White Picket Fences    -     By: Susan Meissner
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White Picket Fences

Random House, Inc / 2009 / Paperback

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Product Description

When the storybook-perfect Janvier family temporarily "adopts" their teenaged niece, Tally, they assume they'll be helping her. But when Tally befriends her cousin, Chase, she soon realizes that he badly needs encouragement, too. When the troubled teens interview two Holocaust survivors for a sociology project, will they trigger the healing process that everybody needs? 352 pages, softcover from Waterbrook.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: Random House, Inc
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1400074576
ISBN-13: 9781400074570
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

When her black sheep brother disappears, Amanda Janvier eagerly takes in her sixteen year-old niece Tally. The girl is practically an orphan: motherless, and living with a father who raises Tally wherever he lands– in a Buick, a pizza joint, a horse farm–and regularly takes off on wild schemes. Amanda envisions that she, her husband Neil, and their two teenagers can offer the girl stability and a shot at a “normal” life, even though their own storybook lives are about to crumble.

Seventeen-year-old Chase Janvier hasn’t seen his cousin in years, and other than a vague curiosity about her strange life, he doesn’t expect her arrival will affect him much–or interfere with his growing, disturbing interest in a long-ago house fire that plagues his dreams unbeknownst to anyone else.

Tally and Chase bond as they interview two Holocaust survivors for a sociology project, and become startlingly aware that the whole family is grappling with hidden secrets, with the echoes of the past, and with the realization that ignoring tragic situations won’t make them go away.

Will Tally’s presence blow apart their carefully-constructed world, knocking down the illusion of the white picket fence and reveal a hidden past that could destroy them all–or can she help them find the truth without losing each other?

Author Bio

Susan Meissner cannot remember a time when she wasn’t driven to put her thoughts down on paper. Her novels include The Shape of Mercy, a Christian Book Award finalist, and Blue Heart Blessed. Susan and her husband, a pastor and a chaplain in the Air Force Reserves, make their home in Southern California. They are the parents of four grown children.

Endorsements

“I loved looking into the heart of this family whose life looks perfect only from the outside. Meissner’s characters are so real, so haunted by the past, and so in denial for reasons of self-defense that you will be swept away till the final page. You’ll find it hard not to wonder, as one of the elderly characters did, if remembering is a choice that takes courage.” — Julie L. Cannon, author of Truleove & Homegrown Tomatoes, ’Mater Biscuit, Those Pearly Gates, and The Romance Readers’ Book Club

“To step into a Susan Meissner book is to be blessed by a craftsman’s tender touch. In Susan’s hands, we move carefully into compassion, entering the ordinary lives of people who could be our neighbors, ourselves, each doing what we can to staunch the pain of memory. This book opens a gate in the white picket fences of our lives, helping transform memory and secrets so we are no longer held hostage by the past. Beautifully written by a keen observer of the human condition, White Picket Fence will keep you reading into the night and make you sigh with satisfaction at the end.” — Jane Kirkpatrick, award-winning author of A Flickering Light

“This compelling story with its wonderful cast of characters offers hope to all of us who live less than perfect lives behind our white picket fences. Susan Meissner skillfully weaves together parallel storylines to show how healing can come when we risk sharing our secret pain with others.” — Lynn Austin, author of Until We Reach Home

“Susan Meissner just keeps getting better and better. This novel is a deftly woven portrayal of family and friendships, of secrets and sacrifices, one that tiptoes beyond the white picket fence to look at what happens when people stop talking to each other.” — Siri Mitchell, author of Love’s Pursuit

“Poetic prose and a ‘can’t-put-it down’ plot make White Picket Fences a great read. A thought-provoking look into a dysfunctional family that thinks it is functional and how an outsider can serve as a means of grace. Caution: be ready to lose a few hours of sleep!” — Elizabeth Musser, missionary and author of The Swan House, The Dwelling Place, Searching for Eternity and Words Unspoken

“White Picket Fences is a beautiful, yet haunting portrayal of what lies beneath a seemingly perfect suburban family. Susan Meissner’s powerful storytelling woos the reader into the lives of flawed, needy characters, making us ache with them, rejoice with them. Meissner deftly weaves old and new, producing a seamless, satisfying and enduring story.” — Mary DeMuth, author of Daisy Chain and A Slow Burn

“Writing as incandescent as pure flame. Susan Meissner delivers again with a family story that wraps you up and stays with you long after the last page.” — James Scott Bell, bestselling author of Deceived and Try Fear

Editorial Reviews

“I loved looking into the heart of this family whose life looks perfect only from the outside. Meissner’s characters are so real, so haunted by the past, and so in denial for reasons of self-defense that you will be swept away till the final page. You’ll find it hard not to wonder, as one of the elderly characters did, if remembering is a choice that takes courage.”
–Julie L. Cannon, author of Truleove & Homegrown Tomatoes, ’Mater Biscuit, Those Pearly Gates, and The Romance Readers’ Book Club

