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Title: 'Round the Corner (Sister Circle #2)
Author: Vonette Bright & Nancy Moser
Genre: Christian fiction
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 322 pages
Date read: July, 2017

Evelyn is not so sure she likes the new dynamics of Peerbaugh Place, her impromptu boarding house. Even though it had been hard adapting to strangers living in her home, she and the other women from The Sister Circle) had found a calm cove of sisterhood. Now Evelyn is forced to start over with a new set of boarders - with more challenging personalities and problems. Evelyn fears that the bonds of sisterhood may not come as easily this time.


As much as I loved the first book in the series, I knew I had to pick up the sequel straight away. I was slightly disappointed to see that most of the Sisters had moved away from Peerbaugh Place (and again - the timing was way off. This would have been more realistic if it had been set 2 years after the first book instead of less than one), but fortunately most of them turned up on a very regular basis, so I didn't get to miss them too much.

Not quite as good as the first book - some aspects were too unrealistic for me to be able to entirely refrain from rolling my eyes - but even so I ended up enjoying it almost as much. I grew really fond of Heddy, and Summer is just a delight! (I've meet girls her age who are exactly as precocious as she is, so never felt she acted too old for her years). And again, the book seemed to have exactly the right message for me, spurring me on in my own walk with God.
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Title: The Sister Circle (Sister Circle, #1)
Author: Vonette Bright & Nancy Moser
Genre: Christian fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
# pages: 351
Date read: July, 2017

Suddenly widowed with no means of support, Evelyn Peerbaugh hangs a "for rent" sign in front of her large Victorian home and her life changes in ways she never dreamed of. In a matter of days she opens a busy boardinghouse and must cope with the lives and emotions of the most incompatible group of women ever gathered under one roof. How will a meek woman like Evelyn manage?

Peerbaugh Place becomes a refuge to seven women of vastly different ages, personalities, and backgrounds. Through struggles and triumphs, the women forge a special bond of sisterhood.


This was a semi-random pick from Amazon. It came up during my search for Neta Jackson, and both the title, the cover and the back blurb appealed to me.

And fortunately the book itself was delightful. While certainly not as well-written as the Yada Yada books, it had many of the same qualities that spoke to me there. I found it charming, thought-provoking and delightful... at the same time fully seeing its flaws as it was at times both far too rosy and almost naive.

But at the end of the day, I didn't care. I grew to love the characters, and though I sometimes found their grown unrealistic (at least the speed at which it happened), it didn't bother me, because I appreciated the teachings the authors were trying to share - meaning I highlighted quotes all over the place.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Grounded (Windy City Neighbors #1)
Author: Neta Jackson & Dave Jackson
Genre: Christian fiction
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 320
Date read: August 2015

Grace's fiance bothered by her outspoken stance on purity and her near-constant travel, has broken off their relationship. Exhausted and unwilling to continue her current tour, she books a flight home. Traumatic events result in a paralyzing fear of flying. Stuck at home due to a major snowstorm, Grace begins, for the first time, to connect with the residents of Beecham Street. Will she recover her faith and overcome her fears, or will she give up her career?


Slow to get moving, and at about 110 pages I found myself thinking "Hmmm... this is a decent enough book, but it's a far cry from what I've generally come to expect from Neta Jackson!"

50 pages later, I was totally caught up in the writing and couldn't bear to put the book down. So yeah - though it takes awhile to get off the runway, I'd say she delivers, and I ended up absolutely loving the book and grew really fond of both Grace and Sam. For awhile there I was a tad worried about where Neta was going with the ending, but I should have known better than to doubt her :) I still think it ended just a couple of chapters sooner than I would have liked, but since it's the first book in a series, she may yet follow up on Grace in the later books.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Leaning on a Spider's Web
Author: Jennifer Rees-Larcombe
Genre: Christian fiction
Rating: 5/5
# pages: 314
Date read: March, 2014

Laburnum Terrace - a closed street with its stereotypical set of characters. Through a year we get to know the people for better or for worse. We see what they build their lives upon, knowing all along that not everybody will survive the end of the book.

I reread this book on a very regular basis as a teen, but somehow haven't read it in ages, so I figured it was about time. Fortunately it completely lived up to my expectations and I enjoyed diving back into it again after so long.

