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Sins of the Mother [NOOK Book]

Overview

Have the sins of the mother come upon the daughter?
Jasmine Larson Bush is finally living a drama-free life. She’s left her lying, cheating, stealing stripper days behind and is standing by her husband’s side as the first lady of one of the largest churches in New York City. The Bushes have been blessed with the best of everything—including two lovely children.

But just when Jasmine has committed her life ...
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Sins of the Mother

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Overview

Have the sins of the mother come upon the daughter?
Jasmine Larson Bush is finally living a drama-free life. She’s left her lying, cheating, stealing stripper days behind and is standing by her husband’s side as the first lady of one of the largest churches in New York City. The Bushes have been blessed with the best of everything—including two lovely children.

But just when Jasmine has committed her life completely to God, her daughter Jacqueline is kidnapped from a mall the day after Thanksgiving. The police and the church community join in the frantic search to find the four-year-old. As the days pass without any sign of her daughter, Jasmine begins to crack under the strain and turns to Brian Lewis, Jacqueline’s biological father, for solace.

Has Jasmine’s past finally caught up to her? Will her daughter be found or will Jasmine pay the ultimate price?
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Victoria is one of our best...an excellent storyteller."—-Eric Jerome Dickey, New York Times bestselling author

"Victoria is an exceptional writer who knows how to deliver a story."—-Kimberla Lawson Roby, author of Changing Faces

"Murray has always impressed me with her ability to live the life of her characters and make them come alive with each turning page." —- Indianapolis Recorder

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439172285
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 6/1/2010
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 164,002
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Victoria Christopher Murray
Victoria Christopher Murray is the Essence bestselling author of more than twenty novels including: The Ex Files, Lady Jasmine, and The Deal, the Dance, and the Devil. Winner of the African American Literary Award for Fiction and Author of the Year (Female), Murray is also a two-time NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Fiction. She splits her time between Los Angeles and Washington, DC. Visit her website at VictoriaChristopherMurray.com.
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Read an Excerpt


One

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

NOVEMBER 2009

“LOVE MAMA!”

Jasmine scooped her toddler into her arms. “You do love your mama, don’t you?” She laughed.

Mae Frances rolled her eyes as Jasmine smothered her son’s cheeks with kisses.

“Don’t make no kind of sense, Jasmine Larson,” her best friend said. “Teaching that baby to say that.”

“What’s wrong with him loving his mama?” But before Mae Frances could answer, Jasmine stood straight up and scanned the crowd that packed the new mall. In just seconds, her gaze locked on her daughter, crouched in front of the pet store window. “Jacqueline!”

The girl’s brown curls bounced when she jumped up, startled, and skipped back to Jasmine and Mae Frances.

With a firm hand, Jasmine grasped her daughter’s wrist. “I told you to stay where Nama and I could see you.”

Jacqueline bowed her head. “But Mama,” she sighed, “I could see you.”

“Well, I couldn’t see you, so why don’t you sit down for a moment and cool off,” Jasmine said as she wiped the thin line of perspiration that dampened her daughter’s hairline.

“I’m not hot,” Jacqueline protested. It was the look on her mother’s face that made Jacqueline wiggle onto the bench next to Mae Frances. With her eyes on Jasmine, she buried her head on the shoulder of the woman who, years before, had been nothing more than a friend of the family, but was now so close to the Bushes that Jacqueline thought of her as her grandmother. When Mae Frances put her arms around Jacqueline, the girl glared at Jasmine as if she never planned to love her again.

Jasmine shook her head, then her eyes widened when her rambunctious daughter rolled her eyes.

No, she didn’t.

Jacqueline had never done that before, and Jasmine opened her mouth to scold her, then just as quickly changed her mind. When her daughter peeked back at her, Jasmine rolled her eyes. Jacqueline giggled, and Jasmine laughed, too. But when Jacqueline moved to get up again, Jasmine stared her back down.

