When I read the blurb of The Widow of Saunders Creek, it grabbed my attention. Being raised in church by Christian parents, I already have my own, very strong beliefs. And, quite frankly, I wanted to know how this author would deal with these issues. Is it possible for the dead to come back and try to contact their left behind loved ones? Would this author have the nerve to teach things the way the Bible does, or would she hedge and skirt the problem? Would she try to please everyone ~ knowing that it's impossible? Knowing that someone, somewhere was going to be upset or be in disagreement with her?
We've all heard it. Goodness, I myself have heard it when my own uncle passed away. "I saw him the other day. Real as life. He's trying to give me comfort..." Having been taught since I was young to measure everything up to the Bible alone, this whole conversation was foreign to me.
Tracey Bateman did a good job writing this book. She caught the emotional turmoil the main character was going through during her grief as well as her growth. Eli was a great contrast in mannerisms to Jerrod, his deceased cousin. Without coming out and telling you Jerrod was selfish, she painted the picture and allowed the reader to decide for themselves. Was he just impulsive or did he have glory-hound tendencies? Was he selfish and immature? She lets the reader decide. I like that in a book. Don't tell me, let me decide. I think the way the author handled the relational situations between the main character and her in-laws was spot on and skillfully done. How many of us think ill of our in-laws? They're evil. They hate us. They deserve it. (Whatever.) Not in this book, and I found that refreshing. I enjoyed the way the in-laws behaved toward Corrie and, to be honest, there were several times I wanted to smack some sense into Corrie regarding them.
I even think Ms. Bateman did a good job in regards to the spirit. What would a young widow want it to be? If I was in her place and pining over the loss of my husband, you better believe I'd want it to be him. Would I be willing to listen right away to someone who was trying to take that away from me? Even as a strong believer, it would be difficult. Very.
As a picky mother of teenagers, I wouldn't have issues with the spiritual aspect of this book. They were skillfully done and well written. I don't think Ms. Bateman sugar-coated what was really going on, and she didn't try to gloss over the occult issue. I enjoyed this book, and I will read it again.
Corrie Saunders is an army wife who is deeply in love with her husband Jarrod. She gave up a life of luxury and her art for Jarrod and was perfectly content to spend the rest of her life with Jarrod and raising a family. It seemed to be the perfect dream -- until Jarrod became a hero and sacrificed his life when he stopped an Iraqi suicide bomber. Now Corrie's dreams are shattered.
She retreats to the family home her husband inherited situated deep in the Missouri Ozarks. She longs for Jarrod's presence and feels that by moving back to the home place, she can hold onto Jarrod.
Corrie has hired Jarrod's cousin Eli to help with the renovations of the homeplace. Eli is a pastor of a small local church and senses Corrie's deep desire to hold onto Jarrod. Eli also has certain family members who believe in spirits and communicating with the dearly departed. He warns Corrie to be careful about getting involved with these family members, but Corrie senses that Jarrod is near and her longing to have Jarrod back is a strong pull to this spirit world. Can Eli help Corrie see the dangers and that she has to let Jarrod go? Can Eli help Corrie renew her faith and look to the One who will ultimately never leave her?
This is a enjoyable book and shows how grief can take over our lives and lead us down paths that can be harmful. Tracy Bateman has written a good story using characters and situations that we can certainly relate to and clearly shows that God is truly the only one who can ease our grief. She has also done a good job at dealing with the "spirit world" and how nothing but trouble can come from associating/communicating with demons. I'm not one who usually enjoys reading anything about the spirit or demon world. I'm not necessarily a scaredy cat about these things, but I know that they are real. The Bible is clear about our not giving room for Satan's influence, which can be very powerful and easily control a weak or young Christian. That being said, I did like this book and will probably read some of her other books when given the opportunity. (rev. P.Howard)
DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided to us in exchange for our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer.
I was intrigued by the description I read of this book when it became available for review, and had actually planned to buy it at some point to read if I was never given the chance to review it for free! Well, it came available again in ebook form so I snatched up the chance and was so glad I did!
Tracy Bateman's book, "The Widow of Saunders Creek," is described by the publisher, "A grief that knows no boundary, a love without any limit, a need that doesn't end at death." The protagonist, Corrie, has lost her husband of seven years in the contemporary Iraqi war. It's been seven months since his unexpected death, and she has decided to move back to the Missouri Ozarks and live in the 150 year old farmhouse that she inherited through her deceased husband, who inherited it from his family.
Corrie believes that moving into the farmhouse where her husband spent his summers and much of his childhood will somehow draw her closer to the man she loved . . . . but all is not as it seems, and very soon Corrie finds herself facing what she believes could be a ghost, but what her husband's preacher cousin firmly states is anything but.
