Recently retired Colleen Hill is always busy, constantly on a quest to make life more interesting. When the ladies' group at her church partners with the local children's home, Colleen jumps in as usual, volunteering to share her passion for cooking with a troubled teenager named Grace. But Colleen must balance the new project with her pursuit of becoming a contestant on a television game show, along with all the other ideas her brain continually spins out.
Colleen's daughter Melody is quite different. She lives a calm, simple life and is content with who she is. That is, until an unexpected opportunity to work with Grace, too, pushes her to reevaluate life and dare to take on bigger dreams. The path starts with a newly-found interest in soap-making and leads her to responsibilities she didn't even know she wanted, including helping Grace understand the meaning of her name.
Grace & Lavender is a book for all audiences—a heart-warming story that reminds us to seek God's purpose for our lives.
|Publisher:||Emerald House Group, Incorporated|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)|
About the Author
Heather grew up in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Western, North Carolina. She enjoyed writing stories and poems throughout childhood, but the responsibilities of being an adult distracted her from the desire to write for many years. Her love of writing was rekindled when she found a meaningful theme on which to focus-the love of Jesus. It started with devotional-style blogs on her personal website, but God has expanded Heather's writing passion to Christian fiction through the creation process of Grace & Lavender. Heather currently lives just outside Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with her husband and three children, along with two cats, a dog, and a fish. Other than writing and spending time with her family, Heather enjoys singing, song-writing, and crafting.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
By now everyone knows how much I love to read. I read as much as I can for my own personal mental health. It calms and relaxes me and gives me a little breather from life. The latest book I read called Grace and Lavender is a wonderful quick read. It struck a cord in my heart for sure. I have a heart for children so the fact that it involves a young girl named Grace from a children’s home pulled me right in. Grace is fourteen and has been through all the foster homes. She’s not sure she remembers her “real” family and some days she’s not sure what to do. To save herself she’s shut off her emotions. Cooking is her outlet though. So when that is denied her she acts out. This isn’t the first time she’s acted out though and her punishment is community service. This brings us to the actual central character that everyone revolves around in Colleen. Colleen is retired with adult twin children. She’s done a lot of things in her life and now she’s taking on a few more projects. One is getting on a game show. She filled out her application and she’s sure she’s going to get chosen. The other is taking on Grace as a service project with her church group. She will supervise the girls community service. A part of her just tells her this is a calling and she has to do it. As she prepares to work with Grace she decides that Grace can help her cook for the women’s shelter in town and visit a retired disabled veteran that she goes to visit and clean for. Both should be good for the girl. A fun fact that gets introduced later in the book is that Colleen herself was adopted. No where in the book does she share this with Grace though and I wonder if maybe that’ll come in book two. Melody is the daughter of Colleen and her husband. She thought she was content with her status quo life. Not overachieving, just average life. Instead she gets laid off and decides to help her mother with Grace. Instead she gets so much more than she bargained for and learns a whole lot about soap. Hooked yet? You better believe it’s a great book so check this one out!! Also find out why names are so important and why Colleen isn’t so sure about having a granddaughter named Prairie.
A beautiful story about the power of grace, second chances, and finding one’s true worth and purpose in God and His plan for you. The characters were unique, and I really liked the fact that the author addressed the topic of foster homes and foster children. It is a part of our society that is not often talked about in Christian Fiction, but I appreciated her taking us on Grace’s journey and talking about this issue so beautifully in this lovely story. A #greatread —Reccommended!!
Grace & Lavender is a lovely, heartwarming story about the impact of loving and caring relationships on a young teen with a crusty exterior. The narrative moves a little slowly in the beginning as a solid foundation is laid, then picks up speed as three generations of women capture the heart. Colleen is a grandmother, strong in her faith, but with what I think of as a mental restlessness… “For a long time, she had harbored a constant, overwhelming sense that there was something she wanted or needed to do that she hadn’t yet discovered.” I got tickled at her obsession over names in particular – for instance, the naming of her granddaughter “Prairie.” Then there’s Colleen’s daughter, Melody, seemingly a complete opposite of Colleen because of her ability to be content. However, that drive for contentment just might have been an overreaction to her mother’s drive for purpose and meaning. Into this mix comes Grace, a young teen in foster care who has written off all adults as untrustworthy. These three lives are skillfully interwoven by the author into a tale that tugs at the heartstrings. Grace’s journey gradually unfolds like a flower opening up to the sun. I especially loved some of the secondary characters that Colleen involves Grace in helping. Grace & Lavender is a romance, but not the kind you would typically expect. Rather, it is an expression of God’s love and grace, reflected through a caring family relationship. The gospel message of beautifully expressed. I’ve read a few books published by Ambassador International previously, and if you enjoy a story with a genuine Christian theme, this is an excellent publisher. Recommended. I received a copy of this book through JustRead Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
Grace & Lavender is the story of two women and a teenage girl who are all trying to navigate their futures at different points in their lives. Colleen is a retired grandmother who is looking for her next big project. Melody, her daughter, is her opposite, content to live life as it comes. Grace, a young teen living at the local youth home, is distrustful of adults after an abusive childhood. I love the core of this story, how all three women approach change in their lives so differently. Colleen thrives on it, constantly flitting from one big idea to the next. Melody is happy to go with the flow until that’s no longer an option. Grace understandably hates change in her life because very few of them have turned out well for her. As the three women come together to help Grace through mandated community service, their hearts are all opened to God’s plans for them, far beyond what any of them originally plan. The beginning of this book meanders a bit with Colleen’s mental musings. It was a little bit chaotic but it definitely gave you a sense of how her mind works! There were also other parts of the story where unnecessary things were stated. For example, when Colleen received a phone call this is how it was mentioned: “It was a call that would change the weekly routine she had known for some time.” I also felt like some plot points were left unresolved or not delved into deeply enough. I would’ve liked to see more of Melody’s romantic life, and I would’ve also liked to see Grace make peace with her past. One more strong edit would clear up some of these issues in the story and take it from a 3.5-star book to a 5-star book! Overall, this story has such tender moments, such beauty even in the hard parts of life. I really enjoyed seeing how Colleen, Melody, and Grace all get their happy ending. I must admit that some of the twists in the plot kept me surprised, which I loved! I received a copy of this book from JustRead Book Tours and am under no obligation to provide a positive review. All opinions are my own.
“There’s purpose in everything! We may not see it or understand it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there.” Colleen is a retiree with a ton of energy and a drive to use it in a multiplicity of ways. When she listens to the Spirit, God ordained connections are made. As a result, the lives of three women are changed forever. In memoir style and with North Carolina charm, Heather Norman tells a sweet story of love and grace. I found myself longing for more dialogue to reveal the soul of the characters — a perfect opportunity for a sequel!