Hometown Ties, Four Lindas Series #2   -     By: Melody Carlson
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Hometown Ties, Four Lindas Series #2

David C. Cook / 2010 / Paperback

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Product Description

Once upon a time in a little town on the Oregon coast four Lindas--all in the first-grade classroom. So they decided to go by their middle names. And form a club. And be friends forever...

Now after decades apart, they're all back in Clifden, thrilled at the chance to reinvent their lives together.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: David C. Cook
Publication Date: 2010
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1434764958
ISBN-13: 9781434764959
Series: Four Lindas

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Publisher's Description

In this second installment of Carlson's engaging Four Lindas series, the 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.

Author Bio

Melody Carlson is the bestselling author and award-winning (Gold Medallion, Rita) author of more than 150 books for adults, children, and teens—including Book One in this series: As Young As We Feel. She lives with husband, Chris, in the Pacific Northwest, near their two grown sons and granddaughter.

 

Author Insider

Growing Old Graciously

At class reunions, I’m always amazed at how easy it is to pick up right where I’ve left off with many of my friends. Really, it’s as if we we’re 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 it—some with more vigor than others—but it was plain to see, we’re all getting older.

Now there’s 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 don’t think I ever expected to get old. And yet...age happens.

So I have to ask myself—why is it we feel younger at reunions? Or when we’re just having a good time with “old” friends? And I think it’s because our inner child wakes up and we start to act as young as we feel—and I believe that’s a good thing. Maybe it’s a bit how heaven will feel—refreshing, rejuvenating, youthful...fun! So what if we gather some wrinkles and gray hair along the way—if we’re enjoying life and friends, from here into eternity, won’t 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 Jesus—and if we believe in Jesus, we won’t die, but we will enjoy life throughout eternity.

ChristianBookPreviews.com

Hometown Ties by Melody Carlson is a tale of four women who share much more than the same first name. These women share a friendship that leads them, together, to conquer any and all obstacles they face. And, as Linda Caroline, Linda Janie, Linda Abby, and Linda Marley soon discover, obstacles are in ready supply even in their tiny childhood home of Clifden, Oregon. Proverbs 18:4 says, “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother,” but in this case, it is a sister.

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: Caroline’s desperation, Janie’s long-hidden hurt, Abby’s depression, and Marley’s 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 Carlson’s writing is when Janie, Abby, and Marley band together to renovate Caroline’s backyard/junkyard. The description on Caroline’s 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 Alzheimer’s 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 “painter’s 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 God’s 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 it’s 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

Product Reviews

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  1. Suwanee, GA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    September 23, 2010
    Ane Mulligan
    Suwanee, GA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Melody 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.
  2. Texas
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    September 12, 2010
    Carole
    Texas
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    While 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.
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