Never Say Never

Never Say Never

by Lisa Wingate

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A sudden shift in a hurricane's course cancels senior citizen Donetta's cruise at the last minute. Thrown together with a young woman named Kai, Donetta leads a group of evacuees back to Daily, Texas, where the charm of the town--and the high school coach--has Kai rethinking her drifter existence. Donetta, on the other hand, is contemplating moving on from her floundering marriage. As more people seek refuge in the small town, can they transition from merely surviving to truly thriving?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493422531
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/30/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 11,940
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

Lisa Wingate is the New York Times bestselling author of thirty novels. Her work has won many awards, including the Carol Award, the Christy Award, and the RT Booklovers Reviewer's Choice Award. Her latest book, Before We Were Yours, won the 2017 Goodreads Choice Award for Historical Fiction.
Lisa Wingate ( is the New York Times bestselling author of thirty novels. Her work has won or been nominated for many awards, including the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize, the Oklahoma Book Award, the Utah Library Award, the Carol Award, the Christy Award, and the RT Booklovers Reviewer's Choice Award. Her latest book, Before We Were Yours, won the 2017 Goodreads Choice Award for Historical Fiction.

Read an Excerpt

Never Say Never

By Lisa Wingate

Bethany House Publishers

Copyright © 2010 Lisa Wingate
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-7642-0492-0

Chapter One

Donetta Bradford

You'd imagine, livin' high and dry in the middle of Texas, with the jackrabbits and the prickly pears, you wouldn't close your eyes at night and feel the water. In this country, people think of water like the narrow string that runs over the rocks in Caney Creek, or drifts long, and slow, and lazy down the Brazos or the Guadalupe. But when I close my eyes, I feel the kind of water that surrounds you and seeps into your mind and soul, until you breathe in and out with the tides.

Where, in heaven's name, would a person get a dream like that in Daily, Texas, where the caliche-rock ground's so hard the county's got no need to pave roads-they just clear a trail and let folks drive on it. It'll harden up quick enough and stay that way three quarters of the year while the farmers and the ranchers watch the sky and hope for rain. Life here hasn't got much to do with water, except in the waiting for it. But every night when I close my eyes, I feel a tide, rockin' back and forth under my body. I been feeling it for sixty-nine and a half years now, long as I can remember. I never did anything about it, nor told anybody. They'd think I was nutty as a bullbat, and when you're a businesswoman in a smalltown, well, you got to protect your reputation. That goes double if you're the hairdresser, and a redhead. We all know what kind of reputation hairdressers and redheads got.

All that's even more important for someone whose people, historically speaking, ain't from Daily. In a little town, even if you been there all your life, you're not native unless you can trace your roots back generations. There's still folks that'll point out (in a backhanded way mostly, because they're all gonna need a haircut sooner or later) that I'm only a Daily girl by half, on my father's side. On the other side, there's a bit of scandal the biddies still cluck about.

My daddy was what you'd call a prodigal. After leaving behind his fine, upstandin' family and a half-dozen brokenhearted girls of marriageable age in Daily, he wandered the world for so long everyone thought he'd either landed in jail or got hisself killed in a barroom fight. Then one day, he showed up at my grandparents' hotel building on Main Street, as mysterious as he left. He wasn't alone, either. He was driving a 1937 Chevy folks thought he musta got in a bank robbery, and he had a girl in the passenger seat. When she stepped out, my grandma Eldridge fainted right there on the spot. The girl was pregnant, and she was Cajun, and a Catholic. She was thumbin' a rosary ninety-to-nothin'.

It's hard to say which one of them three things Grandma Eldridge fainted over, but it took her two full weeks to get over the shock and humiliation, and welcome my mama into the family. By then, I guess there wasn't much choice. My daddy was married to the girl, and I was on the way. Grandma Eldridge was happy as a boardin' house pup when I come out with the Eldridge bluish-gray eyes and light-colored skin.

When she'd tell me that story, years after my mama'd passed on, I never understood it. My mama, with her hair the deep auburn of fall leaves, and her olive skin, and her eyes so dark you couldn't see the centers, was beautiful, exotic like a movie star. When she talked, the words fell from her mouth with a lilt that made her voice ebb and flow like the currents in the bayou. Mama's people knew the water. They lived on it, and farmed rice alongside it, and felt it in their very souls.

Every summer, Mama gathered me and my little brother, Frank, and carried us on the train to southeast Texas to see her people. I'd come back afterward and tell everyone in Daily that Mama's family lived on a plain old farm, just like folks in Daily. That was as far from true as the east is from the west. Those trips to see the Chiassons were like going to a whole other world.