Apparently this is considered something of a "paranormal romance" genre of Christian fiction. Let me say that the paranormal is dealt with well without being overboard, and appropriately from a Christian standpoint as well, I felt. This book makes for a great read, it was just riveting enough to keep the pages turning but was also not shallow. The characters are deep enough to be well appreciated!
I would give this book 5/5 stars! That's how much I enjoyed it. I read half of it in just a couple hours!
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Thanks to Blogging for Books for the complimentary ebook copy of "The Widow of Saunders Creek" in exchange for my review. Please note that all opinions expressed are my own.
I recently read "The Widow Of Saunders Creek, a novel written by Tracey Bateman. Corrie Saunders became a widow when her military husband Jarrod was killed by a suicide bomber while on a mission in Iraq. Six months after Jarrod's death, Corrie decides to restore and live in her husband's family home in the Ozarks. Corrie starts getting to know her husband's relatives and Eli, Jarrod's cousin, begins helping Corrie work on the house. Over time he starts to have feelings for Corrie although she is still grieving for Jarrod. Corrie becomes convinced that Jarrod's spirit is still around because of different things that occur in the house. Eli is a preacher and believes that what Corrie senses is not Jarrod but a spirit with dark intentions. Eli will need all of his faith and love for Corrie to change her beliefs, but will she? My thoughts - I thought the book was okay; the pace was slow and I tend to like more fast-paced books. The book is written in both Eli and Corrie's viewpoints, so that was a little disjointed to me. Also it was never made clear what (or who) the spirit in the house was. I think this book would be enjoyable for anyone who wants to read about someone who is steadfast in their faith (Eli) and wouldn't mind the occult/demonic aspects.
Grieving and confused, Corrie Saunders moves from her mother's home in Texas to the place that would have been their homeÃ¢â¬âJarrod's and Corrie's place. He inherited it from his family, and since he died in the war, she inherited this place. Although not at all sure why, the house seems to have summoned her here to be closer to her husband's memory but her coming to live at Saunders Creek isn't always welcomed by the Saunders clan.
Some of his family wants her to give it up, but how could she? Jarrod grew up here.
The renovations to the home have been in process for a while and have been handled by Jarrod's cousin, Eli. Remembering Jarrod's words of trust for his cousin, Corrie wanted him to do the work because that's what her husband wanted, and Eli wasn't among those in the family who begrudged her this house. He didn't care that she wasn't born a Saunders.
From the first night in the old house, her grief seized her and made Corrie wonder what she was even doing here. Should she even stay?
Yet, Jarrod's childhood called to her here. She imagines her husband of seven years as a young child, roaming the land and having fun. However charming these thoughts are they pull her deeper into pain. Why wasn't he here with her? She couldn't even bring herself to sleep in the bed. The lonely mattress would only prevent the rest she desperately needed but never seemed to manage.
Eli Saunders came to halt. The woman who was sleeping on that rickety porch swing with rusty chains and hardware was a small thing, but he still wondered how that dilapidated contraption was still in one piece. With a chuckle, he also wondered how this woman was going to feel when she awoke. Judging by the liquor bottle near the swing, he could give an educated guess that she wouldn't be in any shape to work. Her squirming said he was soon to find out about her condition, but he still couldn't look away.
Hungover, with a tear-stained face, this woman was something to behold. Moreover, their phone conversations that had taken place about the renovations showed her caring, down-to-earth personality.
There were a few things he knew for certain. His cousin had a beautiful wife and Corrie Saunders was deep in grief. Everything about the situation made him need to keep a distance, but now that she was here in the Ozarks with him, everything about her was going to make it difficult to do just that.
However, his history and his childhood spent in this house made him concerned that Corrie had made a huge mistake.
THE WIDOW OF SAUNDERS CREEK: A NOVEL by Tracey Bateman is an amazing read!
Tracey Bateman tackles tough, relevant subjects and provides the Christian perspective in a story where the pages could literally turn themselves and you would believe it could happen just that way. However, this author doesn't preach about things, that go bump in the night, she uses the house as a character and shows you how things are not always what they seem to be or seem not to be.
The setting is so much a part of this story that you feel what Corrie feels and could only imagine the worry of those around her. You will sympathize with Corrie and fall in love with Eli.
Meanwhile, Corrie and Eli are brought together in the most awkward of situations that the attraction naturally builds and each of these two have major reasons for keeping their distance. While family members, friends, and something not quite breathing tries to keep them a part, the result is that they are drawn together under more lethal circumstances and each has a part in keeping each other alive.
THE WIDOW OF SAUNDERS CREEK: A NOVEL by Tracey Bateman is a stand-alone novel, but you will want to catch up with some of her other titles including THIRSTY: A NOVEL and TANDEM: A NOVEL. I received this book for free in exchange my honest review.