Customer Reviews for

Song of Renewal

Average Rating 3.5
( 27 )
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5 Star

(7)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2013

    Thought provoking

    Reading about how thinking of yourself and not of others REAL needs can almost destroy a family brings to mind the question "how am I doing?"

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  • Posted October 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Genuine, but disappointed me.

    Review by Stephanie: The premise of this book had so much potential. Even the blurb was heartbreaking. But the blurb is pretty much the best thing that happened.
    It wasn't that I didn't want to enjoy Song of Renewal. Honestly, it wasn't. But the character development was so weak, that it sort of happened on its own.

    Angel in the story, who the reader doesn't really get to know since she is comatose for the majority of it, is under the impression that her father doesn't love her. Emily Sue Harvey tries to make the point through Liza's (Angel's mother) words, that he is just stoic and nature, and that he loves Angel very much. But to me, Angel seemed pretty spot-on. In the prologue, is the scene of Angel's birth, and the first thing Garrison thinks when he sees the newborn is: "Godammit, I wanted a son!" That sort of tells you what his attitude is like throughout the entire book. No matter what he argues ("I DO love you, sweetheart") it makes it rather hard to believe.

    And then there is Liza. Harvey attempts to create Liza as a beautiful, ethereal mother-figure, but she's just about the last person I would want as a mother. Just about as egotistic as Garrison, possibly even more, she forces Angel to become a "dancer" (read, bulimic) her whole life, failing to see the reluctance in the child's eyes until AFTER she is on her deathbed. The characters were too self-absorbed and oblivious for me to really enjoy this story. Nonetheless, I finished it because it was an easy read. It drew out seemingly unimportant scenes (4/5 of the novel was Liza and Garrison's inner battles that involved them talking to themselves a lot) but it wasn't painful to finish or anything. I really expected to like it, and for the most part, the plot was really genuine, but Harvey's writing style just disappointed me.

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  • Posted September 23, 2011

    Loved this book - couldn't put it down!

    Emily Sue Harvey's novel, 'Song of Renewal' was a page turner from start to finish. The book tells a story of a husband and wife who started off so much in love, but later find themselves very distant from each other. Garrison is an artist who runs his own graphic art business to provide for his family. Liza is a former dancer who loves her role as a stay at home mother of their only teenage daughter, Angel. When the daughter is involved in a car accident and her life hangs in the balance, the husband and wife must face their marriage and each other.

    The characters are authentic. There is no glossing over the problems they have in their marriage and in their hearts over dreams lost, and the anguish they feel over their teenage daughter lying in a hospital bed in a coma. During the course of the story, we follow their journey of discovering themselves, their marriage, forgiveness and dealing with the trauma of Angel's accident.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I agree with what Jill Marie Landis (New York Times Bestselling author) says about this book: "An uplifting story of forgiveness, commitment, and love."

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  • Posted August 16, 2011

    Just "so so"

    I thought this book was just ok. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great.

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  • Posted June 26, 2011

    Beautiful and Heartwarming

    Opened up this book which i downloaded a while back when it was free. What a beautiful story! The characters are very real and relatable. I'd highly highly recommend!

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  • Posted May 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Very Moving Book

    I snagged this one while it was free and so glad that I did. It was a very good read. At times I caught myself choking up while reading. The characters are so real and it is hard not to connect with them on some level. I highly recommend this book!

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  • Posted February 10, 2011

    Interesting Read

    Guilt, the inability to forgive, and hope are strong elements that influence much of the action in Song of Renewal.

    Two intelligent, talented, beautiful people find each other and a "soul mate" kind of love. Liza and Garrison Wakefield's insatiable love for each other creates their precious child Angel. Theirs is a special family, but the mundane demands press in. Subtle changes creep into their lives. Both Liza and Garrison give up a part of themselves for what they believe to be the greater good. Liza gives up ballet, her great love and talent, while Garrison gives up his art, his great love and talent. Both denied themselves the very thing that nurtured their inner beings.

    In Garrison's drive to make money in order to maintain their life style, he becomes absorbed in work. He distances himself from Angel and Liza just the way his parents had distanced themselves from him, something he vowed he would never do. The price he pays for this shatters his world. How he copes with the devastation pulls the reader into a maelstrom of emotions that crash and bang through Garrison's heart and soul.

    Liza, determined to never abandon Angel like her mother had abandoned her, becomes a stay-home mom and an overbearing backstage mother. She fails to see that Angel hates ballet even though she works hard to please her mother. Liza is unaware she lives through her daughter and she looks to Garrison to take care of their material needs never noticing the strain he is in. Neither of them nurtures their love for each other that has curled up deep inside starving for attention.

