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Pressed Pennies
     

Pressed Pennies

4.3 50
by Steven Manchester
 

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Rick and Abby grew up together, became best friends, and ultimately fell in love. Circumstance tore them apart in their early teens, though, and they went on to lives less idyllic than they dreamed about in those early days. Rick has had a very successful career, but his marriage flat-lined. Abby has a magical daughter, Paige, but Paige's father nearly destroyed

Overview

Rick and Abby grew up together, became best friends, and ultimately fell in love. Circumstance tore them apart in their early teens, though, and they went on to lives less idyllic than they dreamed about in those early days. Rick has had a very successful career, but his marriage flat-lined. Abby has a magical daughter, Paige, but Paige's father nearly destroyed Abby's spirit.Now fate has thrown Rick and Abby together again. In their early thirties, they are more world-weary than they were as kids. But their relationship still shimmers, and they're hungry to make up for lost time. However, Paige, now nine, is not nearly as enthusiastic. She's very protective of the life she's made with her mother and not open to the duo becoming a trio. Meanwhile, Rick has very little experience dealing with kids and doesn't know how to handle Paige. This leaves Abby caught between the two people who matter the most to her. What happens when the life you've dreamed of remains just inches from your grasp?PRESSED PENNIES is a nuanced, intensely romantic, deeply heartfelt story of love it its many incarnations, relationships in their many guises, and family in its many meanings. It is the most accomplished and moving novel yet from a truly great storyteller of the heart.Finalist: 2014 USA Best Book Award

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Steven Manchester is the Norman Rockwell of Literature!”
– Literarily Illumined

“Allows the reader to enjoy the journey of the characters and experience the power that comes from real love.”
– Examiner.com

“Steven Manchester’s latest book Pressed Pennies is another ‘rhythm of life’ masterpiece with his words drawing pictures in our minds…. The characters jump off the pages and into our hearts as we cry with them and rejoice with them.”
– Single Titles

“Steven's written poetic words are guaranteed to hook the romantic at heart and keep hold of you until the beautiful finale.”
– Reviews from the Heart

“You continue to dazzle readers with your sensitive and graceful writing – don’t stop, Steven Manchester. Gutsy and beautiful novel.”
– Crystal Book Reviews

“If you want a book that will touch your heart – go – buy – read!”
– My Life. One Story at a Time

“Steven Manchester writes about people, life, love and second chances in a warm and realistic way that goes beyond fabulous writing and straight into sigh-worthy, romance that is both relatable and magical. He breathes life into his characters and fills them with real emotion, real fears, insecurities and love. This is the kind of story that makes the reader want to curl up and lose themself in a tale that feels warm and fuzzy, sweet and highly enchanting.”
– Tome Tender

“Not only does Steven Manchester have the gift to pen stories about matters of the heart and relationships, I believe what puts him above many others, is that he truly writes from the heart.”
– CMash Reads

“Another wonderful heartfelt story, written by an author who never disappoints, with good old-fashioned story telling.”
– And the Story Unfolds

“This is an amazingly written story.”
– Cassandra M’s Place

“A precious story and leaves the reader feeling warm and fuzzy inside. Read it!”
– The Spontaneous Reader

“Manchester’s ability to capture the raw emotions of love, loss and hope is remarkable. Beautiful and mesmerizing Pressed Pennies may have become our new favorite Steven Manchester novel.”
– Closed the Cover

“A delightful romantic story that will captivate the reader's attention with its memorable characters; engaging dialogue and dramatic interactions; and a realistic storyline that deals with complicated family dynamics, relationship issues, rekindled love, and second chances.”
– Jersey Girl Book Reviews

“Manchester delivers a beautifully written, emotionally full story of love and sacrifices. He digs into the decisions people make about their own happiness, and how they sometimes put their relationships ahead of that happiness, whether it's a marriage, friendship or parent-child relationship. The characters all seem very honest and easy to relate to, and their relationships and actions seem very real. If you enjoy contemporary novels that tug at the heartstrings, I highly recommend Pressed Pennies.
– My Book Retreat

“I wiped away more than a few tears while reading. I can recommend this book without reservation.”
– Closed the Cover

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611881356
Publisher:
Story Plant
Publication date:
05/13/2014
Pages:
355
Sales rank:
1,192,551
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

The night was beautiful, unusually mild for the season. “How about a walk along the river?” he asked. “The water fire is tonight.”

“What a coincidence,” she teased, and didn’t think twice about grabbing his hand when he extended it.