It is not a book I'd recommend to a non-christian, as it does get somewhat preachy at times. Not enough to bug me, but enough that certain scenes might seem over-the-top.
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Title: Stand By Me
Author: Neta Jackson
Genre: Christian fiction
Rating: 5/5
# pages: 383
Date read: April, 2012

Avis Douglass and her husband, Peter, have dreamed of a two-year mission to South Africa. But when the economy crashes, they're suddenly faced with the real possibility of bankruptcy. When one of the co-pastors of SouledOut Community Church passes away suddenly, Avis and Peter are asked to step in and assist with the leadership of the church in the interim.

The Lord knew what He was doing when He put Neta Jackson's book in my line of sight. I've been putting off reading this most recent instalment about the "SouledOut Sisters", because I worried that it wouldn't live up to my expectations. It did, and my soul lapped it up like a parched plant does water. Writing a proper review is pretty much impossible, as reading one of Neta Jackson's books usually turns out to basically be one long worship session and thus not relevant for a literary review. Suffice to say that as usual she made me look up and take stock. I'd love the kind of fellowship these girls have at church and at the Yada Yada prayer group.

I'm very interested in seeing where Neta Jackson takes Kat, Nick and Bree in this spin-off series.
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Title: The Christmas Dog
Author: Melody Carlson
Genre: Christian fiction
Rating: 3/5
# pages: 176
Date read: December, 2011

Betty Kowalski isn't looking forward to the holidays. She just can't seem to find Christmas in her heart. There's church, of course. But who can she bake for these days? And who would care whether or not she pulled out the Christmas decorations? Her new neighbor just adds to the problem. He's doing home improvements that don't appear to be improving much of anything. These days when Betty looks out the window, she sees a beat-up truck, a pile of junk, lots of blue tarps, and--horror of horrors--an old pink toilet. But when a mangy dog appears at her doorstep, the stage is set for Betty to learn a very important lesson about what Christmas is all about.

On the saccharine side, but I guess that's pretty par for the course for Christmas books. I liked it well enough, even if I did occasionally want to shake Betty for her bad decisions and interesting assumptions.

A quick read, but more of a feel-good story than an actual Christmas story.
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Title: At Home in Mitford
Author: Jan Karon
Genre: Christian fiction
Rating: 5/5
# pages: 446
Date read: November, 2011

Father Tim, a cherished small-town rector, is the steadfast soldier in this beloved slice of life story set in an American village where the grass is still green, the pickets are still white, and the air still smells sweet. The rector's forthright secretary, Emma Garret, worries about her employer, as she sees past his Christian cheerfulness into his aching loneliness. Slowly but surely, the empty places in Father Tim's heart do get filled. First with a gangly stray dog, later with a seemingly stray boy, and finally with the realization that he is stumbling into love with his independent and Christian-wise next-door neighbor.

I was in the mood for a comfort read, and so picked up the first Mitford book for a reread. It's been 8 years since I read this series last, and I had forgotten how amazingly feel-good it is. Visiting Mitford is like visiting a group of old friends whom you haven't seen in years, but whom you know will always welcome you with open arms. I realize that sounds sappy, but the feeling of content I had while reading the book actually surprised me with its intensity.

There's not much of a plot, but that doesn't matter, because all I really want from this book is just to spend time with the characters. Books like this are balm to my soul.
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Title: In Between
Author: Jenny B. Jones
Genre: Christian fiction, YA
Rating: 4.5/5
# pages: 343 pages
Date read: August 2011

Unlike most kids, teenage Katie Parker never got a fair shot at a normal life. With a mother in jail and a missing-in-action dad, she's never known what it's like to truly be loved. Low on options and family members, she's soon shipped off to a foster home. Now in an unfamiliar town, Katie's rebellious attitude is at odds with her new family, school, and classmates. And after falling in with all the wrong people at school, things go from bad to really bad after she takes the blame for vandalizing the local performing arts theater. But in the midst of a dark situation, Katie finds light in the most unexpected places: through her new friendship with an eccentric senior, the commitment of her foster family, and a tragic secret that changed them forever. And as she inches closer to acceptance and forgiveness, she finds that God has been there all along.

This is one of those treasures that I picked up more or less on a whim, and ended up loving. I read it in two sittings and while I can see its flaws, I was mostly so charmed by it, that I think it deserves a 4.5 rating. This is YA at its best, with a troubled teen who makes mistakes, but who learns from her mistakes, and doesn't end up repeating them. It had a realistic depiction of a youth church (which actually came very close to my own experiences), and of Christian teens in general. It was rather interesting to discover that it was Christian fiction though, as I hadn't picked that up from the book blurb (not the one above), and only discovered it a couple of chapters into the book.

