Today is my stop of the fantastic tour for The Rockin' Chair by Steven Manchester. This is the second novel I have read by Mr Manchester and he continues to astound me with his talent. Check it out!
Author: Steven Manchester
Publisher: The Story Plant
Release Date: 18th June 2013
Source: via Providence Book Promotions for an honest review for the tour
Memories are the ultimate contradiction. They can warm us on our coldest days – or they can freeze a loved one out of our lives forever. The McCarthy family has a trove of warm memories. Of innocent first kisses. Of sumptuous family meals. Of wondrous lessons learned at the foot of a rocking chair. But they also have had their share of icy ones. Of words that can never be unsaid. Of choices that can never be unmade. Of actions that can never be undone.Following the death of his beloved wife, John McCarthy – Grandpa John – calls his family back home. It is time for them to face the memories they have made, both warm and cold. Only then can they move beyond them and into the future.
A rich portrait of a family at a crossroad, The Rockin’ Chair is Steven Manchester’s most heartfelt and emotionally engaging novel to date. If family matters to you, it is a story you must read.
My ReviewThis is the second book I’ve read by Mr Manchester and I have to say, he is one amazingly talented author. I thoroughly enjoy his writing style and how it can contain so much emotion is beyond me. The Rockin’ Chair is another heart-wrenching emotional rollercoaster that will leave you sobbing with both happy and sad tears. The beginning had me crying for Grampy John’s strength and his own character flaws, but urging him to carry on and forgive himself as well as his son.
Alice has Alzheimer’s and is lost in her own mind. John doesn’t know what to believe when she speaks, is she just dreaming or are the things she says really what happened all that time ago? John’s daughter-in-law, Elle has been coming across the creek bridge daily to help attend to Alice. John is ever so grateful for the help and doesn’t know how much longer Alice will be around.
John knows that there isn’t much time left and has written to his Grandchildren telling them to come home and say their good-byes. George is in the military and serving in Afghanistan; Evan is away at college and engaged to be married and his twin, Tara is in New York City trying to become a star.
Each child has their own demons and has lost their way. Evan receives his letter at a crucial moment in his life and heads to New York in search of his twin sister. Tara got mixed up with the wrong crowd and fell pregnant, had the baby and became an addict. George is wracked with guilt over a shooting incident in Afghanistan and is on leave from duty.
But the biggest puzzle in John’s life is his relationship with his son, Hank. As an only child, Hank thought the world of his Dad and had the deepest love for him. It all changed over the years of growing up with a Father that didn’t show appreciation, praise or his love for his son. They became bitter and argued; one particular day while mending fences on the farm, Hank had enough and left. Hank and Elle moved into the bunkhouse across the creek and had their family; never to again set foot on the farm, Hank refused to talk to John at all.
Now after all these years and all the pain they are suffering from the loss of their wife/mother/grandmother, this family will have to deal with all of their life challenges and build the bridges back to the loving family they know they can be.
John is determined that before he passes to be with Alice, he will help each grandchild overcome their own problems and put all the pieces back in the puzzle. Using his old-fashioned way of teaching lessons and getting them to help around the farm, the grandchildren use their love of Grampy John to listen and learn.
John sits in his old handmade rocking chair, the one he has carved his son and grandchildren’s names into and relives his happiest memories with his wife as he watches over the farm. Will they all be able to come together once again? Can John and Hank overcome their bitter stubbornness and show their love once and for all?
The Rockin’ Chair shows that every family can overcome any challenge. Love prevails and you all have to stick together through thick and thin. I really do enjoy reading such emotional novels from Mr Manchester and cannot wait to see what he delivers next.
About the Author
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