“To step into a Susan Meissner book is to be blessed by a craftsman’s tender touch. In Susan’s hands, we move carefully into compassion, entering the ordinary lives of people who could be our neighbors, ourselves, each doing what we can to staunch the pain of memory. This book opens a gate in the white picket fences of our lives, helping transform memory and secrets so we are no longer held hostage by the past. Beautifully written by a keen observer of the human condition, White Picket Fence will keep you reading into the night and make you sigh with satisfaction at the end.”
–Jane Kirkpatrick, award-winning author of A Flickering Light

“This compelling story with its wonderful cast of characters offers hope to all of us who live less than perfect lives behind our white picket fences. Susan Meissner skillfully weaves together parallel storylines to show how healing can come when we risk sharing our secret pain with others.”
–Lynn Austin, author of Until We Reach Home

“Susan Meissner just keeps getting better and better. This novel is a deftly woven portrayal of family and friendships, of secrets and sacrifices, one that tiptoes beyond the white picket fence to look at what happens when people stop talking to each other.”
–Siri Mitchell, author of Love’s Pursuit

“Poetic prose and a ‘can’t-put-it down’ plot make White Picket Fences a great read. A thought-provoking look into a dysfunctional family that thinks it is functional and how an outsider can serve as a means of grace. Caution: be ready to lose a few hours of sleep!”
–Elizabeth Musser, missionary and author of The Swan House, The Dwelling Place, Searching for Eternity and Words Unspoken

White Picket Fences is a beautiful, yet haunting portrayal of what lies beneath a seemingly perfect suburban family. Susan Meissner’s powerful storytelling woos the reader into the lives of flawed, needy characters, making us ache with them, rejoice with them. Meissner deftly weaves old and new, producing a seamless, satisfying and enduring story.”
–Mary DeMuth, author of Daisy Chain and A Slow Burn

“Writing as incandescent as pure flame. Susan Meissner delivers again with a family story that wraps you up and stays with you long after the last page.”
–James Scott Bell, bestselling author of Deceived and Try Fear

Product Reviews

4.5 Stars Out Of 5
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(10)
(1)
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Quality:
4 out Of 5
(4 out of 5)
Value:
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  1. Jeannie Donaldson
    Statesboro, GA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Truth behind the "White Picket Fences" of life.
    August 28, 2012
    Jeannie Donaldson
    Statesboro, GA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    A wonderful story of truth and restoration. We learn the secrets in the lives of several people and learn the mystical way they overlap in each other's lives. We are drawn into the personal lives of the Janvier family, their niece, her father, and two old men in a nursing home, and as their stories are told we discover the unexpected thread joining them together in a marvelous way that only God can be orchestrating.

    In my opinion, the author does not make use of the many opportunities to speak of God, use prayer, or teaching in the situation that present themselves in this story. Certainly not like the books I am accustomed to read. It is not what I would have classified a "Christian Fiction", but certainly a great story of the power of God over the circumstances of our lives.

    It's a great book, and I wholeheartedly recommend it.
  2. Kay Monroe
    Telford, PA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Enjoyed
    June 7, 2012
    Kay Monroe
    Telford, PA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    enjoyable, not sure how true to life, how did a girl brought up the way she was get so much wisdom?
  3. Lola
    AZ
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    March 5, 2012
    Lola
    AZ
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    This book was amzing. I did not want to put it down. I was somewhat disappointed with the end as it kind of left me hanging. I would hope that there will be a sequel.
  4. Art Hershberger
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    January 13, 2011
    Art Hershberger
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 2
    I had read 2 of Meissner's books and really enjoyed them. I was looking forward to enjoying another one of her books, but was disappointed to find that she would use swear words in a Christian fiction book. I would be embarrassed to give this book to anyone because of the language that was used in the book.
  5. M. Pieper
    Mount Dora, FL
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    March 29, 2010
    M. Pieper
    Mount Dora, FL
    Gender: female
    Sometimes our deepest family secrets are the ones we refuse to admit--even to ourselves. Sixteen-year-old Tally Bachmann forces more than one issue when a sudden death and an absentee father thrust her into a new environment. Her sudden encounter with what appears to be the perfect suburban life of the Janvier family (her San Diego aunt, uncle, and cousins) exposes her own wounds. But it also brings to the surface the hidden hurts of her new family members as they struggle to relate to one another and to a girl they barely know.Powerful storytelling draws us in. Believable characters keep us reading. Layers of intrigue--including an unusual link to the Holocaust--add depth. And an underlying theme of redemption provides needed impetus to look behind our own white picket fences and seek relational transparency. Bravo to this award-winning author and White Picket Fences for another thoughtful read.
Displaying items 1-5 of 22
Page 1 of 5 12345 Next

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