    Angel's tragedy is the catalyst that sets this emotional, introspective, heartbreaking story in motion. The guilt and inability to forgive hampers their struggle to reconnect with the inner self, with faith, with each other. Song of Renewal touches emotions that range from the darkest to the brightest.

    The secondary characters create stories of their own as they support Liza, Garrison and Angel. Penny, Angel's true friend who stays through thick and thin, adds sparkle to often dark times. Troy, with a special love and situation, gives Angel incredible support and spiritual courage with such great love-makes the heart sing.

    Liza's sister Charlcy is that pillar of strength that protected Liza as a child and gives her unconditional love as an adult. Outspoken, unforgiving, and fighting her own demons, Charlcy's has a special story all her own, that adds a poignant dimension to the theme of 'renewal' that is a strong, ever-present thread throughout the story.

    Emily Sue Harvey takes the reader on a remarkable journey into the hearts and souls of very caring characters that struggle with coming to terms with their flaws, with repentance, with forgiving, and acceptance. The characters' hard won happiness shines with love, making Song of Renewal a beacon of hope-a compelling story.

    Originally posted at The Long and Short of It Romance Reviews

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  • Posted January 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    6 out of 10 stars

    Blurb: The Wakefields seem to have everything. Garrison is a hugely successful graphic artist. Liza is an active member of the community and a patron of the arts. Their 16-year-old daughter Angel is bright, beautiful, and a gifted dancer. At the same time, though, they have traded away many of their dreams. Garrison gave up a future as an accomplished painter to make money. Liza suspended her own dancing career to raise a family. And Angel is setting aside her ambitions to live her mother's dream.
    When Angel gets into a car accident that kills her first love, the Wakefields' lives turn on a dime. While Angel lies in a coma from which even the best prognosis is devastating, Garrison and Liza sit by her side, their once-passionate marriage in tatters. As their heartache over Angel builds, Garrison and Liza struggle to rediscover who they once were -- and who they were meant to be. They come to realize that it will take everything they have within themselves to heal Angel, heal their hearts, and renew the power of their love.
    At once romantic, inspiring, and empowering, Song of Renewal is a rare bauble of a novel, one with something to say to every family.

    What Stephanie Thought: The premise of this book had so much potential. Even the blurb was heartbreaking. But the blurb is pretty much the best thing that happened.
    It wasn't that I didn't want to enjoy Song of Renewal. Honestly, it wasn't. But the character development was so weak, that it sort of happened on its own.
    Angel in the story, who the reader doesn't really get to know since she is comatose for the majority of it, is under the impression that her father doesn't love her. Emily Sue Harvey tries to make the point through Liza's (Angel's mother) words, that he is just stoic and nature, and that he loves Angel very much. But to me, Angel seemed pretty spot-on. In the prologue, is the scene of Angel's birth, and the first thing Garrison thinks when he sees the newborn is: Godammit, I wanted a son! That sort of tells you what his attitude is like throughout the entire book. No matter what he argues ("I DO love you, sweetheart") it makes it rather hard to believe.
    And then there is Liza. Harvey attempts to create Liza as a beautiful, ethereal mother-figure, but she's just about the last person I would want as a mother. Just about as egotistic as Garrison, possibly even more, she forces Angel to become a "dancer" (read, bulimic) her whole life, failing to see the reluctance in the child's eyes until AFTER she is on her deathbed.
    The characters were too self-absorbed and oblivious for me to really enjoy this story. Nonetheless, I finished it because it was an easy read. It drew out seemingly unimportant scenes (4/5 of the novel was Liza and Garrison's inner battles that involved them talking to themselves a lot) but it wasn't painful to finish or anything. I really expected to like it, and for the most part, the plot was really genuine, but Harvey's writing style just disappointed me.

    Stephanie Loves: "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them." (quote by Henry David Thoreau)

    Where Stephanie Got It: The Story Plant via Jen at Romancing the Book for review.

    Radical Rating: 6 hearts- Would recommend to people.

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  • Posted September 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I have been waiting a long time to see Susie's name of a novel & what a wonderful novel this is.

    Susie writes from the heart & knowing her personally certainly makes this book more than just a book. It makes it read as if I am walking beside her as she is writing.
    Since she is my husband's cousin makes this a very special book for us because we knew she could do it & it would be fantastic. It is so hard to lay it down once you start reading it.
    She will continue to write from the heart about all the things that have
    happened in her life & others in her family.We are so proud of you, Susie; because this is just the start of something much bigger than you ever thought possible.

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  • Posted August 21, 2009

    EYE OPENING

    A Well written novel with surprising turns thropughout the book. This is an eye opener for all aspects of one's life. The uncertainty that lies around the corner is brought out and opens our minds to realize how precious life is and how we take it for granted. I would highly recommend this book.

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    Posted July 25, 2011

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    Posted July 17, 2011

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    Posted June 7, 2011

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
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