Jacqueline pouted and bounced hard against the back of the bench, but the silent tantrum didn’t faze Jasmine. She planned to let her four-year-old (or fourteen-year-old, depending on the day) sit and think about how she’d run off.

“Are you ready to go home?” Mae Frances grumbled.

As Christmas Muzak piped through speakers above, Jasmine realized this trip to the mall wasn’t the best idea she’d ever had. But how could she have missed this day? The new Harlem mall had been open for only two weeks, and this was the first big shopping day of the season; she had to make her own contribution to Black Friday.

Now as she looked at Mae Frances and Jacqueline—a set of ornery twins, with their arms folded and their lips poked out—she wished she had thought this all the way through. Because if she had, she would have come alone.

“I wanna go home, too!” Jacqueline exclaimed, as if she was in charge of something.

Looking at her son, Jasmine shook her head. “You don’t want to go home, do you, Zaya?” she asked, calling him by the name that Jacqueline had given to him two years ago when he had been born. Hosea had been too difficult for her to say, and no one wanted to call him Junior.

“No, no, no!” Zaya followed his mother’s lead before he toddled over to his sister. “Yaki, Yaki, Yaki!” He called her by his own made-up name.

Mae Frances sucked her teeth and tightened the collar of the thirty-five-year-old mink that she loved. “Don’t make no kind of sense, the way you manipulate that boy.”

“He’s my baby. He’s supposed to be manipulated.”

“Get away from me, Zaya!” Jacqueline exclaimed, and pushed the toddler away.

“Don’t do that to your brother,” Jasmine scolded.

Jacqueline stood up, put one hand on her side as if she had hips, and, with the other, squeezed her nose. “He! Stinks!”

Jasmine sniffed, then hoisted her son up into her arms. “Your sister’s right.” She grabbed the diaper bag from the stroller and reached for Jacqueline’s hand. “Come on, we’ve got to change Zaya’s diaper.”

Jacqueline folded her arms and sat back down next to Mae Frances. “I don’t wanna go.” With a pout, she pointed toward the pet store. “I wanna see the puppies.”

“We’ll see the puppies after,” Jasmine said, still reaching for her daughter.

“Leave her with me.” Mae Frances put her arms around Jacqueline. “No need for her to have to go with you when I’m here.”

Jasmine’s hesitation waned after just a moment. “Stay right there next to Nama,” she demanded sternly. “And then we’ll go see the puppies, okay?”

Jacqueline nodded as she scooted back on the bench. With wide eyes and an even wider smile, she blew Jasmine a kiss. “I love you, Mama.”

Jasmine laughed. Her precious little girl—always the drama queen.

Inside the restroom, Jasmine twisted through the long line of waiting women, and as she made her way to the changing station, her cell phone rang. But just as she pulled her phone from her bag, it stopped.

She glanced at the screen. “That was your daddy,” she told her son as she laid him on his back.

He giggled and reached for her cell.

“No,” she said, taking it from his grasp.

His laughter stopped. His bottom lip trembled. His body began to shake. And before the first shriek came, the phone was back in Zaya’s hands.

“Love Mama,” Zaya cooed as he pushed buttons.

Jasmine laughed. God had blessed her with a drama queen and a drama king.

That thought made her pause in wonder. Who would have ever thought that she—Jasmine Cox Larson Bush—would end up in this place? She—the ex-stripper, ex–man stealer, ex-liar, cheater, thief. The jealous girl who’d done everything she could to sabotage the success of her best friend, Kyla. The unsatisfied wife who’d badgered her first husband until he’d finally left her. The lonely woman who lived to tear husbands away from their wives. There was hardly a sin that she hadn’t committed. But that life, those abominations, were far behind her.

Today, she was a proud wife and mother—the first lady of one of the most influential churches in the city. Today, her life was filled with leisure—it was difficult to call the work she did as first lady and the time she spent with the Young Adults Ministry a job. Today, each of her needs and every one of her desires were met. And she had a Central Park South apartment, a closet full of endless racks of designer clothes, and an upcoming New Year’s family vacation in Cannes to prove it.

