Covenant Child

Covenant Child

4.6 52
by Terri Blackstock
     
 

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Amanda’s heart broke as she watched them drive her beloved twins away. She resolved to hope . . . and to fight for them to her last breath.See more details below

Overview

Amanda’s heart broke as she watched them drive her beloved twins away. She resolved to hope . . . and to fight for them to her last breath.

Editorial Reviews

RT Book Reviews
“Drawn in from the first line, my heart ached for Kara, Lizzie and their moving story. The satisfying end didn't stop the lingering sadness, as there's so much more to this novel than just the life of two little girls and the wounds that should never have been.
Ms. Blackstock tactfully and skillfully deals with the undesirable traits of her characters (promiscuity and subsequent abortion, which are briefly mentioned). The book is so well written it is hard to believe it's just fiction!”
Publishers Weekly
In a contemporary spin on the concept of biblical "covenant" that also functions as a parable of accepting and rejecting faith, Blackstock offers a smooth though somewhat improbable tale of one woman's promise to her husband to care for her stepchildren. Kara Holbrooke and her twin sister, Lizzie, lived a middle-class existence with their doting father, Jack, who nixed a life of moneyed pleasure despite his father's wealth. Shortly after their birth, the twins' mother, Sherry, died in a car accident. When the girls were three, Jack married Amanda, but six months after the wedding, he and his parents were killed in a plane crash. The twins are easy prey maybe too easy for Sherry's redneck parents, Eloise and Deke Krebbs, who smell money and go to court to claim the girls as their own. Amanda is the beneficiary of her in-laws' billion-dollar-plus estate, but she loses custody of the twins. Bound by her promise to Jack, she manages the estate with an eye to returning it to the girls. But brought up in the ghastly home environment of the Krebbs, the twins grow into hard-drinking, shoplifting, promiscuous teenagers who are taught to hate Amanda. At age 18, the girls must decide if they will accept or reject an offer from Amanda that could change the course of their lives. Blackstock's characters are fairly one-dimensional, and it's a rather far-fetched plot, but her writing is engaging. Inspirational fiction fans will likely suspend their disbelief and enjoy the story. (May) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher

“A contemporary spin on the concept of biblical ‘covenant’ that also function as as a parable of accepting and rejecting faith…Engaging.”
-Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781401686970
Publisher:
Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date:
05/08/2012
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
630,928
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

Covenant Child
A Story of Promises Kept

By Terri Blackstock

W Publishing Group

Copyright © 2002 Terri Blackstock.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 0849943019



Chapter One


There's a question that haunts me in the blackest hours of night, when wasted moments crowd my dreams and mock the life I know. The question is this: How could a child born of privilege and promise grow up with nothing?

    I was Somebody when I was born. Lizzie, my twin, says we were heiresses all along. "Our grandfather was a billionaire," she says. "Just think of it, Kara!" There were newspaper articles about us when we were three. They called us the "Billion Dollar Babies."

    But these Billion Dollar Babies wore Goodwill hand-me-downs. We ate dry cereal most nights for supper, right out of the box, picking out the raisins to save for our school lunches the next day. In my memory, we never formally observed a birthday, because no one around us considered that day worthy of celebration. We were worthless no accounts to most of the people in town.

    But all along we had an inheritance that no one told us was ours.

    I sometimes try to remember back to the days before we were three, but my memories are tainted with the lies I've been taught and the pictures I've seen. I can't quite sift out real recollections from my faulty assumptions, but I do know that the things I've laid out here are true. Not because I remember them, but because I've studied all the sides, heard all the tales, read all the reports ... and a few things have emerged with absolute clarity.

    The first thing is that my father, Jack Holbrooke, was the son of the Paul Holbrooke, who did something with microchips and processors, things I can't begin to understand, and amassed a fortune before he was thirty. My father, Jack, got religion in his teens and decided he didn't want to play the part of the rich son. He became a pilot instead, bought a plane, and began flying charter flights and giving lessons. He disowned himself from the Holbrooke money and told his father that, instead of leaving any of it to him in his will, he preferred that he donate it to several evangelical organizations who provided relief and shared the gospel to people all over the world.

