1. Ascension of Larks
    Ascension of Larks
    Rachel Linden
    Thomas Nelson / 2017 / Trade Paperback
    $8.29 Retail: $15.99 Save 48% ($7.70)
    4 Stars Out Of 5 17 Reviews
    Availability: In Stock
    Stock No: WW095730
3.8 Stars Out Of 5
3.8 out of 5
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Quality:
3 out Of 5
(3 out of 5)
Value:
2.8 out Of 5
(2.8 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
2.5 out Of 5
(2.5 out of 5)
76%
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  1. 3 Stars Out Of 5
    Not What I Expected
    August 16, 2017
    bookstoregal
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    Not what I expected it to be. It's sad, introspective, a story about loss and letting go. Has a few good lessons, and I like most of the characters, but not really a style of writing that I love. I generally like something a bit faster paced and not so sad. No offense to the author!

    Not really a Christian book, either, for those of you expecting that from this publisher.

    I received this from the Fiction Guild in exchange for an honest review.
  2. East Texas
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Nicely Written
    July 26, 2017
    Tammy G.
    East Texas
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    Rachel Linden writes a most unusual story of love lost, love regained. However, love is not regained in the fashion that most of us would assume.

    Magdalena (Maggie) Henry loves Marco but Marco meets Lena. Marco loves Lena. they marry and have three children. This is not the end but the beginning of the most unusual story.

    Then Lena makes a choice and Maggie must decide if she can/will help Marco's children.

    This story takes place on the San Juan Island and the author does an beautiful job of describing the beauty of the island.

    This was a fast read for me because the suspense kept me turning page after page.

    This story is classified as christian genre but there is little mention of God and none of Jesus. There is some superstition. So if the reader can is looking for a clean, wholesome read then this is a good one.

    A nice debut novel with a most interesting ending.

    *This book was provided for review by the Fiction Guild*
  3. Victorville, CA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A novel of love, loss and healing! Brilliantly executed!
    July 23, 2017
    Heart2Heart
    Victorville, CA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I can't imagine living a life loving someone who loves you back but whom you can never truly be with. That is the life of Maggie Henry who spent her college years with her best friend Lena and Marco Firelli. A truer friendship none could find anywhere. Maggie was a talented photographer who has been gifted with the opportunity to travel all over the world showing the world what life looked like someplace else. Marco was so much like Maggie, craving the lime light of success as a budding architect who dreamed one day to have it all, a successful self made business and a wife and family. Maggie and Marco were so alike that is seemed natural that they would be a power couple, but soon it dawned on Maggie that Marco wasn't willing to settle for someone so much like himself that they would burn one another out. So he married Lena and broke Maggie's heart.

    While he built a family and a business, Maggie stayed gone for as long as it would take for her heart to mend. Unfortunately it never would and soon, she found herself spending more time alone and leaving her truest friends behind. Just as she was about to finish up a photo shoot abroad, Lena calls her to tell her Marco is dead. A tragic accident that has left Lena and her three children all alone. Of course, Maggie heads back to San Juan Island to figure out just what happened and to help manage things for Lena while she struggles with her own grief. Unwilling to admit and acknowledge the death of her husband, Lena spends all her time, baking, canning and creating to keep the present day from dawning on her doorstep. Maggie knew that people needed their own way to grieve and when Lena woke up one morning, said goodbye and walked out the door, Maggie just assumed she was running errands. She never expected for Lena to attempt to take her own life driving her car into a wall hoping to put an end to the pain. Now locked away from her pain in a coma, Maggie works with Ellen, Lena's aunt to help the children deal with their grief not knowing in their mom will come back to them.

    Maggie meets Daniel and man that seems intent on keeping watch over the house and family but staying far away. She learns that he is serving out a self penance of sorts as he is the man responsible for Marco's death. He believes he is doomed to spend his life trying to write all the wrongs in his own life and it will take an experience like no other for all of them to find a way back to life and for healing to finally begin. But with so many unanswered questions Maggie isn't sure what is next in her life. She imagined Marco would always be there and now she spends her own solitude dealing with the feelings she had for him and how to resolve it now possibly having to raise three children all on her own. But soon she will learn that there are more secrets to Marco's life than she ever imagined and now she will have to deal with the possibility she could have had the life she might have always dreamed of before it was snuffed out much too soon.

    I received The Ascension of Larks by Rachel Linden compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and TLC Book Tours. This is such an exceptional novel once you get past the slow beginning. Trust me, hang in there it is so worth it when the novel picks up speed and gains momentum. I love the legend of the island that helps the family come to terms with their loss. "They were waiting for a sign, you see. They needed to know the soul had come back home and could now rest peacefully. The sign could be anything - a strange bird flying by the window, a whistle of wind that sounded like the deceased persons' voice. They just had to believe it was the sign they had been waiting for. Then they could go on about their lives, assured that their loved one was safely on his or her way to heaven. The sign will always come, you see, the island is full of surprises. Strange and wonderful things can happen here, things you can't explain, things that don't happen anywhere else."

    This is so poignant because it deals with so many of those "what if" moments people have when they are suddenly faced with loss, even death. All those things unspoken, undone, and now they live with the regrets of a life of maybe's instead of simply moving on and accepting what is now. A skylark and their call was a song for travelers and weary pilgrims, for those who had lost their way and were longing for a place to rest. This sums up and the characters in this novel for they each needed to find their own way home and find a place to finally rest. I easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. Such a beautiful and truly heartwarming story of love, loss, regret and healing.
  4. Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: Female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Good novel of character development
    June 24, 2017
    bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 2
    Linden has crafted a good novel of character development woven through a story of changing relationships.

    The story revolves around Maggie, a very successful professional photographer. While on location in Nicaragua, Maggie receives a phone call from her good friend Lena. Lena's husband, Marco, is dead. Maggie makes arrangements to fly to the Pacific Northwest and be with her friend on San Juan Island.

    The narrative concentrates on Maggie while we learn of the relationships between her and Lena and Marco. Linden uses flash backs to fill in the history and that works really well. We follow Maggie as she helps her friend who seems to be avoiding grief. And then another tragedy occurs and Maggie must make serious decisions about what she wants in life and in her future.

    I like how the story developed. I like how we find out about the friendships between the three, going back to college years. I like how Linden makes us think about the choices made regarding career and relationships, sometimes furthering one at the expense of the other. I like how we follow Maggie as she works through her feelings and grows. I like the island setting in Washington State

    I was disappointed in the spiritual emphasis of the novel. While there is a bit of Christian influence, there is also another form of spirituality that over shadows the Christian influence. The novel is published by a "Christian" publisher and I expected a stronger Christian theme of spirituality from the book.

    I recommend this novel to those who enjoy one concentrating on character development through overcoming adversity. There are discussion questions included so it would be a good choice for a reading group.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
  5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Deep Look at Love, Longing, Passion, and Grief
    June 20, 2017
    Michelle
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Ascension of Larks by Rachel Linden is a unique story of childhood friends who become lifelong family and face a tragedy that unravels all they have ever known to be true. Marco, Lena, and Maggie meet in college. Marco and Maggie are drawn to each other as artists with great passion to pursue their dreams. Marco and Lena marry and have a family while Maggie travels the world as a well-known photographer. When Maggie hears the news of Marcos sudden, unexpected death, she rushes back to Lena and her children to help pick up the pieces. Ascension of Larks is an exploration of love and what we sometimes have to give up in pursuit of our dreams. It does an amazing job at exploring grief in the adult characters as well as the children. This is a beautifully written book and I cannot wait to read more books from this author. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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