The end was perhaps a bit too perfect, but I thought it fit the style of the book quite nicely, and now I'd really like to read the next two books in the series.
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Title: Divine
Author: Karen Kingsbury
Genre: Christian fiction
Rating: 2.5/5
# pages: 384
Date read: August, 2011

Mary Madison was a child of unspeakable horrors, a young woman society wanted to forget. Now a divine power has set Mary free to bring life-changing hope and love to battered and abused women living in the shadow of the nation's capital.

Emma Randall is a single mother fleeing an abusive relationship, wondering whether there is hope for her and her young daughters. She is desperate, broken, and unloved, tempted to commit the unthinkable. Then Mary Madison introduces Emma to the greatest love of all, greater than any either of them has ever imagined.

I started off really liking this book, but unfortunately it ended up going way over the top, and I ended up only finding it okay. The bad parts were really, really, bad; the good parts were toothache-inducing saccharine; every Christian was a wonderful person, and every non-Christian was an evil, evil monster (or, at the very best, neutral). All in all, it was just so black and white that it just got annoying.

I loved the relationship between Mary and Emma, but didn't buy the relationship between Terrance and Emma at all, and the relationship between Mary and Nigel just bugged me. Karen Kingsbury means well, but I think she tries too hard to give her books a Christian message, that it comes out as being unrealistic and stylized. I have read one amazing book by her though (Halfway to Forever) so I'm willing to not quite give up on her yet.
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Title: Who Is My Shelter?
Author: Neta Jackson
Genre: Christian fiction
Rating: 5/5
# pages: 409
Date read: March, 2011

The tables have turned and Gabby's estranged husband--who threw her out when she didn't live up to his image of a "corporate wife"--needs her in a way neither ever expected. He's begging for reconciliation,
but Gabby has moved on, finding purpose and a future in the House of Hope. Not only has she found shelter for herself and her sons there,
but she's able to help provide shelter for homeless moms and their kids.

And yet... there's a hole in her life. Is God leading Gabby down a new path and giving her something--and someone--new? Or is He redeeming what she thought was gone forever?

Who Is My Shelter is the last book in the House of Hope series. I'm sorry to have reached the end. I want to know more about the Manna House, the House of Hope and especially about the Yada Yada Prayer Group. I wonder if Neta Jackson has something more in store for us, or if she feels ready to write something else now.*

All the various threads from the earlier books are wrapped up nicely in this one. Not necessarily tied down fast, but working in the right direction, and I actually appreciated that everything had a happy ending here and now, but just hinted at one in the future - it seemed more realistic that way.

So once again I acknowledge that I was right to give the series a second chance after being so very disappointed by the first book - the remaining three more than made up for it. And as always Yada Yada works as a breath of fresh air for my faith and my prayer life.

* Just read this on her webpage:
And now ... what's next??? I'm working on a new novel, reviving one of my characters from the original Yada Yada series, introducing some new (annoying) people, and stirring the pot in what I'm calling "SouledOut Sisters." -Neta
Fantastic! :)
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Title: The Penny
Author: Joyce Meyer & Deborah Bedford
Genre: Christian fiction
Rating: 1.5/5
# pages: 235
Date read: October, 2010

Jenny Blake has a theory about life: big decisions often don't amount to much, but little decisions sometimes transform everything. Her theory proves true the summer she's 14, when she makes the decision to pick up a penny embedded in asphalt and consequently ends up stopping a robbery, getting a job, and meeting someone who changes her life forever...

If this had been a memoir I think I would really have liked it, because the style and story would have fitted a memoir well. Being a fictional story, however, it utilized a number of my literary pet peeves - lots of foreshadowing, stereotypical characters and very, very heavy-handed preaching. The book suffered greatly from having the story told rather than shown, and the testimony would have been so much stronger if the events of the story had been allowed to speak for themselves, rather than be constantly spelled out to the reader.