    My grandfather tolerated his zeal and noted his requests, then promptly ignored them.

    My mother, Sherry, was a teen runaway, who left Barton, Mississippi, at fifteen to strike out on her own. She wound up living with a kind family in Jackson, and she got religion, too. She met my father in Jackson, when he put an ad in the paper for some office help at his hangar, and they fell in love around the time she was nineteen or so. They got married and had Lizzie and me less than a year later.

    She was killed in a car wreck when we were just weeks old. Our father raised us himself for the next three years. I've seen pictures of him, and he looks like a kind, gentle man who laughed a lot. There are snapshots of him kissing us, dunking us like basketballs in his father's pool, chasing us across the lawn of the little house we lived in, reading us books, tucking us in. There are three birthday photos of our father lying on the floor with two cake-smeared redheads tearing into boxes of Barbies and Cabbage Patch dolls.

    Sometimes I close my eyes and think hard, trying to bring back those moments, and for a while I convince myself that they are not just images frozen on paper, but they're live events in my head somewhere. I even think I can smell that cake and feel my father's stubbled face against mine. I can hear his laughter shaking through me and feel his arms holding me close.

    But in truth, my memories don't reach that far back.

    I don't even think I remember Amanda. Lizzie says she has more impressions of her than memories, that the snapshots just bring those impressions into clearer focus. I guess that's true with me, too.

    But I wish I could remember when she met our father and us, how she wound up being his wife, how she was widowed and robbed of her children, and how she spent her life trying to keep a promise she had made to him ... and to us.

    But, according to Lizzie, truth is truth, whether it lies in your memory banks or not. So I'll start with Amanda's story, the way it was told to me, because it is very much the beginning of mine.


Chapter Two


My father was playing guitar the first time Amanda saw him. He sat on a metal folding chair at the corner of the crowded rec room, watching the animated faces and soaking in the laughter around them as he strummed some tune that she didn't know. She would later tell that her eyes were drawn to the red hair that was in dire need of a cut; the open flannel shirt, its tails draping down along the sides of the chair, a plain white T-shirt beneath it; jeans that looked as if they'd been washed a dozen times too many; and torn, dirty tennis shoes that spoke of age and overuse.

    Her best friend, Joan, who'd attended the Bible study for single professionals for several months, told her he was a pilot. But Amanda knew little else about him.

    When the group had been called to order, people found places to sit along couches and rocking chairs in the big, rustic room. Amanda chose a spot near the guitar player and sat on the floor with her arms hugging her knees. He smiled at her and kept strumming.

    The leader turned the meeting over to him, and he began to lead the group in praise songs and rock-rewed hymns, and she finally heard the voice, deep and gentle, unadorned, as it brought them all into worship. When he'd finished singing and playing, he put the guitar down and took a place beside her on the floor. His presence birthed a sweet homesickness inside her for something she couldn't name. She had known right then that he held some treasure that belonged to her, one she longed to unearth and possess.

    When the meeting was over, he held out a hand. "Name's Jack."

    "Nice to meet you, Jack." She shook his hand, feeling the guitar calluses on his fingertips against the bottom of her hand. "I'm—"

    "Don't tell me. Let me guess." He held tight to her hand. "I once worked at a fair and did this for a living."

    "What? Played guitar?"

    "No," he said, "guessed names. Now don't tell me. I can do this. I'm psychotic, you know."

    She laughed. "You mean psychic?"

    "Yeah, that, too." He winked as he gazed into her eyes. "Let's see. I'm getting an A."

    Her eyes widened.

    "An M."

    She snatched her hand from his.

(Continues...)


Excerpted from Covenant Child by Terri Blackstock. Copyright © 2002 by Terri Blackstock. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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