"All Right Here" is about family and forgiveness! Some families are great, some, not so much. We must make the best of which ever we have. When people do not meet our expectations we must always forgive, even when forgiving isn't what our heart's desire is.
Ivy, Carre Armstrong Gardner's main character, struggles with infertility, her husband's indifference, and in-law problems. She doesn't always want to do the right thing. In the beginning of "All Right Here" she does what she is told and tries her best to fit in. Later in the story we watch her gain some independence and stand up for herself. Her strength seems to come from foster parenting three children, but it really comes from the Lord. It is a pleasure to see Ivy grow and change. I feel Gardner did an excellent job developing Ivy's character.
I liked how the importance, and occasionally, the hindrance, of family is woven into this story. Themes such as abortion, drug abuse, infertility and adoption are all touched on, as well as various others. This is a good read, it flows smoothly, and changes point of view easily. I received this book from The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.
What a wonderful, sweet book! Ivy, from a large family with 4 girls and a boy, desperately wants a baby. Unfortunately, the adoption wait lists are long. But she gets a ready-made family when the 3 African-American children next door are abandoned by their mother. Her husband upfront confesses that he does not love them but will do the right thing; her family readily accepts them; and her in-laws reject them, not only because of their skin color but also because they are not their "own". To add insult to injury, Ivy's sister-in-laws keep getting pregnant and are continuously rude to her.
This books deals with mostly ordinary life - family dynamics, challenging teenagers, fidelity in marriage, alcoholism, and balancing priorities. It all takes place in a quiet Maine town. Since my own teenage son enjoys cooking I enjoyed watching Deshaun figure out cooking - the only problem was I didn't have the ingredients to make some of his food but I noticed I made a plain grilled cheese sandwich for myself the very next day! I really enjoyed All Right Here and look forward to reading the stories of the other siblings - and I hope Ivy's in-laws wake up and see their self-centered behavior. I received this book from TBCN in return for my honest opinion.
This was my first book that I have read by Carre Armstrong Gardner. The story revolves around holding a grudge against someone based on a decision they made years previously. It took a few chapters to get into the book and figure out who the main characters were and what was going on. Once the story developed it was a great book. It was confusing at times with the narrator switching roles but once I straightened out who all the characters were it went smoother. I was very disappointed with how the story ended because I felt there wasn't closure for the characters. I really related to many of the characters and loved the strengths and weaknesses of the Darling family. Can't wait to read the next book!
Ivy and Nick are existing in a marriage that is strained, at best. Both have hurts that are driving a wedge between them. One of the biggest is Ivy's inability to have children.
Their lives change, however, when the house next door gets new renters. Finding the house locked, Ivy leaves her welcome gift at the door, only to see it soon snatched inside. A few days later is becomes clear. Three children have been abandoned by their mother. And they never did know a father.
Needing food and baths, Ivy takes them in. Child Protective Services allows Nick and Ivy to sign up for foster care instruction and keep caring for the children.
Add to the mix all the in-laws and you have the setting of a good story. Nick's family feels Ivy just doesn't belong in their family. And taking in African American children? The tension is excruciating. Ivy's family, while warm and accepting, has issues too.
The first half of the book went a little slow for me. But the second half, well, you had better have a tissue ready.
The main story deals with a stale and maybe dying marriage. The introduction of the three foster kids changes the dynamics of the relationship - some for good and some for added stress.
I really liked the characters and their growth as the story progressed. Both Ivy and Nick face their hurts and the coldness they have developed in their marriage. Nick's family? They can just wallow in their superiority! And Ivy's family is a story to be continued, I hope, in a sequel.
This novel is a moving story of restored relationships, forgiveness, love, and acceptance.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
All Right Here confronts many of the thorny issues of life: abandonment, infertility, unfaithfulness, difficulty with in-laws, alcoholism and drug abuse, distrust and lack of love. Probably everyone can relate to at least one of these. While the story does not give too many trite answers to these difficult problems, it does offer the one that is the answer to several of these: forgiveness. My favorite scene in this book was when the main character, Lily, realizes that she must forgive. She realizes that forgiveness is an "act of your will." And that "once you decided, to keep on deciding, minute by minute, day by day, and then maybe, one day, you would wake up and discover that forgiveness was no longer an act of the will and of habit, but that it had really taken root, and you had just forgiven." As many of us struggle to forgive, this is essential advice.
This book is the first of a series about the Darling family. They are a family, just like most of ours, with heartaches and joys. The future ones are sure to be just as inspiring as this first one.
I received this book from the publisher through The Book Club Network.