I really enjoyed this book. There were all kinds of aspects to it that made it interesting including suspense, anger, mystery, and even some history. My favorite character was Tally. She has lived an interesting life with her father Bart, but she still seems pretty grounded and level-headed. I kind of relate to her in some ways, which I guess is why shes my favorite character. I would definitely highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good book. I do have to say that I was disappointed in a few cuss words placed in there. Maybe it's just me, but when I look for Christian fiction I expect to not read a book with that in it. Other than that, I loved the book.
Loved The Shape of Mercy and couldn't wait to pick up another Susan Meissner book. I can't believe it has taken me so long to read her stuff. I am not quite done with White Picket Fences but I am LOVING it! Good stuff! YEA for another great book by Meissner!
The theme of the novel is secrets and the destructive effects of keeping them. The characters are complex rather than one-dimensional. The storyline is detailed and interweaves many characters in unexpected ways. This book is not an easy read if you're looking for escapist fiction or "fluff." It's not a typical romantic novel with a happy ending. I found it hard to get into at first, but I was glad I stuck with it. Even though the ending isn't entirely satisfactory as far as resolution for all the characters, I feel the book was worth reading. If you enjoy fiction that makes you think and question what goes on beyond the surface of those seemingly perfect "white picket fences," you should add this to your reading list.
Susan Meissner does an excellent job of reminding us that what is on the outside, isn't necessarily what is to be found on the inside. In her book, White Picket Fences, we're introduced to the Amanda Janvier and her family. On the outside, she and her husband, Neil are the perfect, church going family with 2 children - a teenage son, Chase and a preteen daughter, Delcey. Amanda's brother's choices force her to take in her sixteen year old niece, Tally, who is more or less a stranger to their family.As Tally slowly acclimates to the family, she and Chase bond as they work on a sociology project interviewing Holocaust survivors. Through the telling of the elder gentlemen's story, Meissner skillfully weaves a story that ties both the past and the present together in ways you would not imagine. And although, it would seem that it is Tally who is the most broken of the characters, as the story unfolds - it is really the Javier family that is broken - and the brokenness lies deep inside each of the characters.I appreciated Meissner's ability to demonstrate the ways so many of us cope with situations that we are uncomfortable with and how years of doing so can cause real damage to our most precious relationships. As I was reading, I was reminded of the verse in Psalm 44:21 that says, "Would God find this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart." It's the secrets that the characters keep in this story that cause damage that could otherwise be avoided. In the story, both Neil and Amanda have fooled themselves into believing that if they don't say it out loud and don't talk about a problem - then nothing is really wrong. Yet, as this verse states, God knows the secrets of the heart.This was genuinely thought-provoking book and it caused me to think about the many ways we strive to make everything look great on the outside - forgetting that what's most important is what it found on the inside.