Customer Reviews for

Yesterday's Embers

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  • Posted April 19, 2009

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    This is an interesting family drama

    On Thanksgiving Day, Kaye DeVore and her five years old daughter Rachel died from monoxide poisoning. The grieving widower Doug understands the irony of their deaths as an EMT he has warned about the hidden dangers of monoxide poisoning. However, he has no time to mourn as he must raise five children with the oldest Kayeleigh being only twelve.--------------

    Mickey Valdez knows the DeVore kids and their late mom as she runs a day care center that include the family's youngest Harley. As Doug struggles to make enough money to support them, he relies heavily on Kayeleigh to take charge of her siblings while also is always late for picking up his kid from the daycare center. Mickey takes Harley home and Doug invites her to join his family with their take-out meal. Harley, Sarah, Sadie and Landon are thrilled to have Mickey eat with them, but Kayeleigh resents her. When the two adults meet at a wedding that Doug wanted to skip but Kayeleigh insisted on attending, the townsfolk sense a spark and begin matchmaking though Kaye is only gone less than three months and the tweener resents the intrusion.---------------

    This is an interesting family drama in which six people struggle with a sudden death of two loved ones when the patriarch begins courting another woman. The story line is character driven as the kids react differently to Mickey entering their lives and she and Doug have major doubts as each knows it is to soon for him and his children. Though somewhat similar in tone to REMEMBER TO FORGET, the poignant reactions of the children refresh this deep inspirational Clayburn, Kansas novel (see LEAVING NOVEMBER).-----------

    Harriet Klausner

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  • Posted March 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Will yesterday's embers strike a spark today?

    Doug Devore loses his wife Kaye and daughter Rachel, tragically, on Thanksgiving Day. He doesn't know how he is going to raise his remaining five children - ranging in age from Harley at age 2 to Kayeleigh who was 12. He was already working two jobs and Kaye had worked part-time. Together they had just barely covered the bills.

    Mickey Valdez is the director at Doug's daycare. He becomes habitually late in picking up the kids and so she offers to bring them home one night. Doug invites her to stay for the take-out he had picked up for dinner. The kids seem thrilled to have her there and Doug is reminded what it is like to have a woman in the house.

    Mickey and Doug next meet outside of daycare at a wedding in town. Doug had only gone at the insistence of his daughter Kayeleigh, who wanted to wear the pink dress her mom had made for the Christmas program. A program that she never attended. He hadn't done any socializing since his wife had died 2 1/2 months earlier. He preferred living in his grief-stricken fog - only surfacing for his job and his kids.

    Well-meaning townsfolk pushed the two of them together for a dance. This led to them spending most of the evening together dancing and Doug taking Mickey home afterwards. This was all very upsetting to Kayeleigh. She did not want to see her dad laughing and dancing with anyone like he used to with her mom.

    After a few weeks Mickey and Doug are seeing each other regularly - but it has only been a few months since Kaye died. As they grow closer, Kayeleigh continues to pull farther away. Is the spark between Doug and Mickey really love? Or is it taking the place of something else?

    I enjoyed this story very much. It was very realistic with characters that were full of warmth and feeling. It pulled at my heartstrings when Doug lost his wife and daughter. I struggled with him as he tried to go on with his life and help his kids adjust to their new reality. I felt as anxious as Mickey when they began "courting". Wondering if it was too much of a good thing too soon. I wanted Mickey and Doug to come through everything as a couple - but you must read the book yourself to see what happens!

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  • Posted March 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Kleenex Warning

    Don't forget to take the Kleenex box with you to your reading chair, you'll need them. The 3rd book about people from the town of Clayburn is well written, full of great character development and emotion. Doug loses his wife and 5 year old daughter to carbon monoxide, suddenly he's a widower with 5 children and one is a 12 year old girl. How do you get through the grief process and successfully navigate life as a single father with 2 jobs and 5 children. It's a romance so we all know that he finds love, but is it real love? What I liked about this story was that it didn't follow the main romance template where everything ends at the wedding and "they lived happily ever after" because we all know that doesn't happen. The story follows the characters for a year, through all their ups and downs, their growing togethers and their growing aparts.

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