Hand in hand, Rick and Abby strolled along the river. Hidden speakers offered the eclectic sounds of primitive chants and tribal drums. Alluring smells of vendor delicacies wafted on unseasonably warm breezes. Side streets were cordoned off and police officers rerouted traffic. Amongst thousands of pedestrians, the walk along the river moved like a stream of warm pudding.

They felt comfortably alone in each other’s company, occasionally stopping to point out something they had spotted and wanted to share.

Although Abby only had two glasses of wine, she felt lightheaded—almost drunk.

As if lovers were sworn to secrecy, other couples offered subtle nods in greeting—with Rick and Abby returning each gesture.

Steel fire pits sat several feet out of the water, lining the middle of the river every thousand yards. Old, wooden boats filled with thespians dressed in black threw fresh-split cordwood onto each. Like swarms of angry fireflies, a million sparks scurried into the air. Bright orange and red flames licked at the black sky, as strong smells of burnt oak and cedar reminded folks of cozy summer campfires and the love that could be shared beneath a starry sky.

At the end of the path, Rick summoned one of the many hawkers to buy Abby a single red rose.

She accepted the gift with a smile. “Good thing this isn’t a date,” she joked again.

“Good thing,” he repeated.

After hugging him, she kissed his cheek. “Thank you for this wonderful experience, Richard,” she said. “I mean it. This night has been absolutely amazing.”

“I only supplied half of it,” he replied, and hugged her again. “Thank you for the other half.”

Walking slowly, they started back toward their cars.

*
• *

Once they reached the parking lot behind the Blue Grotto, Rick turned to Abby and cleared his throat. “Let me take you out again this weekend.” It was more of a statement than a request.

Abby shook her head and kissed his cheek. “I’d love to, Richard. Believe me, I would. But it’s not just about what I want. I still need to get Paige settled in. She’s not used to...”

He placed his finger to her lips. “Okay,” he said, “then when?”

She thought about it and shook her head. “I honestly don’t know.” She shrugged. “But what I do know is that our timing couldn’t be any worse right now.” She searched his eyes. “I can’t tell you how sorry I am, Richard. I wish...”

He looked surprised and devastated, all at the same time. “Not even as friends?” he asked.

She looked deeper into his eyes. “I’d love that, but do you really think that you and I could just be friends?”

He smirked, and then shrugged. “I don’t know.” He thought for a moment. “A different place, a different time, I think you and I...”

“Who knows what the future holds,” she said, stopping him from saying any more.

“Friends then,” he said, and kissed her cheek. “I understand.”

“Thank you,” she said, but she could tell by his tone that he didn’t understand at all. “I’ll be seein’ ya,” she said, and hurried off to her car while she still had the strength.

“Yeah,” he said. “See you around.”

*
• *

With his head spinning, Rick got into his car and began replaying every second of their time together. As he drove away, he could still smell Abby on his clothes and hoped the scent would last. It had been an eternity since he’d felt this way about anyone.

*
• *

When her mom returned home from her “dinner with an old friend,” Paige was sprawled out on the couch, pretending to be asleep. Abby took a seat beside her. Even with her heart pounding in her ears, Paige dared not stir. Abby pulled the blanket over her and kissed her forehead. “Night, babe,” she whispered, and quietly stepped out of the room.

Paige slowly opened her eyes and took a deep breath. “Just the two of us, huh?” she whispered, and fought back the tears.

Meet the Author

Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestseller Twelve Months, Goodnight, Brian, The Rockin' Chair, and several other books. His work has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, CNN’s American Morning and BET’s Nightly News. Recently, three of Manchester’s short stories were selected “101 Best” for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