This life was God’s reward for her having turned away from her transgressions. As she glanced at her reflection in the mirror, her lips spread into a slow smile. Bountiful blessings. All she could say was, “Thank you, Father.”

Seconds later, Zaya was back on her hip, her cell was back in her bag, and she was back in the mall. But then, her steps became measured as she moved toward Mae Frances. Her friend’s head was down as she pushed buttons on her cell.

Jasmine’s voice was as deep as her frown as she yelled, “Mae Frances?”

She looked up. “Did you just call me?”

Jasmine let the diaper bag slip down her arm. “Where’s Jacquie?”

Mae Frances waved her hands. “She’s right over there. With the puppies. Did you just call me?”

Before Mae Frances had finished, Jasmine’s eyes were searching the crowd. With Zaya still in her arms, she pushed through the mass of men and women, arms filled with packages, children close at their sides.

“Where’s Jacquie?” The question trembled from her lips to a young boy in front of the pet store. “The little girl who was here—where is she?”

His face was pressed against the glass as he answered, “She’s gone.”

There was no time to question him further. A woman, two giant steps away, grabbed the boy’s hand.

“Didn’t I tell you not to talk to strangers?” the woman admonished as she dragged the boy from the window.

Jasmine’s eyes were wide as she spun around, clutching Zaya to her chest, searching the space around her. It had been only a minute, but terror was already crawling up and down her skin.

“Jacquie!” she screamed through the holiday din.

She tried to keep herself in check as she gripped Zaya and barged through the pet store’s doors. The stench of the animals did nothing to cover the fear that was already surging from her pores.

“Jacquie!” she shouted. She kept telling herself that this was nothing: Jacqueline had just wandered off.

Pressing up one aisle, then rushing down the next, she hunted through the crowd.

“Jacquie!” she yelled.

Jasmine grabbed a pink-apron-wearing teenager who was crouched down in front of the cages. “Please,” she said to the young man, obviously one of the store’s employees. “Have you seen my daughter?”

The blond spiked-hair boy glanced at Jasmine and then looked around the store, his expression telling Jasmine that her question didn’t make much sense to him. “There’ve been a lot of kids here today,” he answered before he returned to feeding the kittens.

“Jacquie!” she screamed one last time as she rushed back through the doors.

Outside, in the middle of the passing crowd, Jasmine turned slowly, exploring each face, searching every space.

“Jacquie!”

Her distress went unnoticed; the holiday shoppers were buried under their own cares.

“Jacquie!” Now her heart banged against her chest.

Both she and Zaya were crying by the time she hurried back to the bench. In the eyes of the woman she called her friend, Jasmine saw the same unadulterated horror that was in her heart.

“Where’s Jacquie?” she screamed at Mae Frances.

Mae Frances shook her head. “She . . . she was . . . right there,” she cried as she pointed back to the store.

But Jasmine didn’t bother to turn around. She didn’t need to look at the store or anywhere else in the mall. Because in the space inside of her where truth lay, she knew.

As “Joy to the World” squeaked out from the speakers above, Jasmine knew that her daughter was gone.

© 2010 Victoria Christopher Murray

Two

PLEASE, GOD! PLEASE, GOD! PLEASE, God!

Jasmine clutched her now-sleeping son to her chest as she rocked back and forth on the bench.

“Mrs. Bush?”

Through eyes blurred with tears and terror, Jasmine glanced up and focused on the pair of blue-suited security guards.

“Your daughter is probably just lost,” the black security guard told her again. “Children wander off every day. We have officers searching the stores, but like I told you, it would be best if you came with us to the office.” His plea was the same as it had been just minutes ago. “It would be better to talk up there, away from this crowd.”