After my mama passed on, there weren't any more lies to tell. Daddy never sent us back to her people, and I didn't hear from them, and the secrets from that final summer, when I turned fifteen on the bayou-the biggest secrets of all-never got told.

I thought I'd take the secrets to my grave. And maybe I would've if Imagene Doll, my best friend since we started school together at Daily Primary, hadn't got a wild hair to celebrate her seventieth birthday by catching a cruise ship out of the harbor near Perdida, Texas.

It's funny how from seventeen to seventy can be the blink of an eye, all of a sudden. Every time we talked about that cruise, I had a little shiver up my spine. I tried not to think too hard about it, but I had a strange feeling this trip was gonna change everything. That feeling hung on me like a polyester shirt straight out of the clothes dryer, all clingy and itchy.

The day we sat looking at the map, using a highlighter to draw the path we'd take to the coast, static crackled on my skin, popping up gooseflesh. I imagined them east-Texas roads, the piney woods growin' high and thick, towering over the lumber trucks as they crawled with their heavy loads. I followed the line down to the bayou country, where the rice farmers worked their flooded fields and the gators came up on the levies to gather the noonday sun. Where the secret I'd kept all these years lay buried, even yet.

"Are we really gonna do this?" Imagene asked, tracing the road with her finger. A little shimmy ran across her shoulders. Imagene'd never got out in a boat on anything bigger than a farm pond in her life. Even though we'd already booked the trip and paid our money, she was trying to wriggle off like a worm on a hook. Sometimes what looks like a wild hair at first looks harebrained later on.

Across the table, Lucy, who came from Japan originally (so she ain't afraid of water), had her eyebrows up, like two big question marks in her forehead. Her mind was set on taking the cruise. After all these years away from the island country where she was born, she wanted to see the ocean again.

They were both looking at me, waiting to see what I'd say, since right now the vote was one for and one against. I knew they'd probably go for it if I told them, Oh hang, let's just go to Six Flags instead. It'd be lots easier. We can ride the loop-de-loop and say we done somethin' adventuresome before we turned seventy.

I sat there, staring out the window of my beauty shop, where the wavy old glass still read DAILY HOTEL-from back in the day when wool, cotton, and mohair kept the town hoppin'-and it come to my mind that I'd been staring at that same window almost every day of my whole, entire life. How many times over the years had Imagene and me hatched an idea to do something different, then sat there and talked ourselves right back into the same old chairs?

Imagene swished a fly away from her cup. Early September like this, the flies hung thick as molasses under the awnings on Main Street.

"You know, it's maybe not the smartest thing to be headin' down to the coast when there's a hurricane coming in," Imagene pointed out.

Lucy frowned, her eyebrows falling flat. "I hear it on TV the storm is head to Mec-i-co." That was Lucy's way of saying she thought we ought to go ahead with the cruise, but she wasn't gonna be pushy. If Lucy had a disagreeable bone in her body, it hadn't poked through the skin in the forty years she'd been in the beauty shop with me.

Imagene's lips moved like she had something stuck in her teeth and couldn't get it out. She did that when she was nervous. If I let her cogitate long enough, she'd spit out our adventure like a bone in the sausage. She'd decide it was safer for us to stay home, because that's Imagene-careful as the day is long. She was already in a fret about packing all the right things, and asking my brother, Frank, to water her flowers and feed her cat. She was even worried about whether the cat (which was a stray she didn't want to begin with) might get lonely and run off.

Last night, she'd sat down and wrote letters to all of her kids and grandkids. She left them on the kitchen table-just in case we, and the whole cruise boat, got shipwrecked on a desert island and never come back.

"We're goin' on this trip," I told her, and Imagene sunk in her chair a little. She was hoping for Six Flags. "I checked on the intra-net this mornin', and it said the boat was leavin' at four p.m. tomorrow out of Perdida, right on schedule. I even called the toll-free number, and they told me once we get on the boat, it'll sail right around the storm, and there's not a thing to worry about."

"That's just what people say when there is somethin' to worry about." Imagene took a sip of her coffee, her lips working again. "Hurricane Glorietta's somethin' to worry about. She's a whopper. A person hadn't ought to be goin' out on the ocean when there's a storm like that around, Donetta. It's ... silly ... reckless, even."

Reckless. The word felt good in my mind. "We're near seventy years old, Imagene. If we're ever gonna get reckless, we better start now."