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Pressed Pennies 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
mysterybook_nerd98 More than 1 year ago
* I received a copy from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review. A timely story of how divorce affects family and finding new relationships. It's a poignant, ultimately heartwarming story. The author has a good voice and tackled this difficult subject matter beautifully. The characters are realistic and I felt as if I was experiencing their emotions. I enjoyed reading it immensely.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Pressed Pennies is an evocative, touching story. It takes you back to the good old days, when there was no Internet or cell phones. It is a story of youthful innocence, enduring love and family values. Manchester has written a beautiful story sure to last for several generations. Although mainstream fiction isn¿t a genre I indulge in, I did enjoy Pressed Pennies very much. It certainly made me take an about-face with my own life! The characters stayed with me after I finished reading it, and I think that is, above all else, one goal every novel should have.'
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly. Enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.
buddycanada More than 1 year ago
A make you feel good book no drama its a love story. I never read this type but read it all. What is disappointing is that i have learned to check out how many pages in the book. This one says something like 250 plus pages. Not So. It was 199 I was expecting more story Very short story the rest of the pages are blurbs about many books nothing you would read. I have found if I read those then when I see the book I think I read it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A heart warming story which left me crying and happy for the last part of the story. I felt all their joy and pain.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Simplistic and predictable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I get so tired of books, movies and tv shows that try to teach me negatives. This was entertaining and ended with happy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OOSABookClub More than 1 year ago
Steven Manchester’s “Pressed Pennies” describes love from the lives of several different relationships challenged with the woes of life and their belief in true love. Abby and Richard have lived most of their lives together – as childhood sweethearts and reunited later, destined to remain together. Abby now has a child, Paige, from a previous relationship, and Paige challenges Richard’s character. Eunice and Bill share opposing views but yet seem happy as they struggle to maintain their relationship. Carmen and Grant share little or no similarities but manage to remain in a relationship with no love or emotions towards one another. The stories of these three couples reflect on many modern day obstacles we face in relationships. Will these couples overcome life’s challenges and remain true to one another? I enjoyed reading this novel and it reminded me of how life throws you obstacles that you don’t understand until you realize your true blessings. True love is hard to find. I recommend this novel to all. It will challenge the faith in your relationship or future relationships to come! I look forward to reading more novels from author, Steven Manchester, in the future. Reviewed by: Tekisha
JannaShay More than 1 year ago
A must read that touches the heartstrings Abby Soares and Rick Giles, childhood best friends turned teenage sweethearts, were torn apart when Rick’s family moved away. Years later, fate steps in and gives them a second chance. Older and wiser with both of them experiencing failed marriages, they find that their feelings for each other have never fizzled away. However, Abby’s daughter, Paige, is not happy with her mother’s budding romance and doesn’t want Rick included in their family.  Pressed Pennies is a fictional tale of the joys and difficulties of realistic life. Steven Manchester again demonstrates his talent for taking sensitive subjects and transforming them with insight and finesse into stories that touch the heartstrings. His uncanny ability to draw the reader into the story so completely that the reader is able to feel the emotions of the characters is remarkable. Told from the various viewpoints of the protagonists, it presents each character’s perception of the situation. It gives insight into the way a child reacts to a new person in their parent’s life, and how that affects the people involved.  This story captures the bliss and emotional strife present in relationships, and how with willing hearts and perseverance, adversity can be overcome. The plot is solid and flows smoothly with characters that are well developed and engaging. A truly captivating tale with vivid details and endearing characters, this moving story stays with the reader long after it’s been read, leaving a smile on the face and an imprint on the heart. I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.
DarkAngelCT More than 1 year ago
In this book we follow two stories that find themselves intertwined in the beginning it's the story about Abby and her daughter Paige as they have left their home to move into a more affordable home.  Abby has just finalized her divorce from her ex-husband Patrick and finding starting over hard and also trying to reassure Paige it will be ok.  Richard has realized his marriage was missing something and since he wasn't able to fix it with his wife, he has realized that he had no option left but to divorce her.  Luckily they didn't have kids to complicate the matter, when he goes to a party hosted by his friends he bumps into a girlfriend from when he was a teenager, Abby.  Abby and Richard try to rekindle what they had but find this is harder with Abby's daughter who is not even giving Richard a fair shake so afraid that he will mess up her relationship with her mom.  How long can Richard stick around with a girl wedging her way in-between him and Abby? This was a great book, it reminds me so much of why I love Steven's books they remind me of Nicholas Sparks on so many levels.  To see a guy write a great romance and be able to delve into female emotions and angst is great.  He continues to amaze me with the characters he creates and how they find their happily ever after.  This was so good I couldn't put it down for a second!  Definitely a keeper of an author and I'm such a huge fan of his.  As long as he writes books I will be a die hard fan!  Keep up the good work.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings A true love story that although may be predictable, is still sweet and tender and a good read.  Two high school sweethearts part ways due to circumstances and I think both of them always wondered what could have been if they had had to part ways in their youth.  Coincidentally they run into each other early on the book and although there are immediate sparks their love story takes a long time to get up and moving. I absolutely adored Abby from the very beginning.  What a honest character who had such great qualities.  Although she may have been quite a goodie too shoes, I enjoyed the honesty that she portrayed both to her child and her blossoming relationship.  Manchester did such a good job of portraying the truth as to how a child can really react to a new person in their parent's life and the impact that it can have on all parties involved.  
