This is one of those books you don't want to put down. The story is one that, in some cases, could really be true, and the ending is one that you won't soon forget. My copy will soon be added to our church's library.
When a happily married couple with two kids suddenly is suddenly slammed in the face with a 14 year old reality, can their sanity and marriage survive the trauma? Susanne Carson and her husband David have a marriage that is starting to falter just a bit due to their religious differences. David is so patient, and the reader cannot help but love this guy. Susanne is pretty headstrong, and sometimes I wanted to smack her. A screech of tires and a knock on the door changes their lives forever when 13 year old Brianna announces her Mother is dead and she is there to stay with her father, David. Suffice it to say that shock and terror were only two of the emotions felt by this family, along with anger, hurt, panic and fear. David never tries to deny the existance of a one night stand with the child's mother, but he fails when trying to explain to this wife. They both feel he was less than truthful when he kept this little secret to himself. This is a story so possibly true, with feelings laid out for all to see through reading, that nothing is spared to the reader. One sees the emotional, physical and spiritual side to all the characters who are involved. Accepting and loving describe the children and Grandpa. Confusion seems to dominate their future when Brianna's uncle reappears in their lives. A horrible horse accident throws yet another burr into the already mixed up feelings of the family. This first of the series is an excellent look at marriage, religion, children, sex outside of marriage and the influence of several family and friends. It also features, plainly, that old saying from the Bible "you reap what you sow"....eventually the cows come home. I am happy to become acquainted with this new author, and will put her books right up there in my special group of authors on my "must read" list. Thank you Miralee, for this first book, and hopefully a second is on the way.
This was an awesome read, one that will stay with me for a long time to come, for it truly stirred my emotions right to the core of my existence. This story was about a couple enduring trials through the unexpected arrival of a young girl at the front door. This young girl would change all their lives as the story unravels of who she is, and where she has come from. Their reactions and interactions as well as their inter most thoughts play out in a emotional drama that will make it hard for you set this book down as the story unfolds.I felt it was the first book that I have read that really showed life from a Christian perspective. How, you ask? It showed the difficulties that people not only face in real life situations but also what we struggle with inwardly in our Christian walk. It clearly shows the different mind set between a believer and a non-believer and how that effects our relationships. I highly recommend this book! It certainly sets a new stage for writers of Christian novels to attain. Excellent! Shirley Johnson/Senior ReviewerMidWest Book Review
I think that I unconsciously select books by different authors that have the same storyline. I had just finished reading "Ocean's Apart" by Karen Kingsbury when I selected this book to read. Interestingly both of the books had similar plots involving unknown children coming to claim their parents. I thought it was interesting to see how the stories parallel each other and also how the characters would react in different ways. In this book it was refreshingly realistic to see the other parent, the one who was left in the dark, be angry and even hostile towards the entire situation. I'm not saying this is the right behavior to act but it shows true human nature as opposed to immediate acceptance with everyone hugging. I wouldn't expect anyone, even a devout Christian, to not have some hurt and wounded feelings to not have known this deep dark secret from their spouse's past. Also it would only be natural to become suspicious about everything now. I thought the story was extremely well written. It capture my interest right from the get go. The Native American touch was very interesting to read as well. The only thing that bugged me a little about the story was that I felt Briana acted younger than her age. I know she's had a hard life, but in my opinion she acted like she was 12 or younger. She didn't seem interested in a lot of things that normal fourteen year olds would be into. Other than this, I really enjoyed reading this story. It's an excellent debut and I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.
The Other Daughter by Miralee Ferrell starts out with a bomb dropping into Suzanne Carson's world. On the evening of her birthday, a thirteen year old girl shows up on her doorstep claiming to be Suzanne's husband, David's, daughter. While David and Suzanne's two children, especially daughter Megan, accept Brianna without hesitation, as does David's father. But Suzanne is bitterly resentful at David's unfaithfulness and sees it as a sign that his God and religion are illusions. David loves his wife and children dearly, and for fear of hurting them keeps his distance as well from this young, vulnerable girl. It's not often in Christian fiction that in a marriage, the husband is portrayed as the faithful one and the wife as the unbeliever. Suzanne's insistence on relying only on herself separates her not only from God, but from David, Brianna, and even her children. Ferrell's writing is skillful as she portrays Suzanne sympathetically even when she's acting in a way that's not. Because she writes so openly about Suzanne's hurt and pain, it's easy to care about the character and appreciate her growth throughout the story. While the ending may be a little pat (but entirely enjoyable), Ferrell excels at creating a powerful story with realistic characters about the power of trusting in God.