"I hadn't got any desire to turn reckless." Imagene tipped her nose up and squinted through her bifocals. She looked a hundred years old when she did that.

"The lady from the cruise line said boats sail around storms all the time. They got to durin' hurricane season."

Imagene's eyes went wide, and I knew right away hurricane season was the wrong thing to say. I got that All-timer's disease, I think, on account of I'm all the time saying things I didn't even know were in my brain yet. I don't lie much because mostly these days, there ain't time for it.

"We ought not to of booked a cruise durin' hurricane season." Imagene's voice was shaky, and she had worry lines big as corn furrows around her mouth. "Someone shoulda thought of that." By someone, she meant me. It was me that finally (after weeks of idle yappin' about how we were gonna do this big thing) got on the intra-net, looked at prices, and found us a cruise.

"They're cheaper right now. We saved almost half." I didn't mention it, but without the savings, Lucy never coulda come up with the money to go in the first place.

"Well, that right there oughta tell you somethin'." Imagene was headed into a nervous rigor now, for sure.

"What oughta?"

"That it's cheaper by half. Of course it's cheap when you might get sucked up in a hurricane and never come back."

"Like Gilligan I-lans," Lucy popped off, and grinned. It was hard to say whether the joke was helpful or not.

"Those ships hit things sometimes." Imagene stared hard at the pecan pie she'd barely touched. "They hit a rock, or a iceberg, and next thing you know, you're in the drink."

I leveled a finger at her. "You turned on Titanic last night, didn't you?" The minute I saw that movie was on, I'd called Imagene's house and told her not to go to channel 136. She musta clicked it right away.

She tipped her chin up, like a kid turning away a spoonful of green peas. "I just saw a minute's worth."

"I watch it all," Lucy chimed in.

"For heaven's sake, you two! There's no icebergs in the Gulf a' Mexico." I stood up and started gathering coffee cups, because if we sat there any longer, our trip would be ruined. "If we don't go like we planned, every last soul in town's gonna know about it, and we'll be the laughingstock. Just think what Betty Prine and her snooty bunch'll say." I pictured the next meeting of the Daily Literary Society. They'd be happy as cows on clover, havin' us for lunch right along with the finger sandwiches. Betty'd been thumbing her nose at me and whispering for weeks about how three ladies our age didn't have any business driving all the way to the coast alone. "Come wild horses or high water, we're going on this cruise. We're getting up in the mornin' and we're headin' for the water, and that's it. I'll be over to your house at seven a.m. to help load the cooler, Imagene, then we go after Lucy and we're off."

"We're off, all right." Imagene looked like her dog'd just died, instead of like a gal headed on vacation. "Frank said he'd take my van tonight and gas it up, then check all the belts and hoses one more time, just to be sure. He thinks we hadn't ought to be driving to the coast by ourselves, though. And especially with a hurricane comin' in."

"Oh, for heaven's sake, Imagene, you and my brother act like we're about to get the roll call up yonder. We're grown women. It's six hours' drive-if that. And Kemp's got me fixed up with a special page on my new little laptop computer. It tells everything about the cruise. I've had the computer going all day long, and nothin's changed with the weather or the boardin' time. I tried to tell Frank that, but you know how he feels about computers."

"Frank's only looking after us." Imagene was defending Frank, of course.

Lately, when Frank and I had the kind of disagreements brothers and sisters have, Imagene took Frank's side. My brother'd been over at Imagene's even more than usual-mowing the lawn, helping her with her garden, stopping by to get a sample when she was baking pies for the Daily Café. Once or twice, I'd looked at the two of them and wondered ... well ... him being a widower, and her a widow, and all ...

I slapped a hand on the table to knock Imagene out of her funk. "Come on, y'all. Take off them long faces. We're gonna have an adventure bigger than our wildest dreams. I can feel it in my bones!"

That night, what I felt in my bones was the water. Ronald was down the hall snoring in his easy chair, the sound rushing in and out like the tide. I closed my eyes and let the waves seep under my bed, lifting the mattress, floating me away to that secret place I'd never told anyone about. Imagene and Lucy didn't know it, but this trip to Perdida was gonna take us within a whisper of the mystery I'd been wondering about since my last summer on the bayou.

Chapter Two

Kai Miller

I've often walked the shore and wondered if all things drift according to a larger plan. For each message in a bottle, each straw hat blown from the hand of a strolling lover, each sailor far from home, all the lost coins from all the ancient ships, is there a designated landing place? I've marveled at the seeming randomness of the treasures pushed up on the tides, corroded by salt, encrusted with barnacles, at home in the ocean, now tossed back to the land.

