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Posted July 29, 2011
A Touching Story of Healing, Forgiveness, and Hope
Wren a single mother of one, living in Maine, begins to face the possibility of her job at the library being threatened with budget cuts, and faces an unexpected visit from her grandmother, and email messages from her ex husband. Because of the possibility of budget cuts, Wren must decide if moving to Boston to further her son's education in music while leaving her current job is the right decision for the both of them.
Grandma, Ruth, stays with Wren and her son, Charlie for a short amount of time because Ruth wants to celebrate her 90th in the one place the whole family has not been since the accident that crushed Wren's childhood. And when the family gathers in Cottage Cove, they find old wounds being healed, a new relationship forming, and a Charlie's prayers answered.
This novel touched my heart. I also was able to relate to the situations that Wren, and her son's friend were facing. We had went from high class to low class in the blink of an eye. dad was let go from his job at Emerson during the time my mom stayed home with my sisters and I. My dad did get hired for a pharmaceutical company, but we were still trying to make ends meet, so my mother took on food service at a middle school and also a day camp in the summer.
I was facing my own problems since 10 years ago. I have been bullied by students, cousins, and my former choir teacher, so when I read the part where Charlie was talking to Wren about his friend being bullied for wearing Spongebob Squarepants attire, my eyes started to water as those memories of my hard childhood came back to me.
I strongly recommend this book, because I know you will be able to relate to parts or all of the situations Wren's family is facing.
Booksneeze has provided me with a complimentary copy of Sweet Sanctuary.
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Posted October 1, 2011
a little gem!
This book is a little gem. I love the writing and flow of the storyline and thought the characters were developed very well. I connected with Wren and her love for reading and working at the library.as that is a personal dream of mine too! The relationship between her ex-husband and herself fell a little flat for me, however the relationship between her and Paul seemed to go at a very steady pace and was realistic. I love Wren's 90 year old aunt, Ruth! She is very perceptive, shares what she needs to, and has her own little secret too. Centered around the celebration of Ruth's 90 birthday, Wren confronts her past so that she can fully embrace her future. There were some little loose ends for me at the end of the book regarding Wren's sibling relationships, however it is a book that I enjoyed!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 9, 2011
Sweet Sanctuary is the story of Wren, a single mother of ten-year-old Charlie. Wren and Charlie seem to just be going through life until Wren's grandmother, Ruth, shows up at her front door one morning with the news that she will be having a birthday party and Wren will be hosting it for her. This would not be such a major ordeal, except for one small detail. The last time Wren's family all got together, it pretty much destroyed any relationships within the family. Wren, however, agrees to host the party for Ruth. This will set off a course of events that will either "break or make" Wren. There were parts of the story that I really enjoyed. The relationship between Wren and Charlie is very dear. I especially liked that Charlie had such a strong faith in God. When he prayed he expected God to answer each time. I also liked the realness of the character, Wren. Her struggles and doubts were very realistic. There were some things, however, that I really struggled with in this book. When I read a Christian fiction book, that is what I expect for it to be - Christian. There were details about her sister's lifestyle, both as a child and as an adult, that could have been left out that would not have changed the flow of the story. If I had a teenage daughter I would not encourage her to read this book because of these details. All that being said, this is the first book by either of these authors that I have read and I would still read other books they have writtenWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 31, 2011
Sweet Sanctuary is a Sweet Story!
Wren passed through life carrying a lot of guilt. While a sweet God-loving woman, she could not let go of her past hurts enough to forgive herself, her family or her ex-husband. She tends to put a shell around herself and her son to protect them from further hurt. As the story goes on and other characters are introduced, Grandma Ruth, Wren's sister Barb and brother Jack, Paul, the author does a good job of intertwining them and building the history. I'm not sure what was missing but this just didn't have the WOW factor for me. It was predictable throughout and maybe that was the issue. There's a little bit of anguish, romance, mystery of sorts so it was a pleasant read, just a little disappointing!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 10, 2011
Wonderful Message About God's Sovreignty
Wren has built a quiet steady life with her 10 year old son, Charlie, in small-town Maine. She is content with her life, although not quite happy - a fact her son picks up on. His heartfelt prayer that God "make his mom happy" is the catalyst for many sudden changes in her life: a new love interest, new challenges and opportunities in her career, a chance for her family to reconcile, and a strengthening of her reliance on God.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I enjoyed this story, especially its message about seeking God and relinquishing control to Him in all things. Wren's character is developed nicely, however I felt the secondary characters were a bit one-dimensional. The climax was about what I expected, so the element of suspense was not as exciting as perhaps the authors intended it to be. I identified with Wren on many levels, especially her struggle to "wait" on the Lord and trust Him with her son's well-being, her career path and her budding romance.
I would recommend this book to women of faith, especially career-oriented, driven women who have yet to find the inner peace that comes when we yield our own conceived power over our lives to God. Overall, this was a very pleasant read.
Posted August 8, 2011
This book is a joy and a blessing.