But just like the last time he’d said that, her head was shaking before he finished. “No,” Jasmine told him, her eyes still frantically scanning every passing face—as if the secret of her daughter’s disappearance was hidden inside someone’s expression. “I can’t . . . because when Jacquie comes back . . . this is where . . . she’ll look for me here.” She glanced at the store straight in front of her. “She’ll come back to see her mommy. And the puppies.”

Jasmine and the guards exchanged glances, but she was the first to turn away. She had to—she couldn’t bear to look into eyes that were filled with such sympathy.

A walkie-talkie crackled, and both of the guards turned away. Jasmine returned to her mantra, “Please, God! Please, God! Please, God!”

Over her shoulder, she heard soft sniffles, but she paid no attention to those cries. All she could think about were her babies—the one she held and the one that they had to find.

“Please, God. Please, God. Please, God.”

“Okay, roger that.” Looking at her with an even deeper sadness, the guard said, “Mrs. Bush . . .”

She squeezed her son tighter.

“It really would be best if we took you to the office.”

“Maybe that’s what we should do.”

For the first time since the guards had joined them, Jasmine turned to Mae Frances.

Tears had left streaks through the makeup that shellacked Mae Frances’s face. She said softly, “Let’s go upstairs, Jasmine. We have to do everything we can to help them find . . .”

The venom in Jasmine’s eyes pushed Mae Frances two steps back. But before Jasmine could spew the poison that was in her heart, she heard another voice.

“Jasmine!”

She whipped around and collapsed right into the thick arms of her husband.

“Hosea,” she cried. “They took my baby!”

“I’m here now,” he whispered as he pulled her down onto the bench and held her as tight as he could with their son in between them. “So, tell me . . .” he said to his wife, but his eyes blinked between Mae Frances and the guards.

He spoke with the calm that Jasmine was used to, but in his eyes, she saw something she’d never seen before—not even when his father had been in a coma. Now she saw a new fear, a new horror. And that made her tremble more.

Placing his hands square on her shoulders, he asked, “What happened?”

The images scattered through her mind: Jacqueline in front of the store, Jacqueline blowing her a kiss, Jacqueline gone—and hysteria rose within her. All she wanted to do was scream, cry, pass out, and stay unconscious until her baby came home. But she had to stay strong to find her child.

“I went to the bathroom to change Zaya,” she began, giving Hosea more details now than when she’d called him twenty minutes before. “I left Jacquie with”—the name stuck in her throat—“Mae Frances. But when I came back—” Jasmine stopped. That was enough; he knew the rest.

“All right.” Hosea jumped up from the bench. “What’s being done to find my daughter?” he demanded of the guards.

“Everyone in security is on it, Mr. Bush.” This time, it was the white guard who spoke. “What we want to do now is take Mrs. Bush and Mrs. Van Dorn upstairs to our offices. To get a formal statement. But I want to assure you that lost children are always found.”

Hosea nodded. “What about tapes?” he asked. “The mall is filled with cameras, right? We’ll be able to see if she just wandered off.”

The guards nodded together. “The parking lots are covered, and we have a few throughout the mall. The stores are being contacted now, so that we can get their tapes.”

“Okay.” Hosea squared his shoulders and reached for Jasmine’s hand. Helping her up from the bench, he said, “Go to the security office. Give them everything they need.”

Again, she shook her head. “But suppose Jacquie comes back here?” she asked through fresh tears.

Hosea turned to the guards. “Can one of you stay?” It was a question that sounded more like a demand.

“Yeah, I can, but it doesn’t matter. We have guards throughout the whole mall. We’ll find her.”

Hosea added, “Okay, then can you call for someone to escort my wife to the office.” Before they responded, he explained, “I want to walk through the mall myself with one of you.”

For the first time since this began, Jasmine felt hope. Her husband was here, taking charge. He was such a man of God. Surely he was praying. And surely God heard his prayers doubly.

Hosea directed, “Nama, go with Jasmine.”