A street preacher on the pier told me once that God stirs the currents with His fingertip, the winds with His breath, and that even in the vastness of the sea He knows each ship at sail, each tiny creature beneath the water, each shifting patch of sand. Nothing lost, said the preacher, is ever lost to God. A homeless man, begging for change from tourists, took a free sack lunch from the preacher and held it in his blackened hands and agreed that nothing adrift is meant to stay adrift forever.

The homeless man had eyes as dark as coal, as deep as the waves on moonless nights. I gave him a dollar that had been washed and dried in my pocket. He smiled as he unfolded it and straightened the crisp paper.

His hands reminded me of Grandmother Miller's hands, but I knew Grandmother Miller would have said I was a fool for giving the man anything. She would have talked about shiftlessness, the results of it, and the fact that those who find themselves destitute have caused their own misery. Teach a man to fish, she'd say, and then, if my father were in the room, she'd give him a narrow-eyed look. My father would put up with what he called the sermon for whatever amount of time was necessary. He'd play Grandmother Miller's game-pretend he wanted to get a real job and keep it, promise to start going to church again, agree that a family needed stability. He'd vow that if Grandmother Miller would just help us out one more time, he'd give up his dream of making it in the music business. He'd promise to become normal, conventional, faithful, devoted. To comply with her wishes. Then, once we had what we needed-usually money-we'd leave. We wouldn't come back to Grandmother Miller's big house in McGregor, Texas, for another year, or two, or five, depending on how soon we were destitute again.

Maybe I gave the dollar to the homeless man because I knew that Grandmother Miller-wherever she was by now-wouldn't like it, and even at twenty-seven years old, I was still trying to prove she wasn't right about everything. She wasn't right about me. I was nothing like my mother or my father, and I never would be. Or maybe handing over the dollar seemed like a good thing to do, because, when a storm the size of Texas is just over the horizon, it's probably smart to get some good karma going. Even though weather forecasters had predicted she'd stay south and make landfall somewhere below Brownsville, I could feel Glorietta swirling across the Gulf of Mexico, closing in. The sky was as blue as a baby's eye today, but Glorietta was coming. Three nights in a row, I'd dreamed she hooked north and headed our way.


