Yesterday's Embers, Clayburn Novels Series #3
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When Mickey Valdez, a daycare teacher, hears of the tragedy, she offers to lend a helping hand. After all, it isn't like she has a family of her own waiting for her at home. Her brothers are all happily married, but love seems to have passed her by.
Then a spark ignites...but will the flame be too hot to handle?
Raney begins the tale with a gut-wrenching blow when Dougs wife Kaye and daughter Rachel die unexpectedly on Thanksgiving Day. Shortly after his wifes death, Doug enters into a whirlwind romance with Mickey. They soon discover they are in way over their heads. Doug is a passionate man, a loving father, and a devoted husband. But seeking relief from his grief, he ignores his internal cautions. Similarly, Mickey is so thrilled finally to find love, she doesnt consider the emotional cost of instantly becoming a mother to five grieving children. Both of these characters seem desperate to find someone to make them whole, while lacking the common sense and maturity to weigh matters rationally.
I finished Yesterdays Embers feeling rather frustrated and somewhat dissatisfied. The frenetic switching between the different points of view became tedious after half a dozen chapters. The characters are likeable enough, but not completely three-dimensional. A redeeming quality is how the book explores the process of learning how to grieve through intense emotional pain and suffering. The plot of the book reminded me of a passage in 2 Corinthians 4: 7-8, in which it says that love comes in earthen vessels. Its painful, but God allows the pain in order to express his power.
If you are looking for a laid back, soft story that is easy to read, this is not it. I would recommend the book for adult readers who are mature enough to handle the difficult themes and patient enough to look past the books stylistic shortcomings. Emily Bennett, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
"With characters so real they feel like family, YesterdayÕs Embers will stir your heart with sorrow, compassion, and joy as you journey with the characters down a road too many have to travel. More than just a good read, YesterdayÕs Embers offers greater understanding and insight to the challenges of others. A must read!" -- Diann Hunt, author of For Better or For Worse
"Yesterday's Embers took me through a roller coaster of emotions with the characters tugging at my heart throughout. I wanted so badly for things to turn out well for Doug, Mickey, and the children. I should have known that Deborah Raney wouldn't fail her readers -- or her characters. Yesterday's Embers is another winner." -- Robin Lee Hatcher, bestselling author of When Love Blooms and A Vote of Confidence
Donna Brown3 Stars Out Of 5December 31, 2009Donna BrownI hesitated after reading all the other comments, but this story line was just too off-kilter for me. Poor judgment and rushing into relationships marred every aspect of the story, including the ending, which seemed far too fast paced and thrown together.
Deborah4 Stars Out Of 5September 4, 2009DeborahFor one last time we get to return to Clayburn. This time we are introduced to Doug, a grieving widower with 5 children who recently lost his wife and daughter, and Mickey, a single schoolteacher who yearns for love. The story involves seeing how Doug struggles to get through every day life by himself and realizing that he needs someone else in his life. This someone ends of being Mickey, who takes care of his children at her daycare. Their relationship happens a break neck speed and the two find themselves engaged, married and bickering within months. I did like the chemistry between the two although I thought their relationship happened way too fast. They would have benefited from a longer dating relationship plus outside help from friends and family probably would have strengthened their relationship.While I did enjoy this book, there were several issues I had problems with. The main reason is pretty much Doug and his actions. I really felt bad for Mickey and what she had to go through after marrying Doug. I also felt understand Kayeleigh's frustration and anger over her dad getting remarried so soon. It was totally understandable why she acted the way she did. However, there were times when she went overboard and her father didn't do anything to reprimand her. There were times when I just wanted to shake Doug and be like "What are you doing???" I felt like he was just wallowing in his grief and let emotions overtake him and he honestly didn't know what he was doing. Overall though, I enjoyed this read and am sad that the series is over. I really feel like I have gotten to know the people of Clayburn and would have liked to drive into the town and visit one day. The writing is crisp and fresh and the storyline is relevant for those in the same situation as both Doug and Mickey. I will miss returning to Clayburn but I'll be looking forward to any of the author's future books.
Lyn5 Stars Out Of 5June 5, 2009LynGood storyline, which although it centers on Doug and Mickey and the children, it gives a glimpse into the continuing "lives" of characters from the two previous books. Great read!!
Janna RyanNorth Platte, NEAge: 35-44Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5April 18, 2009Janna RyanNorth Platte, NEAge: 35-44Gender: femaleThis book 3 in the Clayburn books by Deb Raney, but what that means is there is the same cast of characters and each book focuses on a different main character. So I was not left in the dark when I started reading this one even though I hadn't read the first two. To the contrary, Deb makes it very easy to step right into the world of Clayburn. In this book we meet Doug when tragedy strikes his family. As he is trying to recover and move on with life (or what is left of it) he finds himself falling for Mickey who is the day care provider for his youngest kids. Is what they have love or convenience. This is a beautiful story of grieving, living and loving.
Christine Howard4 Stars Out Of 5April 6, 2009Christine HowardTechnically the writing, style, approach, locale, and characters are beautiful, captivating, rich, and engaging. As a widow for the past 15 years, whose had 4 children: boys 14 and girls 10 at the time of their dad's death to raise alone, I have strong issues with the self-centered widower, Doug whose emotional abandonment of his children went unchecked. Even the consequences of his ego-based decisions were glossed over and within 12 easy months were all set to right to his advantage. The immature, grasping for love at all costs leading lady, Mickey had only one redeeming action - to stay in a marriage/family once she realized how counter her and Doug's actions were to God's design for this family. Husbands and wives are to focus on each other before their children; but when a parent dies, their vision must be to assist their children through their grieving process and then concern themselves with their own needs. Despite my personal issues with the themes, Deborah's work is most entertaining and raises many questions worth discussing.
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