jbarr5 More than 1 year ago
Pressed Pennies by Steven Manchester I was so hoping when I saw this new title that I'd get a copy to read and review. Without even knowing what the book is about I love the author's other works and knew I'd love this one also. What really fascinates me is bringing me back to my childhood days and reliving them as they go to a local amusement park-one I've been to often myself in the 60's. Story starts out with Abby and she's moved back to her hometown after a failed divorce, with her 9yo daughter Paige. Not many in the neighborhood are friendly to reach out to them but Abby shows her daughter how they can change all that. The book also follows Richard, who had a crush on Abby when they were kids, til he had to move away. He is now a millionaire and owns a lot of material things but is divorced. Any vacation where the grandkids are present we do run a shiny new penny through the machine to stretch and press it. My daughter was the one to explain to us when she was a teen how it's really done when the local train runs it over on the rails. Love hearing all about that and the wishes that come with it. They share many memories of their younger years, allowing me to do the same-down to the cherry Kool-Aid. Like how they mix the past events with the present ones-water fire. what a different world in the middle of the busy city, a place out of time. I have been to a large majority of the places mentioned in this book, a time for me to relive the calmness of the nature, scenes and just being. Remembering the past lives, paying it forward and be accountable for yourself...Like how the story follows what Abby is going through from all angles, Rich from his lifestyle, and even Paige and how she is coping... L/ove how he teaches others the things he's learned: treat others better, put them first, and make them happy which will make them want to make you happy. Precious pennies throughout the book! I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Abby’s husband is a verbally abusive drunk who makes life miserable for her and her daughter Paige. Eventually Abby quits trying to fight it. After the divorce she and Paige move a couple towns away. In the mean time, Rick is seeing his “perfect” life as a meaningless burden, and moves on from the marriage that leaves him empty. by chance, these two childhood friends run into each other. Their renewed friendship blossoms into something more romantic. Well, as romantic as it can be with an eight year old child who is obsessive in her dislike of Rick. Will this romance ever get off the ground when Rick is continually put in last place? There are many ups and downs in this romance, with what appears to be more downs than ups. I really like Mr. Manchester’s books. He knows how to turn a phrase and touch a heart. I’m looking forward to reading many more of his books. BTW You’ll need that box of tissues. ***A special thank you to Mr. Manchester for providing a review copy.*** posted by sunny island breezes
LindaPynaker More than 1 year ago
What a delightful story! Steven Manchester weaves the story intertwined with sights, sounds and smells from childhood that can easily be recalled. It made me want to visit New England, too. His characters are always memorable. There's just enough information to be able to liken them to somebody you have already met, but not so much that it makes it impossible to relate to them. I liked the way he tied the pressed pennies in at the beginning and, again, at the end. This story helped me to recall fond memories of my childhood. It was a wonderful read!
Books2Mention1 More than 1 year ago
“Pressed Pennies, is an exceptional story that examines love and family life in all of its complexities.” “Abby and Rick are childhood friends who lived in the same neighborhood. They had a group of friends that they hung out with and went on adventurous trips together. Their lives changed when Rick’s family moved away, breaking up the group of friends and breaking Abby’s heart.” “Years later, Abby and Rick reconnect surprisingly. They realize that they have always been in love with each other. They decide to pursue a relationship.” “Abby’s daughter Paige is having difficulty-accepting Rick. She is struggling with issues about her father and is afraid that her relationship with her mother is threatened due to Rick.” "Although Rick and Abby suffer through some difficult obstacles the love they share helps them to endure it.” "Steven Manchester fluently depicts this wonderful, heart-warming story. Creating a novel that honestly portrays love, relationships, and family. While demonstrating how we find ways to deal with our challenges for those we love.”
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite Rick and Abby find themselves being thrown together after many years in Pressed Pennies by Steven Manchester. Rick and Abbey are childhood friends who fall in love while young and then break up. Though they meet again and find themselves falling in love again and want to make up for lost time, there are other factors in their lives now which work as obstacles to their love story. Paige, Abby’s daughter, is very comfortable with being in her mother’s space all the time and does not seem to welcome Rick’s presence in her mother’s life. Rick, on the other hand, has no experience in handling kids and he finds it difficult to handle Paige. Will Abby be able to make things work for her this time? The author traces the lives of three couples in this story. The book brings together many relationships and the love portrayed in the story is nuanced and vivid in its descriptions. Eunice and Bill and Carmen and Grant are the other two couples whose romance is followed in this story. The author weaves the stories of these couples into the main plot deftly and the language is simple and elegant, adding to the beautiful imagery of the settings. This intense love story will bring out heartfelt emotions in readers. The author has captured the joy of family and relationships through the lives of these three couples. This love story revolves around hope, faith, destiny and love.