The story started with Ruth's arrival in Wren's house in the first chapter. From there we learned more about Wren and her relationship with her family, focusing primarily on her relationship or lack of it with her sister Barb and brother, Jack. Their dad has died and their mum has remarried and on a trip in Europe.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Wren grew up being blame for something that happened to her brother Jack when she was just eight years old.
You might say, 'How could anyone blame an 8 year old child? What was asked of her was too heavy a responsibility.' Yes, it could and it was really unfair but it happens and this story shows how something like that can attached itself to the child (like a curse) and how the child can grow up under the shadow of such blame and never be set free. Wren never got over incident and this blame has affected the way she lives her life and even her relationship with her family and her ex-husband.
From the story, we know that Wren is bitter from how her family treated her. She knows, as an adult now, that she wasn't to blame. She drew strength from Psalm 27 and was greatly comforted by it and from it, she learns to forgive and with forgiveness, God works miraculous wonders over that weekend while Ruth celebrates her '90th' birthday.
This is one lovely book which I enjoyed tremendously. It wasn't overly spiritual but I'm grateful at how the authors made Psalm 27 real in Wren's story. Psalm 27 is my favourite psalm and to see it coming alive in this book is joy and blessing.
Posted July 28, 2011
This is a sweet book on love, forgiveness and family relationshipWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Wren is a single mother. To Wren, Charlie is her whole world and she wanted the best for Charlie. She wants his dream to come truth. Even though it means uprooting them from Maine and move to Boston where Charlie can get the best education in music.
Charlie also wanted one thing for Wren. And being a child, he make known his wish to his Heavenly Father. Yes, an innocent child's prayer is that powerful. You still remember what Jesus had said? He said those who wish to enter the Kingdom of Heaven must have and be innocent like a child.
God works in mysterious ways. Out of the blue, Wren 95 years old grandmother appeared and wishes the family to gather one last time. Gosh! It sure bring up a lot of skeletons from the closets and opened up old wounds.
In order for old wounds to heal,I guess the reason and misunderstanding that had occurred years ago need to be clear up. Many years had passed. It's not easy to do that.
What I love about this book is that, Wren and Charlie had faith in the Lord. No matter how much hardship and bad things that happen, their faith were with the Lord.
Some how things were mended. My only sadness about this book it's that this is just a fiction. How I wish things are as easy and orderly in reality as in fiction.
I rate this 3 stars out of 5.
Posted July 24, 2011
I started this book & at first wasn't sure about it since I'm not usually one for reading "modern" type romance fiction, however, this one is well worth reading. The challenges that the main character has is what a lot of families run into, with spouses leaving to pursue a career instead of raising a family. The authors did a great job at putting real life instances in their book of fiction. Its a very good read, not too emotional or dramatic, but a great book to pick up in the evening before bed.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 22, 2011
A Must Read For The Storms In Your Life
Sweet Sanctuary is a book about a woman, scarred by crisis from her childhood and adulthood alike, struggling in today's world as a single mom, and dealing with insecurity and strained relationships within her family. Her grandmother shows up on her doorstep one morning with a big request that would require Wren, the character, to step outside her comfort zone and confront the years of emotional abuse she's endured at the hands of her older sister Barb and the years of being ignored by her younger brother Jack. Grandma Ruth's request requires them all to work together for the first time in decades, and adds stress to Wren's already complicated life. In the end, Wren and her siblings face the facts of what happened within their family decades ago while facing a new crisis that parallels the old one, and restore their relationships, along the way building a stronger faith in Christ.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I found this book to be a breath of fresh air in my current crisis-covered life. So many of Wren's struggles were either my own at one point, or are currently my own. The book left me with a sense of hope and faith in God that no matter how strong the storms in my life, He's standing there, holding His hand out to me, protecting me. Although it was slightly slow moving in the middle, it came full circle in the last 3rd of the book, and it all tied nicely together to convey this message of hope and faith renewed. The words and hope of the Bible are very intricately woven into the story line, and certainly give constant reminders to keep trusting God, and allow Him to take control of our lives.
I would most certainly recommend this book to each and every one of you. Even if your storms are quiet at the moment, we know with certainty that they will come, and this book, the message it conveys, prepares you for that time. And if you ARE in the midst of a storm, this book helps you to take hold of the Bow (Cross) and hold on while you allow the Lord to captain your ship!
*I was given a free digital copy of this book by the publisher of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not asked to provide a positive review, although my review of this particular book is, indeed, positive.
Posted July 22, 2011
I have to tell you about this new book that I am reading.. Oh, I so love it.. Many of you may be familiar with Shelia Walsh. She is best know and recognized as a "Women of Faith" author. Anyways, she wrote this new book called "Sweet Sanctuary" and I think you might really relate to it..Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Wren, a single mother tries to meet the needs of her son, Charlie by working in a small town library. Her grandmother shows up at her door steps and wants to plan a family reunion. Wren has a difficult time trying to balance all the different areas in her life. As she works hard to put her son through music school, she has not seen or heard from Charlies dad in ten years. Suddenly, her ex-husband shows up wanting to get to know Charlie. While all of this is going on, Wren has to learn that we don't always know the plans God has for each storm we face in life. This book has reminded me that God is in control and that we have to let him be the one to steer the boat. This book was a great reminder no matter how big or small, God is in control and he is going to use each situation to help us grow, trust and love more... Great book.
