"Everybody has a story. You listen to that story, Honeygirl, and your story will come find you." Her Grand Lady spoke these words when Abby was just a girl, spending the summer in rural Louisiana, surrounded by an extended, loving family. She's been listening carefully ever since.
Now Abby is raising her own family thousands of miles away. And even though Hawaii might seem like paradise to some, it's a long way away from those idyllic days she remembers, sitting with her grandmother, learning about the beauty and mystery of life. So Abby has just one wish: that her daughter Hannah might be touched by the beauty of her 92-year-old Grand Lady's stories, before it's too late.
But when Hannah finally does spend time with Grand Lady, the old woman crushes her tender spirit. And a mother-daughter journey home becomes an adventure of discovery-about the importance of family and the healing found in forgiveness. In Gardenias for Breakfast, mothers and daughters may recognize a branch or two from their own family trees and find themselves wishing not only for Grand Lady's guidance but also for Hannah's ability to smell the clouds.
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
Over the past 25 years Robin Jones Gunn has written 82 books with almost 4.5 million copies sold worldwide. To her great delight, Robin’s books are doing exactly what she always hoped to dothey are traveling around the world and telling people about God’s love. She is doing the same. Over the past ten years Robin has been invited to speak at events around the US and Canada as well as in South America, Africa, Europe and Australia. Robin and her husband have two grown children and have been married 35 years. They live in Hawai’i where she continues to write and speak in rhythm with her life verse: “But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesusthe work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God” (Acts 20:24, NLT). You are warmly invited to visit Robin's website at www.robingunn.com. Be sure to sign up for the Robin's Nest Newsletter and have a browse in the Online Shop. You can also Join Robin Jones Gunn on her Facebook public figure page where she frequently posts updates on her latest travel or writing adventure.
Read an Excerpt
"Everybody has a story. You listen to their story, Honeygirl, and your story will come find you."
I was twelve the summer my grandmother gave me those words. She touched my flushed cheek with her small, soft hands and kissed the end of my freckled nose. We were sitting on her porch swing, listening to the lush Louisiana twilight being beckoned to our corner of the world by the crickets' persistent chitter-buzz.
I think I remember that moment so clearly not because of Grand Lady's words but because of her touch. For years she had given me words. Every year on my birthday she had sent me a book. Each Christmas she had sent me a handwritten poem along with a pair of pink slippers. But on this rare occasion when I sat beside Grand Lady and she gave me her soft touch along with her words, I felt blessed by some sort of beauty that was larger than life.
Last spring, my daughter turned twelve, and I had only one wish. I wanted Hannah to go to Louisiana, as I had when I was her age. I wanted my ninety-two-year-old Grand Lady to touch Hannah's face and to give her the soft words that would go inside and bless her. I wanted Hannah to know the same mysterious beauty that had filled a solitary place in my spirit with hope.
No one, not even my husband, knew about my secret wish. If I had told Tom, he would have tried to scrape together the money, and I knew we didn't have it. We own a small business on a small island. The island of Maui. Yes, we are blessed to live there. We realize that. Visitors from around the world come to our shop to rent snorkel gear and tell us if they lived here they would never want to leave. Ididn't want to leave for good. Only for a week or so.
Then an unexpected twist caused my wish to come true.
The day school ended for the summer, Hannah and I took off on our adventure. We drove hundreds of miles with Arizona sunsets in the rearview mirror and Texas thunderstorms through the windshield. We arrived in Louisiana on a sultry summer's eve, and I felt as if we had stepped into a dream. Everything was familiar: the Big House, the cemetery, the Piggly Wiggly, even the pew where we sat beside Grand Lady on Sunday morning and I slipped my grown hand into hers.
Hannah shucked corn at Mr. Joe's fruit stand and ventured into the attic where she discovered Aunt Peg's sixty-year-old mothballed gowns. My sweet girl gathered gardenias by the basketful and wore them in her hair the night she lit up the evening sky with sparklers. We drank Southern sweet tea like hummingbirds and ate enough Louisiana black-eyed peas to last us for a good long while.
Then one afternoon, when I wasn't looking, Grand Lady touched my Hannah's face and gave her words that crushed her.
That was the day my story came and found me.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Excellent and heartwarming. A beautifully crafted novel. Ms. Gunn spins a terrific yarn through a wonderful journey of faith, forgiveness, and joy for ladies of all ages.
What a gem! I thoroughly enjoyed this book about mother/daughter relationships. The author knows how to write; no wonder it's a Women of Faith Fiction Book. I plan to share it with the women in my family. The plot centers around Abby and her daughter Hannah who travel thousands of miles together from their home in Hawaii to reach the Louisiana, home of the Grand Lady, Abby's much-loved grandmother. They fly to Washington and begin their road trip. As they drive through Washington, Oregon, California, Texas and into Louisiana, they experience a deeper bond and learn about the healing of forgiveness. I enjoyed the descriptions of the places they visited along the way. I learned a some things about Hawaii reading this novel. Hawaiian "da' kine" means the same as "whatchmacallit" and leis mean more than just "welcome." The "da' kine" that mothers and daughters experience will be enhanced by the reading of this wonderful novel. I admit that I shed some tears at the end. Discussion questions are included.
This book is like a cup of horribly boring, weak, cold tea. If you were to take a great mother/daughter/southern voice/personal growth story like Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood or The Secret Life of Bees or Anywhere But Here and water the characters, plot, and message down [so that even someone who read the cover jacket would get as much out of it as someone who read it cover to cover] this is what you'd get. Terrible, simply terrible. Trust me, spend your precious reading time on the books mentioned above instead. Unless of course, it is essential to you that you read a book in which Christian religion play's a not-even-close to-being-subtle role. Then, for the sake of the fact that the main characters are morally sound and pray a lot, you may slightly enjoy this story.