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The modest ranch house where Callie Wyeth grew up looks just as she remembers it--right down to the well-worn sheets in the linen closet. But in the years since Callie lived here, almost everything else has changed. Her father, once indomitable, is in poor health. And Callie is a single mother ...
The modest ranch house where Callie Wyeth grew up looks just as she remembers it--right down to the well-worn sheets in the linen closet. But in the years since Callie lived here, almost everything else has changed. Her father, once indomitable, is in poor health. And Callie is a single mother with a beautiful little boy, Henry, who has just been diagnosed with autism.
Returning to this quiet New Hampshire community seems the best thing to do, for both her father and her son's sake. Even if it means facing Linden Finch, the one she loved and left for reasons she's sure he'll never forgive. Linden is stunned that Callie is back--and that she has a son. Yet in the warm, funny relationship that develops between Henry and Linden's menagerie of rescued farm animals, Callie begins to find hope. Not just that her son might break through the wall of silence separating him from the world, but that she too can make a new start amid the places and people that have never left her heart. . .
Praise for The Gin and Chowder Club
"Eloquent and surprising. . . I love this story of faith, love, and the lasting bonds of family." --Ann Leary, author of Outtakes from a Marriage
"Nostalgic and tender. . .summons the passion of first love, the pain of first loss, and the unbreakable bonds of family that help us survive both." --Marie Bostwick, New York Times bestselling author
Posted May 29, 2012
Callie Wyeth feels like she has the weight of the world on her shoulders. She’s a single Mother whose beautiful three-year old, non-verbal son, Henry, the gift from a relationship with a married college instructor, has been diagnosed as Autistic. This news comes on top of Callie’s decision to return and to reside in her childhood home as her widowed Father has placed himself in a Nursing Home. Moving back to her quiet hometown in New Hampshire brings back many old memories every where she turns…especially in the old ranch house where thoughts of family celebrations and the wintry night that claimed her Mother’s life are coupled with feelings of fear and shame. There had been a long absence before she came home after Henry’s birth to see her Father, bringing Henry and the truth with her, hoping her Father would not reject them. As she unpacks her belongings, her mind drifts back to the heartbreak she caused and wonders if she will see Linden Finch. What will he think? Will he be repulsed by the whole situation? Will she have enough courage to tell him the truth? Will he forgive her? Whatever the outcome, her first priority is Henry. Not only was her life changed, but also his as he did not finish college as his parents had so hoped, and he coped with his heartache by leaving everything and everyone behind and hiked the entire Appalachian Trail. During his adventure, Linden found ( or they found him) two neglected/abandoned yellow labs who would soon be his loyal friends and named them “Kat” (short for Katahdin) and “Springer “, both for mountains at the beginning and end of the trail. Upon returning to civilization, he rented a small farm and adopted all varieties of unwanted or neglected animals. It was on a trip to a local hardware store that Callie and Henry bump into Linden and he and Henry remarkably bond. With Callie going back and forth to the nursing home, and asking no questions about her life, Linden offers to watch Henry, This was a Godsend, especially during a stressful time with her Father experiencing a mild stroke and is transferred to the hospital. Will Callie’s life get settled? Will she calm down and understand Henry as much as Linden does? Are Maddie Coleman and Fairbanks special angels sent here to help and guide Henry? I truly loved this book. Parts of it brought me to tears and the majority tugged at my heart most ferociously. It also taught me things about autism I had not realized. Anyone who has been touched by autism should read this book and take hope in a brighter tomorrow.What a powerful story Ms. Rossiter has woven! She has also included the first four chapters of her first novel, “The Gin and Chowder Club” to wet your reading appetite—and I am looking forward to going back and reading the entire volume, hoping it won’t be long before another comes our way. Make sure you have enough room on your shelf--you don’t want to miss this one! Nancy Narma
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