I know this is the lowest rating I've given in a LONG time, but I pretty much only finished it because I got stubborn.
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Title: Rebel
Author: R.J. Anderson
Genre: Fantasy, Christian fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
# pages: 295
Date read: October, 2010

The faeries of the Oak are dying, and it's up to a lone faery named Linden to find a way to restore their magic. Linden travels bravely into dangerous new territory, where she enlists the help of an unlikely friend'a human named Timothy. Soon they discover something much worse than the Oakenfolk's loss of magic: a potent evil that threatens the fate of all faeries. In a fevered, desperate chase across the country, Timothy and Linden risk their lives to seek an ancient power before it's too late to save everyone they love.

This sequel to "Knife" is even better than the first book in the series! In "Knife" a lot of page-time was giving to setting up the universe and explaining the fairy's history. That wasn't necessary here, which made for a smoother story. Besides, I just found Linden's story more interesting than Knife's. Timothy was a very interesting addition to the universe, as was the power of the Empress and her fate.

"Rebel" is a quick and pleasant read - I finished it in 3 hours flat. I'll be keeping an eye out for "Arrow" now.
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Title: Who Do I Lean On?
Author: Neta Jackson
Genre: Christian fiction
Rating: 5/5
# pages: 358
Date read: June, 2010

Gabby expects a fight from her husband over custody of their boys, but she is taken aback when he leans on her for a loan to cover his gambling debts. When she turns him down, Philip makes a desperate move that puts Gabby, her friends at the shelter, and even the House of Hope at risk.

Neta Jackson never fails to inspire me through her books, and thankfully this third book in the House of Hope series was no exception. Though I did still occasionally want to shake Gabby for her bad choices, she had come far enough to realize her mistakes herself, before they got her in too much trouble.

Phillip was at his most likeable here, and I was grateful for this glimpse into the person he used to be - until now it had been difficult to understand why Gabby ever married him in the first place. Here we got to see behind his ambition to the person he could be.

I did think the Lee story line was much too easily resolved though. It seemed a bit too convenient - I would have liked to see Gabby come to a decision by herself, rather than being forced into it by an ultimatum.

But as always Neta Jackson delivered an AMAZING story that made me ache to be part of that kind of Christian fellowship myself.

I read the book in one sitting, and stayed up until 2am to finish it. Unfortunately the next (and last) book in the series won't be out until March 2011.
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Title: Halfway to Forever
Author: Karen Kingsbury
Genre: Christian fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
# pages: 339
Date read: June, 2010

Matt and Hannah Bronzan have found a new life in the face of devastating loss. Together with Hannah's daughter, Jenny, they are finally moving forward - toward the adoption of a little girl. A younger sister for Jenny, a daughter for them to love and raise together. But just when the dream seems to be coming true, disaster strikes. Can Hannah survive the loss of another daughter?

Jade and Tanner Eastman love the Bronzans. Matt and Tanner are partners in a successful religious freedom law firm, and the two couples share a great deal. Not the least of which has been Jade and Tanner's struggle to have children. When they discover Jade is pregnant, their joy is boundless. Until the rest of the news hits... and suddenly what should be a joyous event becomes a threat to Jade's very life. Will Tanner come through decades of loneliness only to face losing Jade one final time?

I'm glad I decided to give Karen Kingsbury a second chance, because I LOVED Halfway to Forever. It had all the good points of A Moment of Weakness and none (or only very few) of the bad ones. I do realize that this means I'll have to read more by her to figure out which is the rule and which is the exception ;-)

Halfway to Forever is a wonderful book about trusting God through adversity, and listening to Him, even when He seems far away. It's probably too in-your-face for a non-Christian, but an excellent reminder for a Christian. It's a sad book though. The adversity the main characters encounter is pretty severe, and I cried buckets while reading (good thing I was home alone!), but it was also very, very beautiful and reaffirming.
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Title: A Moment of Weakness
Author: Karen Kingsbury
Genre: Christian fiction
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 433
Date read: June, 2010

Jade and Tanner were childhood friends until scandal drove them apart. Then one golden summer they found each other again and shared dreams of forever. But in a moment of weakness they made a decision that would tear them apart for nearly a decade. Now, Jade's unfaithful husband wants to destroy her in a custody battle that is about to shock the nation. Only one man can help her in her darkest hour. And only one old woman knows the secret about that summer -- and the truth that can set them all free.

I honestly don't really know how to rate or review this book. There were parts of it I loved, and parts where I just wanted to throw the book across the room. I think I'll have to try something new, and do a review in bullet form.