Excerpted from Never Say Never by Lisa Wingate Copyright © 2010 by Lisa Wingate. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Never Say Never 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
love2readnovels on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kai Miller didn't have a stable upbringing or a place she could truly call home. As she heads for her job on a cruise ship she finds that a hurricane that was suppose to veer off is heading straight for them. Knowing that leaving town would be best, she grabs some belongings, her friends 2 dogs and heads out in her VW van. In the big traffic mess associated with evacuation Kai comes across three ladies who are heading for the cruise ship. The ladies have run out of gas and Kai offers to give them a ride. Eventually Kai's van runs out of gas and a bus load from the Holy Ghost Church picks them up to help and they seek shelter at the church.Kai ends up in Daily Texas where she meets the nephew of one of the three ladies, Kemp Eldridge. He plays professional baseball but has injured his shoulder and returned to Daily for recovery and to help out some kids. Nothing has really captured the attention of Kemp except baseball until he meets Kai. Kemp's reputation says he won't be hanging around and Kai desperately wants some place to call home. Daily feels like that kind of place. Will it work out for Kai and Kemp? What about Jen, Jenny, Jennifer?This was a very fun story. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters. It was filled with so much good-ole-fashioned southern humor, which is a blast to read. I found myself laughing out loud in several places. The three ladies were a hoot and I so enjoyed the interaction between them. There was definitely chemistry between Kai and Kemp. You could feel the pull between them as they struggled with what to do with their feelings. This is a light and easy read with no major issues to deal with and the ending is well worth reading the book. This is the third book in the Daily Texas Series but I didn't feel lost by not having read the first two stories. Thank you Bethany House for the complimentary review copy.
khiemstra631 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Here we are back in Daily, Texas, home of a crazy cast of characters. This time out Donetta Bradford and two of her friends head off to Perdita, TX to catch a boat for a cruise. Unfortunately, Hurricane Glorietta comes between them and the ship, and the cruise is off. Caught in the mess of the evacuation, they are stranded along the road and rescued by Perdita resident Kai Miller. The whole bunch is in turn rescued by members of a black church from Perdita. They all end up back in Daily where all sorts of adventures ensue. I listened to the audio book version of this title, and it's a great listen. I have enjoyed all of Wingate's audio books.
judyg54 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kai Miller has never put down any roots. She becomes trapped trying to escape a hurricane headed her way. While heading out on the highway away from the hurricane she meets up with 3 ladies from Daily, Texas; Donetta, Imagene and Lucy. These three older ladies were on their way to a cruise ship when they realize they are headed into the hurricane. Kai and the ladies team up to get away from the weather and wind up with a bus load of church folks trapped also. After the hurricane passes over them everyone heads to Daily, Texas until roads are cleared and homes are restored. There in Daily you find Kemp, who instantly takes a liking to Kai. But can Kai finds roots in Daily and can Kemp give up his dream of baseball.I enjoyed this story. I especially enjoyed the 3 ladies and their interaction and humor. I could picture each one in my mind as I was reading. The town of Daily seemed like a town that would have been great to grow up in. I really liked the way Kai and Kemp hit it off right away and the way they "fell" for each other. This was not an action packed adventure (although living through the hurricane at the beginning was pretty good), or a mystery to solve or even a great love story, but it was a down home feel type book with characters you learned to love. And I liked the way the author finished the book!A special thanks to Bethany House for giving me the book to read and review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I truly enjoyed this book along with the others in the series. This is a wonderful christian romance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading the other two Daily, Texas, books, I found this too a very delightful Lisa Wingate book. She makes you giggle at her Texas explanations and language. A light reading and very well put together.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not many books will make you laugh out loud and also contemplate your life in a deeper way. Don't let the cover fool you. This is a quality read and more!
clkwa More than 1 year ago
The characters are interesting and a little quirky which is good in a light reading novel! More importantly the values & morals of the main characters are uplifting. I will definately read more of Lisa Wingates Novels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun to revisit the Daily, Texas folks! The book starts out with details (a LOT of them) of an evacuation from a hurricane. Not sure why all of that was necessary ... that part got old quickly and I eventually skimmed until the characters were back in Daily. Lisa Wingate tells another great story though I do agree with another reviewer that there were several things left unresolved about Kemp and kai that really should have been answered even if the series continues.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KCPryzr More than 1 year ago
I opened this book to the first page, read the first sentence, and said to myself, "Oh no, it's a first person book". I've said this before, but I really don't like books written in first person because most of the time the way the character is acting or reacting is against my personality or character and I just get so frustrated. I end up wanting to beat the main character in the book. However, this is a book given to me to review so I push through to Chapter 2 and... "Oh rats, there's two main characters." That's it, I basically told myself to give up because not only was the book written in first person, but there were two main characters who were so totally opposite of me that I knew I was going to hate this book. I love surprises! Ok, no, I don't really, but that's an entirely different subject. This book actually surprised me. I found myself slowly, but surely getting drawn in to the characters. There were a couple of slow parts where I really found myself wondering did I need this much detail, but it turned out in the end, I did. The story follows two characters, an older southern belle from Daily, TX, Donnetta, on her way to take a cruise with her two friends, and Kai, a drifter who has never put down roots in one place too long, a trait she got from her daddy. There are twists and turns as these ladies attempt to outrun a hurricane, meet up with some good ol' Cajuns from the Texas bayou (which I didn't even know there were any bayous in Texas), and then try to rebuild after the storm. I also liked the way the author through in a free lesson about telling those you love how much they mean to you on a daily basis. That was unexpected, but we can all use that reminder. All-in-all, I would be happy to recommend this book to any of my friends and welcome the opportunity to read more books by Lisa Wingate. This book was provided to me for review by Bethany House.