JerseyGirlBookReviews More than 1 year ago
In his latest novel, Pressed Pennies, author Steven Manchester weaves a captivating romantic tale of broken hearts, family dynamics, love rekindled and second chances. Abby (Gerwitz) Soares and Rick Giles were childhood sweethearts until Rick's family moved away, eventually losing touch with each other. Now in their early thirties, Abby and Rick have both suffered through horrible marriages ending in divorce. While at a mutual friend's neighborhood party, Abby and Rick are unexpectedly reunited and the old feelings of love are rekindled as they get reacquainted and reminisce while taking a stroll down memory lane. But real life has a way of stepping in the way when Abby is cautious about starting a romantic relationship with Rick, especially since her number one priority in life is her nine year old daughter Paige. Can Abby and Rick's spark of rekindled love become a reality when a little girl's fear and objection to their relationship stands in their way of finding true love and happiness? Set in New England, the reader is easily drawn into Abby and Rick's lives: from their nostalgic memories of being childhood sweethearts; to the struggles and demise of their marriages; to their unexpected reuniting that rekindles their love for each other; to the obstacles that face them as their relationship is put the test; their love story unfolds in a heartwarming, smooth flowing, and richly descriptive writing style that author Steven Manchester has become known for. Pressed Pennies is a delightful romantic story that will captivate the reader's attention with its memorable characters; engaging dialogue and dramatic interactions; and a realistic storyline that deals with complicated family dynamics, relationship issues, rekindled love, and second chances. The author easily transports the reader into the heart of the story with the rich descriptions of the sights and sounds of New England. This is an enchanting story full of romance, nostalgic flashbacks to the past, and two people willing to overcome obstacles to get a second chance at love and happiness. Pressed Pennies is a wonderful story that takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride, it will make you feel the full gamut of emotions, and leave you with a feel good fuzzy feeling, a sigh, and a satisfied smile on your face! Be sure to look out for the two forthcoming companion novellas to Pressed Pennies: Wilbur Avenue, that is the backstory to Abby and Rick's childhood sweetheart years, and Just In Time, that is the mature second-time around love story of Rick's grandmother Eunice and second husband Bill Stryker.
Chrissy_W More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars Did I enjoy this book: Yes. Steven Manchester has the ability to take an ordinary story that readers can relate to and sprinkle it with extraordinary wisdom that readers can learn from. That’s what he does in Pressed Pennies. It would be easy to call this a love story, but I think it’s more appropriate to call it a hope story. Two characters struggle to find love after suffering through bad marriages and unpleasant divorces.  They wrestle with blending families, understanding that it’s not just the wife and husband who get divorced. The children also go through a divorce experience of their own. They experience love, lost love, found love, deaths in the family, and the importance of relationships through it all. If that sounds a little sappy, it is. Maybe that’s why I enjoy it so much. The 1/2 star short of perfect you wonder? Manchester shifts the point of view in this story often within a single scene. I got a little confused at times trying to figure out whose head I was in as a reader. Example: Richard and Abby are kissing in the kitchen and we’re reading the scene from Richard’s point of view. Same scene – next chapter, we read about eavesdropping from outside the kitchen. I stop – how can Richard be kissing and eavesdropping at the same time? Turns out it’s the daughter outside the kitchen. Taking the time to figure this out interrupted the flow of the story for me. Would I recommend it: Yes. As reviewed by Belinda at Every Free Chance Book Reviews.  (I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
One morning Rick wakes up and realizes just how miserable he really is. He’s got everything but nothing, good job, plenty of money, the best home and summer home, and a wife who doesn’t have the time of day for him.  Her only comment when he tries to discuss their growing separation is to tell him to quit moaning and grow up, facing the reality that hard work is the foundation of their grand lifestyle.  That just about finishes it for Rick who decides to divorce his wife; but that even reinforces his emptiness and the shallowness of his connection to those outside of his lavish, opulent circle.  Yes it seems change needs to happen and soon! Abby has also gotten divorced from her ever-drinking husband but the pain of his presence or lack of presence is gradually tearing their daughter Paige apart.  Thank goodness that Abby and Paige, however, have a strong bond that hopefully nothing can break apart.  For Paige is hurting in ways that Abby can only heal with her maternally deep, deep love.   Abby moves and meets Rick and the rest of the story is about their memories, their increasing love for each other, and a conflict they never imagined could happen.  Does the future hold a life together or are they forever doomed to loneliness and lack of focus with the rest of humanity.   Steven Manchester has written another best seller – it’s got just the right amount of passion and romance – lovely and awesome!  But it’s also got just the right amount of very real conflict that is a huge obstacle to the dreams and desires of Rick and Abby, without being over the top or excessively melodramatic.  It’s a story that could happen and probably does in any small town or big city home and that makes this novel all the more tender and special.  You continue to dazzle readers with your sensitive and graceful writing – don’t stop, Steven Manchester!!!! Gutsy and beautiful novel!!!