Mary Manners creates strong characters I can really relate to, guys and gals I'd like to hang out with on a Friday evening. Like Jake and Carin in Wisdom Tree.
I immediately connected with Jake, understood his frustration and foul mood. After all, he's raising his teen brother. It's hot outside, and he's mowing the church yard because somebody has to do it. He's running late to pick up Corey from football practice. Toss in a new slasher, er...teacher, who shows up unexpectedly and assumes the worst of him, and Jake hits the overload button. He acts out a little himself, not unlike his brother, which I enjoyed. He showed a little weakness, which endeared him to me.
I love the conflict between Jake and Carin, and it's not the arguing kind. No, Ms. Manners creates plenty of internal/external conflict as the characters head towards their happily-ever-after, and she'll tickle every one of your senses along the way.
This story involves a teenager, dealing with grief. Ms. Manners wrote teen angst in a realistic way without making me, as a reader and a parent, want to fling my e-reader at something...or someone. I think parents will appreciate some of the wisdom on dealing with teens imparted in this book.
Wisdom Tree is a fast read. Find a comfy spot and plan to read it all in one sitting! My only wish is that Wisdom Tree were a little longer, so I could spread out my enjoyment over more evenings. I did appreciate the surprise tucked in at the end! Congratulations, Ms. Manners, on a great read!
Disclosure: I received this book from BTS for a fair and honest review.