy is a woman with a troubled past, who struggled with depression. Patsy looks back on her life and what led her to the edge, remembering the ups and down alike.
Written in a wonderfully readable style, Ms. Everson draws the reader effortlessly into the the life of Patsy Milstrap. And what a hard life it was, and that's what made continuing to pick up this book so hard, because it was so much of a downer. To a point I got sort of frustrated with Patsy, because she was surrounded by so many good people, and God had used so many situations in her life for good, though the path there was painful, yet she became so swallowed up by the depression. I really couldn't relate to Patsy that well, to me she just wasn't that likable for me, partially because of certain things that have happened in my life, and how I didn't like how she reacted to some of the things that happened to her. I just couldn't reconcile her taking her children for granted, and that frustrated me a lot!
There were a lot of great characters around Patsy like her half-brother, her husband, her adoptive parents, and the lovely nurse, Gabby, who was with Patsy in the hospital, who were all wonderful people in her life. I guess for me what was really missing was more detail on Patsy's personal faith journey and how she finally came to God, after this entire journey it was kind of a let down for me though I can see how the author was trying to convey how, things were never really hunky-dorey.
I think that the author did a wonderful job of bringing the turbulent time during which this book was set to life (1940's-1960's).
Overall this was a totally mixed book for me, because it was so well written, but I felt like the way the book dealt with helping Patsy, was done in a very worldly manner, with lots of medication...which is really bad timing because I just read a book about the conscience numbing dangers of treating depression with pills, let me stop myself before I go into that! I also thought that this book has a very mature theme about it. So basically, this book was just not my type of book for so many reasons, and I personally never felt that it delved into the real depth that was sitting benneath the surface.
I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. Thanks.
July 15, 2012
COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN!
Thirteen-year old Patsy Sweeny works her fingers to the bone along with her mother, Bernice Liddle to keep her stepfather Ira happy. As happy as possible, that is. Ira, a traveling salesman, can be counted upon to beat someone when he is at home. Bernice takes the worst of it, but Patsy and her two half-brothers, Harold and Billy have also been beaten. When Ira looks at Patsy one day and realizes she is no longer a child, Bernice realizes she has to send Patsy away. Patsy is sent to the Buchwalds, the Christian couple who took in Patsy's brother Lloyd years before. While living there, she makes a new life, falls in love with Gilbert Milstrap, marries him, and begins her adult life. But after a few years, the strain of her early years takes its toll. When a breakdown lands her in a hospital, Gilbert goes looking for her past.
This novel did something I thought impossible. It made me cry. I have always laughed at people who say they sit down to have a good cry over a novel, but this one did it. I'm not saying I want to make it a habit, but this was truly a good novel. Ira Liddle was the villain we love to hate (can we admit that in Christian fiction?), and in this it's well-deserved. Bernice is a difficult mother to understand. She not only tolerates so much, but she hides so much. The saddest part, in my opinion, is when they move up the financial and social ladder, and the abuse continues. It is just done quieter than before and covered up better. The part where Ira worries about his social standing in the church they attend is unbelievable. Every Sunday, somewhere there is a woman hiding a bruise and a man sitting next to her thinking he has everyone fooled. Ms. Everson has shown the truth behind the facade of the American family. This was an excellent novel that really made me think and, most of all, wouldn't leave me alone after I finished it. That's the test of a novel. That's a 5-star novel.
*Available June 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
June 16, 2012
Another Visit to Cedar Key
A few months ago, I first visited Cedar Key, Florida, in Eva Marie Everson's Chasing Sunsets. Ever since, I've been anxiously awaiting a return visit. I finally had the chance, and it was worth the wait.
Waiting for Sunrise is the story of Patsy Milstrap. If you've read the first book, you'll remember Patsy as the loving older neighbor of Kimberly Tucker Granger who helped Kimberly through a particularly difficult time. This new book fills us in the story Patsy told Kimberly about the life she and her beloved Gilbert shared and how she ended up in Cedar Key many years earlier. Waiting for Sunrise would be easily enjoyed without the benefit of reading Chasing Sunsets . . . but why not enjoy them both!
Patsy has suffered a lot of loss and hurt in her young life. When she falls in love with Gilbert Milstrap and starts a new life with him, she hopes to put all the pain of her past behind her. Instead, those old hurts and fears stay with her and put her at risk of losing everything. Eventually, at Gilbert's suggestion, he and Patsy travel to the island of Cedar Key for a vacation. In that idyllic setting, Patsy comes face-to-face with her past and learns important lessons of family, love, and forgiveness.
Eva Marie Everson is a southern girl who knows how to tell a beautiful story. If you're also from the south, you may enjoy things like her comment about Patsy's "picking and putting up vegetables" in the first chapter of the story. And if you're not from the south, well, bless your heart . . . you can still enjoy the lovely story!
(This book was provided free from Revell for my honest review.)
Available June 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
June 14, 2012