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Now after decades apart, they're all back in Clifden, thrilled at the chance to reinvent their lives together.
|Format: DRM Free ePub|
Vendor: David C. Cook
Publication Date: 2010
Series: Four Lindas
After decades out of touch, four fifty-something childhood friends have returned to the little coastal town of Clifden, Oregon, where they grew up. They look forward to supporting one another as they reinvent their lives. But second acts can be a challenge, and each woman feels the stretch. Widowed lawyer Janie struggles to leave the past behind and move forward. Emerging artist Marley wrestles with "painters block." Empty-nester Abby fears no one takes her seriously, while beautiful Caroline has all she can do to keep her Alzheimers-patient mother at home…and wearing clothes! Plus, old resentments and new misunderstandings are beginning to strain the friendships they all count on. Can the Four Lindas sisterhood continue to thrive in the close quarters of one little hometown?
At class reunions, Im always amazed at how easy it is to pick up right where Ive left off with many of my friends. Really, its as if we were all teenagers again, like no time has passed. But at the last reunion, despite everyone putting their best face forward, I noticed more wrinkles, gray hair, and balding heads than before. Sure, we might all be fighting itsome with more vigor than othersbut it was plain to see, were all getting older.
Now theres nothing wrong with aging...right? Except that we live in a culture that seems to be stuck on youth. And, to be honest, growing up in the baby-boomer generation, I dont think I ever expected to get old. And yet...age happens.
So I have to ask myselfwhy is it we feel younger at reunions? Or when were just having a good time with old friends? And I think its because our inner child wakes up and we start to act as young as we feeland I believe thats a good thing. Maybe its a bit how heaven will feelrefreshing, rejuvenating, youthful...fun! So what if we gather some wrinkles and gray hair along the wayif were enjoying life and friends, from here into eternity, wont we always be young at heart?
Favorite verse John 3:16 (my paraphrase)
God loved everyone so much that he gave us his precious son Jesusand if we believe in Jesus, we wont die, but we will enjoy life throughout eternity.
Melody Carlson has done a wonderful job of allowing her readers to delve deeply into the lives of four separate women without the story becoming confused or chaotic. Even more, the emotions in this book truly come across: Carolines desperation, Janies long-hidden hurt, Abbys depression, and Marleys frustration. These serve to draw the readers into the story and help them feel the strong undercurrent of true friendship that binds these women.
A scene that highlights these aspects of Carlsons writing is when Janie, Abby, and Marley band together to renovate Carolines backyard/junkyard. The description on Carolines face as the blinds are pulled back had me grinning like a fool for five full minutes.
All four women are facing unique problems. Caroline is struggling to care for her Alzheimers afflicted mother, without losing her own sanity. Janie is moving into her deceased parents house and must face the painful memories that still lurk there. Abby is attempting to salvage her damaged marriage, and at the same time trying to make her biggest dream come true. Marley is discovering just how hard it really is to make a living as an artist, especially when suffering from a major case of painters block.
Though each woman shows incredible strength, there are flaws present. Caroline evidences bouts of jealousy toward her friends. Abby holds a lingering grudge toward the person she believes to be the other woman. Marley is occasionally cynical about marriage and boasts about having a homosexual son. Janie knowingly hires several illegal aliens to do work around her house. Some of these flaws are looked down upon, while others are glossed over as perfectly acceptable.
Despite some plotting slip-ups, I enjoyed reading Hometown Ties. An undercurrent of Gods love runs through this story, and, by the end, He has drawn one of the women closer to Him. True friendship is a rare thing these days, and its refreshing to see an author portray it so well.
I would recommend this book to women looking for encouragement, or simply a nice comfort story. Becky Farb, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Ane MulliganSuwanee, GAAge: Over 65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5September 23, 2010Ane MulliganSuwanee, GAAge: Over 65Gender: femaleMelody Carlson creates characters that become your friends. I felt like the fifth Linda, weeping and laughing along with them. I'm not ready to let them go and hope there's a third book in this series. I'd like to see what happens to them. Novel Journey gives Hometown Ties a high recommendation.
CaroleTexasAge: 55-65Gender: female2 Stars Out Of 5September 12, 2010CaroleTexasAge: 55-65Gender: femaleWhile Hometown Ties is unrealistic it is entertaining. Events in each of the Linda's lives happen in such short time spans that it boggles the mind. And while I didn't keep an accurate count, it's disconcerting that almost everytime any of the Lindas get together there are always alcoholic beverages. The next book in the sequel they'll be needing to get together at AA meetings. Inappropriate, I feel, as Christians usually advocate balance, moderation.