Book sneeze provided me this complimentary book and did not compensate me for a positive review. I would give this 4 out of 5 stars.
Posted July 21, 2011
Finding peace in that Sweet Sanctuary
Wren Evans has a very stressful and difficult life, among balancing a job as a librarian, and just barely making ends meet, she is a single mom trying to get her talented son into a music school. Then things take a turn for the worse when her husband that dropped out of the picture ten years ago when her son was born suddenly pops into the picture wanting to be involved in young Charlie's life. It also doesn't help that her grandmother shows up on her doorstep one day to tell Wren that she will throw her a birthday party soon. Add a certain love interest and a disastrous family reunion long in coming and you've got life in the shoes of Wren Evans.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Allow me to be blunt. I did not enjoy this novel. I won't completely blame that on the author as much as on myself and my own personal pet peeves. I found myself becoming frustrated with certain characters and the slow progression with the love interest (though in Wren's circumstances it's expected). Though I will admit to this: I really loved the character development of Charlie, I believe it was fairly well done. As for the "Christian" aspect of the novel, it wasn't really impressive. It was there and definitely realistic but I wish it were a bit stronger. Rate? Two gold rings out of five. I do not recommend this book. It's not necessarily too long but it drags.
I received this complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson Publishing through their BookSneeze program. A positive review was not required and the opinions expressed here are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Posted July 21, 2011
A Book About Family
Sweet Sanctuary by Sheila Walsh & Cindy Martinusen Coloma Wren Evans has a complicated life. She is working hard at the local library to make ends meet and support her gifted son while trying to get him into a music school. She has the full load of responsibility as she has been divorced from her son's father and has not heard from him in almost ten years. Then all of a sudden he is in the picture, wanting to get to know his son. Throw in a man or two who show a romantic interest in her and life is just about as full as it can get. Add to that the fact that Wren's grandmother turns up on her doorstep and wants to plan a family reunion with Wren and her siblings who barely speak to each other and you have more than one person can handle. Wren finds herself trying to balance all the different aspects of her life while also trying to learn to let God be in control. Not an easy task. I found the writing of the book to be good and the story flowed easily enough to allow me to read it in one sitting although I did notice a few grammatical errors that were not caught in editing. As the pace stepped up and moved from event to event I found myself just wanting to get to the part of the story where I would connect with the characters and become emotionally involved. Unfortunately this did not happen. Bottom line, I did not find it a compelling read-instead I found my reaction to the family dynamics leaving me feeling rather depressed and let down by the end of the book. I received this complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson Publishing through their BookSneeze program. A positive review was not required and the opinions expressed here are my own.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 16, 2011
An inspiring tale about a single mother named Wren who only wants the best for her son, Charlie. She herself never had the chance to experience the concept of a family at its best, and she just doesn't want it to be the same way for her son. Everything seems to be going just fine until Wren receives an invitation to her grandmother's birthday and is confronted with the fact that she has to face her family sooner or later, despite all the unpleasant memories she has in the past.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Like most other Christian-themed books, this one is about letting God steer our life. That if we can only find the courage to let him be in control of our lives, everything will turn out okay in the end. This is a touching story of love and hope, brought to life by two authors who seem to have experienced the aches depicted in this novel, and thus are better able to write about them. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.
I got an ARC of this book through Booksneeze.
Posted July 15, 2011
I loved this book!
Sweet Sanctuary is about a single mother, Wren, who is trying to do the right things for her son, Charlie. After everything she went through as a child, she just wants to make sure her son doesn't have to as well. That is until an unexpected birthday request from her grandmother sends her world upside down and she is filled with memories she would rather not think about. This story provided me with a mix of emotions as Wren had to face her family and her fears, but came to know the truth. God is always with us.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This story not only made me feel for Wren and her son and what they had been through, but also it made me feel hopeful that things would be okay for them. In the book, Wren comes to finally realize that if she let's God be in control, they will make it through the stormy seas of life. Because we never really know God's plan. Even if it involves doing things that are completely out of the comfort zone she has made for herself and Charlie. Sometimes the things we try to run away or protect ourselves from are actually the things we need most. To grow. To heal. To love. To forgive. Wren let people and her past circumstances shape who she is today and she doesn't do things she would really love to do. She let go of those dreams long ago. But, over the course of the story, Wren is met with new obstacles (family reunion, ex-husband, her job) that try to tear her down inside. She prays and prays. She finally realizes that she can let God in, let her walls down, and truly be happy, no matter what comes their way in the future.
I would have to say that the overall message of Sweet Sanctuary is one of love, truth, and hope. It reminded me that we are not in control. We need to pray for guidance and know that God will hear our prayers and will answer how and when He knows the time is best.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Posted August 9, 2011
No text was provided for this review.