Things I Liked
* The childhood friendship between Jade and Tanner. Very sweet.
* Jade's reaction to meeting God. Brought tears to my eyes.
* Jade and Tanner's friendship 'that summer'.
* Jade and Ty's relationship
* The 'conversations' with God. I always wish I could hear Him that clearly.

Things I Disliked
* The heavy, heavy, HEAVY forshadowing. It almost made me give up on the book already on page 70!
* The blatant moralizing.
* How the evil people were evil, with no remedying qualities.
* The unrealistic judge and courtcase (at least I hope both were unrealistic!).
* Worst of all - how things just got worse, and worse, and worse, and worse, and you could see that it was going to continue downhill (thanks to the lovely forshadowing mentioned above), until finally everything was resolved lickity-split and (as also mentioned above) in a very unrealistic manner. When you end up saying, "Oh, come ON!" as you read the final pages - it is not a good sign.

I don't know if this is standard for Karen Kingsbury, or just specific to this book, so I am going to give her a second chance, because as cringe-worthy as the bad things were, I LOVED the good things, so did end up finding it slightly more good than bad.
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Title: The King of the Trees
Author: William D. Burt
Genre: Christian fiction, fantasy
Rating: 2.5/5
# pages: 213
Date read: February, 2010

What do an old wooden box, a jeweled pendant and some mysterious, green-garbed strangers share in common? When Rolin, son of Gannon, sets out to solve this riddle, his adventures take him worlds beyond the walls of his little log cabin. With the help of some grumpy griffins and a long-lost prophecy, Rolin and his newfound friends battle a sorcerer and his underworld army; deadly snake-trees; batwolves, dragons and other mythical creatures. On their perilous quest for the blessed Isle of Luralin, they must trust the King with their very lives.

Christian fantasy. The first half of the book was really good - great writing and I really got to care about the characters. Unfortunately the writing lost some of its tightness in the second half, resulting in stilted conversations and awkward jumps from scene to scene. Really a shame, because I enjoyed the plot and found it very interesting.

I think the author would have benefitted from not having the King of the Trees reference the Bible quite as much though. The same effect could have been achieved without the direct quotes, as the allegory was sufficiently obvious, so they seemed unnecessary and threw me out of the story, as he started sounding like he was in fact quoting, rather than talking himself.

Had those two points been handled better in editing, I would have considered this a great book, because the story itself really drew me in, and made me want to learn more about the universe and the characters. Seeing as this is the author's debut novel, I think it's reasonable to hope that these weaknesses will disappear in later books in the series.
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Title: Harry Bentley's Second Chance
Author: Dave Jackson
Genre: Christian fiction
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 336
Date read: January, 2010

Retired Chicago cop, Harry Bentley, was lying low. He'd blown the whistle on a gang of rogue cops and was awaiting the day when Internal Affairs would call him to testify and help put their leader, Lieutenant Matty Fagan, behind bars. His cover was working as a doorman in a luxury highrise on Chicago's lakefront. Then Gabby Fairbanks and her husband moved into the building's penthouse. She brought home a bag lady, got a job at the Manna House Women's Shelter, found her life falling apart, and managed to entangle Harry in the whole affair.

But there was an upside. Through Gabby, Harry meets the Yada Yada brothers and the classy Estelle Williams and envisions a second chance at romance. The Yada Yada brothers provide a new circle of friends to replace his old CPD cohorts. But when Harry discovers he has a grandson he didn't know about, will he find the faith to take on the boy as a "second chance" to be the father he'd failed to be to his own son-even when the boy creates new dangers in Harry's fight against corruption, and may derail his "second chance" at love?

An enjoyable book that unfortunately suffered from being compared to its compagnion novel.

Harry Bentley's Second Chance is a well-written Christian novel. If I'd read it as a stand-alone, I'd have enjoyed it greatly. It's an interesting story with believable characters and a sweet love story.

Unfortunately it just doesn't measure up to its companion novel ("Where Do I Go?" by Neta Jackson) in poignancy, and therefore unfairly falls flat, where it'd have been enjoyed more in its own right. If you haven't read either, I recommend reading this one first in order to do it justice.
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Title: Adam
Author: Ted Dekker
Genre: Christian fiction, suspense
Rating: 3/5
# pages: 388
Date read: December, 2009

FBI behavioral psychologist Daniel Clark has been made famous by his arguments that religion is one of society's greatest antagonists. What Daniel doesn't know is that his obsessive pursuit of a serial killer known only as "Eve" will end in his own death at Eve's hand. Twenty minutes later Daniel is resuscitated, only to be haunted by those twenty missing minutes of life.