Jasmine opened her mouth to protest, but then she pressed her trembling lips together and willed herself not to say anything about cavorting with the enemy. She needed to help Hosea stay focused.

He lifted Zaya from her arms. The tears that came to her eyes were old and new as she watched her husband gently kiss their son’s forehead before he handed the little boy back to her. As a third guard joined them, Hosea hugged Jasmine.

In his arms, she didn’t notice the Christmas crowd, didn’t hear the Christmas music. Just imagined that in a few minutes, Hosea would come rushing into the security office carrying Jacqueline with him.

Then he pulled away and urged, “Go ahead. I’ll be back soon.”

She nodded and followed the security officer, keeping her eyes away from Mae Frances, who was several paces behind.

She held on to good thoughts: she and Zaya waiting—Hosea bursting through the door holding Jacqueline—the four Bushes reunited, never to think about these horrible minutes again.

Just before she stepped into the elevator, Jasmine looked over her shoulder to the place where she’d stood with Hosea just a minute ago. The last place where she’d seen her daughter.

He was gone.

Panic surged through her veins. But then she took a calming breath. Hosea was safe; he could take care of himself. And he would find Jacqueline.

As the elevator doors closed, she began her mantra again. This time, it was a duet. Because as she said, “Please, God. Please, God. Please, God,” behind her, Mae Frances joined her in that same song.

© 2010 Victoria Christopher Murray

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 44 )
Rating Distribution

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(27)

4 Star

(11)

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(6)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 44 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    6 out of 5 stars for Victoria Christopher Murray's Most Ambitious Work Yet

    Disclaimer: If you're just being introduced to Ms. Murray's work, I want to emphasize that this is truly a stand alone novel.


    Victoria Christopher Murray is back with another, long awaited (yes a year is a long time) novel about the infamous Jasmine Larson Bush.

    Has Jasmine's past finally caught up with her? Readers of the prior books in the series almost can't help but hope so. Jasmine has been so horrible and so conniving for so many years that even the most forgiving reader would certainly expect the seeds Jasmine has planted to produce a bitter harvest. But just when you think it's time for her to pay, Victoria Christopher Murray delivers a story that leaves no room for anything but compassion; even for an anti-hero like Jasmine Larson Bush. Why are we going to have to relent? Because we meet Jasmine the mother when we lose Jacqueline, the helpless four-year-old; the combination of which make for a gripping, gut wrenching story that will literally have readers praying as they turn the pages. There's no room for anything else.

    This novel is without question Victoria Christopher Murray's best work. A departure from what we've seen in the last few years, Sins of the Mother, is what I would almost call a psychological drama. Murray weaves conflict upon conflict into a mind bending story that emotionally draws the reader in beyond what you expect from a woman's fiction tale. The difference in delivery makes it an absolute stand alone read for those who haven't met this cast of characters before.

    I have to admit, I have a four-year-old child myself and I had a hard time with this novel. Child abductions are tough stuff. But please don't let the subject matter scare you. There are scenes that are so spiritually uplifting that they will literally raise chill bumps; this too was a deeper layer for Ms. Murray. While true to her brand of edgy, inspirational fiction, Sins of the Mother is a character study and journey of faith. As a lover of Christian fiction, I was pleased. Fans be not deceived, Murray's ability to satisfy all is not mocked. This book is sexy with a capital "S". Brian Lewis is back and when Brian is on the scene, we can expect nothing less than heat between the sheets. Murray fans will have to read the story to find out whose fire he's putting out. My reviewer lips are sealed.

    I'll close by saying I highly recommend this novel. What I appreciated most about Sins of the Mother was Ms. Murray's ability to deliver realism without abandoning hope. The characters covered the full spectrum of believable reaction. Some kept their feet planted firmly in the reality of faith, others struggled with their faith amidst the reality of humanness, but in the end, Murray reconciles all; most brilliantly.

