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lcjohnson1988IndianaAge: 45-54Gender: female3 Stars Out Of 5If?November 16, 2014lcjohnson1988IndianaAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 3Value: 3Meets Expectations: 3Neil Fisher is back as the curate in training at Dunbridge. He is now engaged to Claire, but that comes into question when the father of her son returns to England. Neil is still reeling from Margarets refusal to return to her duties, leaving Neil to carry the heavy load of doing two jobs while still supposedly in training. He is extremely busy with church events, activities and parishioners lives and has a grueling schedule. This drastically reduces the amount of time he spends with his fiance, Claire. She understands why his schedule is so crazy right now, but she still needs his reassurance that getting married is what he really wants. He also must contend with his mother, who has moved nearby and continues to try and direct his life how she thinks it should go. Readers are treated to catching up on the lives of the people of Dunbridge from the two previous books as well as Neils spiritual growth as the leader of a congregation. Soon though Neils training time will end and he must choose a new diocese in which to lead, or will he stay in Dunbridge?
This is another wonderful story of life in the village of Dunbridge with all the eccentricities and foibles people have. There are some wonderfully funny moments, some heartwarming moments and some that will bring a tear to the eye. I would have rated this story higher, but for the derogatory term used to describe one woman, the acceptance of homosexuality in one sidebar to the story, and the fact that the main character, a vicar, is engaged to and then marries a woman who is not a Christian. The latter two points go against Scripture. I so enjoyed the rest of the story, but my enjoyment was lessened by these points in the story.
VicsMediaRoomIrvine, CAAge: 55-65Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Neil Has To Take Care Of His Parish and RomanceNovember 13, 2014VicsMediaRoomIrvine, CAAge: 55-65Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Pam Rhodes in her new book, If You Follow Me Book Three in The Dunbridge Chronicles series published by Lion Fiction continues the story of Neil Fisher.
From the back cover: In the parish of Dunbridge, the news is outClaire and Neil are engaged! And yet, almost before the celebrations have begun, Ben, the father of Claires son, appears back on the scenekeen to pick up where he and Claire left off.
It quickly becomes clear that young Sam is not the only person Ben wants to win back. As Neil reels in the face of Claires confusion at spending time with her first love, Wendy always seems to be there to provide support and comfort. Little does he know of Wendys involvement in Bens reappearance . . .
However, Neil has little chance to ponder his love life as the whole weight of running the church and parish descends upon his inexperienced shoulders. His mother, Iris, who has never hesitated to share her opinions, has just moved to be near him and
Neils time as a curate in Dunbridge is coming swiftly to an end. Where should he go next, and just who will go with him?
When others in our lives want to return to the past they seriously hinder our living in the present and advancing into the future. Neil Fisher returns and he is definitely has his hands full with some of the people he serves in the little town of Dunbridge needs him and he needs to people of Dunbridge. There is a lot going on in conflicts, the actions of two old loves and families in crisis are just some of what Neil has to contend with. This story is the kind that plays out best in a small town in an English countryside. The people who live there are varied and interesting and life, while it has its ups and downs, is slow and easy.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Kregel Publications. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
MillstreetreaderAge: 55-65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5A gentle readNovember 12, 2014MillstreetreaderAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4British author Pam Rhodes has written The Dunbridge Chronicles, a series American readers will find similar in tone and characters to Jan Karon's Mitford series. I recently received IF YOU FOLLOW ME, the third book in the Dunbridge Chronicles, from Kregel Publication for review purposes. I hope I approached this gentle read in a manner, author Pam Rhodes would approve --I brewed a cup of favorite tea and curled up in a cozy afghan by the fire. Within minutes I was transported to Dunbridge where I found that young curate Neil Fischer (assistant pastor) at St. Stephens has had to take over all responsibilities since Rev. Margaret has resigned (I guess that would be the story in book two)
The added obligations have left Neil little time for his new fiancee Claire or her young son. With urging from his mom, Neil and Claire finally decide on an engagement ring and set a date for a small party formally announcing their betrothal. When Wendy Lambert, the leader of the worship group, asks if she can bring a guest to the festivities, Neil never imagines she has contacted Claire's beau from six years ago. Readers will quickly understand Wendy is a schemer who wants the young reverend for herself. When Ben makes the trip from Australia for the party, he has much more on his mind than congratulating Claire on a future marriage. He now wants a relationship with five year old Sam, the son he has never seen or showed interest in. And of course, he wants to renew his interest in Claire.
I liked that the author included a "Who's Who in Dunbridge" page at the beginning of the book This helped me jump right into the action which obviously picked up where book two ended. Other reviewers have mentioned that this book is a mixture of laughter and tears, and I totally agree. The calm tone of the narrative almost hides the powerful lessons found in the struggles of this believable congregation. Young Neil, who many see as inexperienced and naive, has just the right amount of humility and common sense. If you are looking for another gentle read, I recommend this title.
Since Rev. Neil is such a likeable guy, why not start with books one and two? Thank you to Kregel Publications for a chance to review this title.
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5A delight to readNovember 9, 2014bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I have really liked this series. (This is the third one.) Neil has been a great curate. Even though he seems to be way over his head, God's grace and the perseverance of the Dunbridge people help Neil succeed. He has been hesitant at romance and this issue with Claire has thrown him for a loop. He's such a good guy, one just can't help but hope it all works out.
I love the people in Neil's parish. There's the elderly couple who tease each other but underneath that is an intense love. There are the bickering flower arranging women who, almost unbelievably, become friends.
There are ugly ones too, like James. He is a father who just does not understand his son and totally alienates him to the point of the teen trying suicide. James is a domineering and disliked musician too. And then there's Wendy. What a conniving woman. She arranges to disrupt Neil's love life and then she is there to comfort him. Rhodes crafted her character so well I wanted to slap her.
What I like about the characters is that they are like people in any church. There are the ones who serve silently and there are others who demand recognition. There are some who go along with the others and some who demand their own way. There are people dying and there are babies being born. There's a little girl who saw an angel. The Dunbridge firemen even make one of those calendars to help out a single mom recovering from a destructive husband.
Right in the middle of them all is Neil, making his way as a man of God. Over the series of novels, he has matured and grown into his calling. He has found love. This latest book in the series is a delight, a joy to read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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