It soon becomes painfully clear that the only way to stop Eve is to recover those missing minutes by dying... again. What isn't nearly as clear is just how many times he will have to die to discover the truth, not only about Eve, but about himself. Daniel will have to face haunting realities about demon possession in the modern world--and reevaluate his own prejudice against religion--to stop the killer.

Good entertainment, but not high literature. Some threads were left hanging, and certain twist had the definite air of a true plot device. Also I was annoyed by Daniel's single-mindedness and the flirtation with death that that caused.

I found the ending a bit rushed, which was a shame, as it had me riveted. I'd love to have had Ted Dekker spend more time on that aspect of it.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society
Author: Beth Pattillo
Genre: Christian fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
# pages: 352
Date read: November 2009, March 2014

On the third Friday of each month, Eugenie, Ruth, Esther, Merry, and Camille meet at the Sweetgum Christian Church to enjoy the two things that connect them: a love of knitting and a passion for books. Their camaraderie remains unthreatened until Eugenie, the town librarian, introduces an angry teenager into their midst. Eugenie also gives them a new reading list: the classic novels of girlhood that young Hannah has never read. Little Women. Pollyanna. Heidi. Books that remind the women of the hopes and dreams they have lost along the way.

With each click of their needles, the ladies of the Knit Lit Society unravel their secrets: A shadow from Eugenie's past haunts the controlled order of her life. Merry's perfect little family is growing again - but will she continue to feel her identity slip away? Camille dreams of leaving town but is bound by ties of love. And the sisters, Ruth and Esther, must confront a lie they have lived with for over thirty years.

As Hannah is reluctantly stitched into their lives, the women discover the possibility that even in sleepy Sweetgum, Tennessee, they can still be the heroines of their own stories.

I read the sequel, The Sweetgum Ladies Knit for Love, earlier this year, not realising that it was a sequel. However, I loved it, and wanted to know what came before.

TSKLS didn't disappoint. I was just as charmed by it as I had expected to be. In atmosphere it could best be compared to Mitford, as the reader is introduced to some of the characters of a small village - none of them perfect, but all of them human.

TSKLS is not a literary masterpiece, but it's a very cozy book that's the perfect comfort read.
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Title: Who Do I Talk To?
Author: Neta Jackson
Genre: Christian fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
# pages: 393
Date read: October, 2009

Gabby Fairbanks's husband locks her out and disappears with her sons, leaving her homeless and stunned. With her frail mother and a mutt named Dandy, Gabby must take refuge at the women's shelter where she works, trying to salvage the shattered pieces of her life. There, her new friends-including Lucy the bag lady and sisters from the Yada Yada Prayer Group-prop her up.

But a midnight intruder brings unwanted media attention to the shelter and threatens to undermine Gabby's chances of getting her sons back. Still hoping to put her family together again, Gabby puzzles over what to do with the warm attentions of a sympathetic lawyer who rebuilds her confidence and soothes her wounded spirit.

Neta Jackson redeemed herself in this second book in the House of Hope series. I had been extremely disappointed by Where Do I Go?, because it ended on such a depressing note, and had seemed pretty pointless - using the entire book to get the main character down as low as she could get.

In Who Do I Talk To? it becomes apparent why Neta Jackson did this. I still think it's an extremely risky venture to write the first book in a series like that. If I hadn't already been introduced to her writing through the Yada Yada series, I think I would have given up on her then and there. As it was, it was with some reluctance I picked up the second book, and for once, I didn't start reading it immediately.

But thankfully the atmosphere was completely different. Still not as upbeat as in the Yada Yada series, but taking the topic into consideration, that would have been completely inappropriate. However, it was a lot more positive, and I ended up laughing and crying together with Gabby.

The characters were better fleshed out (especially Gabby's father-in-law) and I enjoyed getting to know them better, and seeing them interact with Gabby and her mother. And I LOVED the ending.

Still nowhere as inspirational as the Yada Yada series, Neta Jackson has "won me back", and I'll definitely be purchasing Who Do I Lean On? once it comes out... which unfortunately won't be until June 2010.

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