    Reviewed by Rhonda McKnight

    An Advance Copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Rxceptional, outstanding and compelling

    In a former life, Jasmine Larson Bush was a stripper, a liar, an adulterous, and a thief. She told her husband Hosea that her daughter Jacqueline was his, but she was actually Brian Lewis' biological offspring. He assumed she was is child. Jasmine is married to a prominent pastor who preaches at the famous City of Lights Church and has a TV show. She believes her life is perfect.

    Her idyllic life crumbles at the mall when she leaves her daughter with Mae Frances, who she thinks of as her mother, and goes to the bathroom to change her son's diaper. When she returns her daughter is nowhere to be seen. Mae Frances took her eye off the child for a moment that proved long enough for the girl to vanish. The police treat the disappearance as a kidnapping. As days pass with no sign of progress, Brian offers to help because he feels a connection to the daughter although he gave up his parental rights. As Jasmine tries to entice Brian into starting a new relationship with her, he wants to get back with his ex wife. Emotionally shattered, Jasmine collapses but a forgiving Hosea takes care of his wife while praying to the Lord to bring home their daughter to them safely.

    This is the most emotionally draining experience of Jasmine's soap operish life (see Lady Jasmine, Temptation, A Sin and a Shame, and Too Little, Too Late) and she copes with it, understandably, extremely poorly as she is particularly vulnerable. Readers empathize with her while admire Hosea and to a lesser degree Brian. Victoria Christopher Murray has written her most compelling tale to date as Jasmine and the audience will go from despondent emotional draining to spiritual uplifting in an intensely charged thriller.

    Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2012

    Starts to get boring in this 1

    I've read the other novels leading up to this 1 & to be honest, this 1 kind of bored me a little. When I 1st read the 1st installment, I was all into the storyline. But in this 1, I hate that the entire book literally focused on how Jasmine felt once her daughter got kidnapped. It's like ok we get it, she's terrified & scared. There should've been more action in this book other than the whole thing being about her Jasmine crying every day b/c of missing her daughter. The readers could've gotten the point of that in 1 or 2 chapters, not an entire book. I'll probably read the next 1 if there even is a next 1 just for the sake of finding out what happens next, since I've already come so far with this series. But to be honest, it seems like the series is starting to lose it's spark. It's way more predictable & not as twisy & turny as the other books in this series were.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2011

    Highly Recommends Sins of the Mother...Excellent Read

    I could not put this book down...The writing is so good that you feel the emotions of the characters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2011

    awesome book

    Mrs.VIctoria may God continue to bless you.....you have a great talent for writting books. I will forever continue to be a supporter and fan of yours. : )

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 11, 2011

    Highly Recommended check it out as soon as possible, great reading!!!!

    This book talks about family drama, as well as you if you have ever read any of Ms. Murray's books with Jasmine. Sins of a mother is on a new level of her books. Jasmine's daughter is kidnapped and she turns to Brain for support and other things , leaving her husband with her cold shoulder.In the mean time Brain is trying to win his ex-wife's love back, and getting free of his addiction. This is a book that must be read if your a Victoria Christopher-Murray fame!!!!!!!!! Check it out people and eye opener.............

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 1, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    A Must Read!!!!!!!

    Thank God for the anointing of Mrs. Victoria Christopher Murray who never lets her readers down. Like fine wine she get better every time ..

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 24, 2010

    Very good book

    I loved seeing the old characters again and seeing them evolve to more solid moral people. Ms. Murry kept me on my toes with the story line, Very good book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2010

    recommend

    It was a nice read. However, I have read all the books in this series and this book never gave closure to any character. Jazmine has never learned to appreciate her husband.
    he has been through alot for her.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Jasmine's Sinful Desires

    I give a standing applause to the author Victoria Christopher Murray for making a sequel to the number one novel of the year! I absolutely loved every page of this novel!

