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Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2007
Dimensions: 8.38 X 5.44 (inches)
Series: Women of Faith Fiction
Sometimes you have to go a little bit crazy to discover the life you were meant to live.
Heather Curridge is coming unhinged. And people are starting to notice. What's wrong with a woman who has everything--a mansion on a lake, a loving son, a heart-surgeon husband--yet still feels miserable inside?
When Heather spends the summer with two ancient Quaker sisters and a crusty nun running a downtown homeless shelter, she finds herself at a crossroads. Life turns upside down for Heather in a Quaker Summer.
One of the most powerful voices in Christian fiction, Samson delivers a staggering examination of the Christian conscience.
The author divides the book into three sections to show her main character's unfolding life--"Fool on the Hill," "The Long and Winding Road," and "I'll Follow the Sun." She has taken Heather Reeves Curridge from her fundraising, private school volunteer days, through a couple of situations that bring her around to questioning why things and prestige mean so much to her; that is, after her cardiologist husband, Jace, points out her spending habits and the fact that he works long days to stretch the budget for them and their son Will, who, unlike his mother, is more aware of who he is and what he is about.
The characters introduced are plausible and their descriptions are played out fairly well throughout the book. Gary and Mary Andrews are mentioned more strongly in the beginning and the ending, and Heather's dilemma seems to be centered on them, because of the way her son has been treated by a bully at school. In fact, too much emphasis is placed on her childhood taunting of these siblings, and this reader is left wondering why one scene is even brought into the story.
Heather meets Laney as an eighth grade room mother at St. Matthews' School, and Laney's stepdaughter Nicola becomes a special friend to Will, as in "he really likes her." Carmen is head of the room mother volunteers, and she is most bridled by the need to be a perfectionist and in control, seemingly a necessary person and a friend to no one in particular. Leslie is a widow whose husband was a wealthy philanthropist, and her daughter Lark is a good listener for Heather and one who does not dwell on the unpleasant and goes to work to make things happen.
Anna and Liza, sisters who play a major role in Heather's awakening and soul-searching, come into her life by accident. They are Quakers (Society of Friends members) who take care of Heather after her car swerves to miss a kangaroo, in Maryland of all places. As a result of the care and hospitality of these 92 and 90 year old women, Heather returns there for a two- week respite at the suggestion of her husband. This scenario is a bit awkward to comprehend, since the ages of the sisters defy the many activities and actions with which they are attributed.
Heather, then Jace, is drawn back to the downtown Hotel (to which the reader is introduced in the beginning), where it and the people who live there play another role in the main character's finding herself. A widowed neighbor named Jolly is on the scene and is not developed as well as he could have been, since one is not sure where he is at the end. Perhaps it is a depiction of the harried life we lead and how we forget our neighbors. It seems that this author is anxious to condense the ending to make it work, but still adds another scene that needs more explanation of characters, even though they have been there right along and are in the midst of the crisis.
Women who are in an emotional upheaval because of their "ministries" in life and the roles they have as daughters, wives, mothers and grandmothers will find this tome introspective, but not therapeutic. I did find that Micah 6:8, stated outside the text, was mentioned a couple times for the characters' processing. There are a couple of questionable, provocative sentences and a vulgarity expressed with which I do not agree, along with the introduction of alcoholic beverages for the characters' liking, including the Quaker sisters.
This is not a book that I would choose wholeheartedly just for pleasure. I found that understanding which character was speaking took a look back at times. Sharon I. Rideout, Christian Book Previews.com
[A] staggering examination of the Christian conscience. [Samson] paints an emotionally and spiritually luminous portrait of a soul beckoned by God.
LynetteSharpsburg, GAAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5May 4, 2011LynetteSharpsburg, GAAge: 45-54Gender: femaleExcellent book! I enjoyed this one so much that I immediately purchased three or four other Samson books. While this was a fun and enjoyable read, God used this book to convict me in several areas of my life. The book was very well written, and compelling enough that I did not want to put it down.
Connie1 Stars Out Of 5August 22, 2010ConnieThis was a strange book . I had a hard time getting into this book. I made myself finish this book. I dont like writing bad things about a book but this one was a hard book to get into. although through this womens eyes we see that she has everything she wants and then more. She buys things she dont need but throughout this book she is never satisified. You can feel her hurt but when she meets Quakers sister and the nin her life changes. Its not about her anymore and she learns to care about others and realize money dont make you happy in life. I was not thrilled over this book.
Janus Tuttle5 Stars Out Of 5August 18, 2010Janus TuttleI didn't think at first I was going to enjoy this book, but I found I could not put it down. It made me realize, through this woman's life, that the nice things a person may have in their home, all of the things we all take for granted, are exactly what she said, "STUFF". I think it would make rich and not so rich feel exactly the same, and realize that it is all just STUFF!!! We actually have more to give if we would just do what she did!!! Clear out the STUFF!!!We can also learn from this book that we should not judge a person by the nice home, nice clothing, ability to buy whatever they wish does not fulfill our lives. Sometimes the less fortunate end up being the most fortunate!!!
Sharon Sieja5 Stars Out Of 5August 9, 2010Sharon SiejaExcellent book! Our women's Bible study group is reading it now. Lots of topics for discussion!!
Linda Payne5 Stars Out Of 5October 24, 2008Linda PayneGreat read!! I saw many of my sins in a new light. I was glad to "meet" another uselessspender and I have already started filling yard sale boxes with "stuff".I am glad I bought a second copy to give at Chrisstmas and yes my copy will be passed along to others as a recycling item.It is great to have good christian books like the Women of Faith" Series! I can't wait to read more of the same. Invite of a group of friends and start a book club with "Quaker Summer"