Sunday, June 17, 2012

Cottage By the Sea by Robin Jones Gunn

Cottage by the Sea by Robin Jones Gunn
Publisher:  Howard Books
Publication Date:  July 3rd 2012
ISBN:  1416583459
Genre:  FICTION/Christian/General/Contemporary Women
Book Synopsis:  From bestselling and award-winning author Robin Jones Gunn—a poignant novel about a woman who must care for her ill and elderly father, hoping to mend both his health and their relationship.Erin’s new business as a wedding planner is running at full speed and her empty nest years are full of promise when she receives a call that puts everything on hold: her estranged father has had a stroke. The twinkle is fading from Jack O’Riley’s Irish eyes and his calloused second wife leaves, making it clear this is not what she signed up for.     Suddenly Erin’s visit to her father’s cottage by the sea is extended indefinitely. At first the task before her is as daunting as the wild Oregon coast that has become her unwanted second home. Yet in the many hours she spends beside her ailing father, Erin finds a treasure hidden in the darkness. She reaches out and, at long last, receives the gift of healing.
My Thoughts:  A very beautifully written faith- and family-based novel that will touch any reader's heart.

On the day that Erin begins her much anticipated wedding-planning business, she receives a call that her father has suffered a stroke.  Throughout the novel, Erin is faced with many decisions that she has to balance between heart and mind - some that could affect her blossoming business. She has a very loving and supportive family that is there for her when she needs them, allowing her the space to make the decisions she needs.

While reading this book, I felt like I was wrapped up in a nice warm blanket, sitting on the coast with Erin.  The only thing that was ever harsh about this story was the weather at times.  Although Erin and her father had been estranged, their reunion was a blessing.  Erin may have felt uneasy with her step-mother, but she takes that relationship with the best interest and needs of her father.  There are some very interesting and surprising twists along the way with this relationship.

While Erin had many ups and downs emotionally and with her business, the outcomes were very pleasant.  Every time she was faced with a difficult situation or decision, she would call upon her memories of her mother, a woman of strong faith.  I found those strong connections with her mother to be very heart-warming.  With these memories of her mother, and the other memories of her childhood -including those of her father, the reader got a nice glimpse of Erin's childhood - all of which played an important role in the decisions she was now expected to make.

I found the Irish blessings that introduced the chapters to be quite beautiful and very well selected for each one.  I found myself making note of some of them, as I hope to recall them later.

I looked upon this story as a welcoming friend.  I hated to part with it when I was finished.  Robin Jones Gunn definitely knows how to write a novel that will bring you repeatedly back to find more from her.
About the Author:  Robin’s first grade teacher wrote on her report card, “Robin keeps the entire class entertained at rug time with her stories.”

Even with such an early affirmation, Robin didn’t think much about becoming a writer during high school or college. She was more intrigued by the idea of traveling to foreign lands and telling people about God’s love.

But Robin’s husband also noticed her gift for storytelling and urged her to attend a writers’ conference. That first conference, in 1979, opened the door for publication of devotions, articles, interviews and 14 children’s books.

When her two children were young, Robin would rise at 3 a.m. and brew a pot of tea. Then she would go to work, creating stories for teens that later became the Christy Miller, Sierra Jensen, and College Years books.

Robin’s first novel was published in 1988, and she has continued to write between two to five books a year. Her 63 published books include 47 novels, all of which are still in print. Sales of her popular Christy Miller Series, Glenbrooke Series and Sisterchicks Series are approaching four million copies sold, with translations in nine languages.

Robin’s passion for storytelling and travel are evident in all her books, especially the Sisterchicks novels, and she has received thousands of letters from readers around the world who have come to know Christ through her writing. She sees this as her dream come true. Her novels are traveling to foreign lands and her characters are doing what she always longed to do; telling people about God’s love.

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