    The novel, "Sins of the Mother," is a sequel that brings back the best character ever.Jasmine Larson Bush! Jasmine has been a very evil-hearted, cruel, and conniving person in the past and it seems to be catching up with her. Jasmine is now a mother of two kids and discovers that her oldest child, Jacquie, has been abducted at the mall which releases all chaos. Jasmine is now regretting all evil things she did in her past. She is then reunited with Jacquie's biological father, Brian, to help find their daughter. Jasmine seems to develop feelings during the process. Will Jasmine find her daughter or has the past finally caught up with her?

    If you are a TRUE reader.this novel is definitely highly recommended. "Sins of the Mother" justifies the awesome penmanship of a very talented and artistic writer that keeps readers such as myself thirsty for more! In fact, this is the best drama-filled novel read this year! Keep up the good work!

    Reviewed by: Tekisha

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2010

    Sins of the Mother

    Excellent continuation of Jasmine's life; intriguing twists and turns. Enjoyed it and highly recommends it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    KARMA???????

    Victoria Christopher Murray is the best selling author of several contemporary Christian novels that touch on hot topics that church people aren't too eager to disclose. Her infamous character, Jasmine Larson has been featured in three of those novels and she is certainly the character I have loved to hate.

    A former stripper who has spent many years lying, stealing and sleeping with married men; she has finally settled down. She is now married to Rev. Hosea Bush, pastor of one of the largest churches in New York City. She is also the mother of two wonderful children; four-year-old Jacqueline and baby Zaya.

    Jasmine seems to have finally found some peace in her life and she has grown spiritually as a person. She loves her husband and her children and life for Jasmine has come full circle.

    Then comes that fateful day just when she has given her life to God. Jasmine's young daughter Jacqueline is kidnapped from a crowded mall in New York City at the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Jasmine is horrified. When the days turn into weeks and the child is not found Jasmine is beside herself. Why would God let this happen to her? Her faith wanes under the pressure. As usual, Jasmine thinks it is all about her.

    She completely falls apart especially when the police look into her background after someone sends an anonymous e-mail accusing her of having something to do with he child's abduction. She and her husband submit to a lie-detector test. He is cleared but Jasmine's results come up questionable.

    By the second chapter; I began to wonder too, if maybe someone finally had sought revenge for some of Jasmine's dirty deeds. Would her child become the victim of her mother's past. Of course having read several of the author's novels; I was sure it was just not that easy but where was this child? Who had taken her and why?

    Murray gives us a story full of complex questions. She gives us characters that are just as complex. Kidnapping and child abuse make for a difficult read. How does the mother of a missing child hold on and what if the child is never found? How do the parents move on with their lives? The author took a risk to assign these emotions to a character like Jasmine. But Murray's work is known to be risky.

    As a Christian author; she knows how to stretch a Christian's faith. And this storyline bent poor Jasmine out of shape. She turned into herself in grief. I was beginning to feel sorry for her myself. But as usual, Jasmine showed she was still Jasmine. Her husband; Rev. Hosea Bush was doing all he could to comfort Jasmine and to search for Jacqui but she turns away from him. She blames him for not caring enough. She becomes as mean and as hateful as the Jasmine of her past.

    The back story concerning Jasmine and Jacqueline's biological father, Brian Lewis added the fire to fuel the storyline even further. His affair with Jasmine had ended his marriage. After years of having no contact with Jasmine or the child; Brian learns of his daughter's kidnapping. Loaded down with his own emotional baggage, he takes a leave from his medical practice in California and comes to New York to help in the search. His presence added even more conflict to the story.

    SINS OF THE MOTHER is a compelling read. I kept reading from chapter to chapter anxious to know how the story would end. I really think that this book is her best "Jasmine" story to date.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2013

    Great book!

    This was a great read! This really shows the power of a parents love. Jasmine Larson Bush has a way of touching your heart at the same time making you want to shake her. This appears to be the end of the series on Jasmine however i hope to see her as a character in a future book. Check out the entire series. I will be reading another book by this author.

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    Posted November 24, 2010

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