bp0602 More than 1 year ago
I received a free copy of Never Say Never by Lisa Wingate from Bethany House Publishers for my review. Donetta Bradford of Daily, Texas, along with her two closest girlfriends, are heading off for an adventure on a cruise ship. However, they are stopped while on their way by Hurricane Glorietta. Kai Miller of Perdida works on a cruise ship. Due to the hurricane she ends up stranded with Donetta and her friends. Never Say Never is the story of both Donetta and Kai....they learn about themselves during their ordeal. Donetta has gone through life just "settling" while Kai does not allow herself to put down roots or get close to anyway. I enjoyed this story. I liked how it went back and forth in the chapters as Donetta and then Kai's point of view. When I finished I wondered if there will be a continuation so we can find out more about these characters. Another thing I liked was that since I'm a Texas girl, the names of the cities mentioned were familiar to me. I look forward to reading more books by this author.
MandyReads More than 1 year ago
This is a great refreshing Christian fiction read. I am a reader of many authors including Christian fiction and I found this to be funny and endearing and also deep and meaningful. A great combination along with a little romantic tension. You can't beat it!
lipto96 More than 1 year ago
Old Texan women. A hurricane named Glorietta. An artsy young blond. A handsome baseball player. Oh, and a church bus full of Creole people from the Holy Spirit church. This book has all that and more! Kai Miller is a young woman who drifts from place to place. She's never really put down roots and really doesn't plan to. Donetta Bradford is an older lady who dreams of being adventurous and wants to see the tide. Donetta talks her two closest friends into joining her on a cruise...right in the heart of hurricane season. In doing so, Donetta gets the adventure of a lifetime. Kai is trying to evacuate and her path crosses right with these women, and learns that maybe putting down roots isn't so bad after all -- especially with a handsome baseball player named Kemp. I want to start off by telling you that I really did like this book. However, let me get some of the criticisms out of the way. First of all, the author writes the book with enough detail that you feel like you are right there in the same town with everybody, experiencing everything they are. The writing style is easy to follow, until it was written just like they would be saying it. I don't have a Texas drawl and I probably have never spoken to a Creole person (sorry -- I am a northern midwesterner...if there is such a thing. Canadian accents I can get. Creole threw me for a loop.) When she was writing a conversation just like a Creole person would be speaking it, I would have to read it a few times to get the words. Not necessarily a bad thing, but when you're really into a book, it can get frustrating to try and figure out what it's saying. The other thing I was disappointed with was that there was no resolution. I have no idea what happened to Betty Prine, Kai, Kemp, Immagene, seemed like there were too many loose ends. Nowhere on the book did it say it was part of a series. If it were, I would be okay with the loose ends. But it seems like it spent too much time setting up the plot and not enough resolving it. However, in the back of the book there are ads for more books from Daily, Texas (where this book takes place). So perhaps that's where the resolutions lie? I hope so. Now, on to the good things about the book. I really did like it. I couldn't put it down. As I said before, I felt like I was right there in the town of Daily, Texas. When the hurricane blew through, I was ducking glass with the rest of them. That is the sign of a great author -- to make you become a part of the book. You will laugh right along with the characters and your heart will break right there with them too. This book was kind of light on the "Christian" theme. It wasn't in your face. There was a whole lot of praying. A whole lot of singing. A lot of helping one another. But not a lot of deep Christian thoughts. For me, that was okay. I like lighter reading at times and it helps when you can't put down the book. However, the book really will get you thinking about your past -- what sort of things are you carrying with you? The ending for Donetta was a bit fairytale like...stuff you only see in the movies or read about in the books. However, it's my opinion that books need a fairytale ending once in awhile. I really do look forward to reading the other two books from Daily, Texas. They are Talk of the Town and Word Gets Around.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I truly adored this book. It's a great, down-home sort of story that will make you laugh one minute and have you grabbing a tissue the next. Lisa Wingate is a truly skilled storyteller who creates deeply real characters and puts them in interesting, unpredictable situations. The story kept me guessing and kept me reading. This is a different kind of inspirational fiction. I didn't find it preachy or unrealistic, but more of a story of very realistic spiritual growth and transformation. Very well done, and the characters stay with you.
Luv-to-readLA More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book on a whim while shopping, because some reading friends had told me about it. I have to say, this book did not disappoint. The story follows a young woman and a group of three retired ladies who come together by accident while trapped in a disorganized hurricane evacuation. Lisa Wingate's characters are so real, you can picture them and hear their voices when they talk. I appreciated their struggles, their tests of faith, and the strength of the friendships. There was also a positive message about people helping others in the throes of disaster. This was such a readable book, yet at times the prose had me pulling out a highlighter. At times, the book had me laughing, and at times it really touched my heart. Certainly, I stayed up some long nights, wondering what would be happening next. Lisa Wingate is a fantastic storyteller. This book is going on my keeper shelf, and I will be looking for the rest, so as to spend more time in the wonderful little town of Daily, Texas!
FSUali13 More than 1 year ago
When it comes to Christian fiction I am usually pretty wary of what I might find between the covers. Mainly because most Christian fiction books are romance novels set in another time period 200 years, or earlier, in the past. So, what made me pick this book for review? Why did I give Christian fiction another chance? 1. Never Say Never by Lisa Wingate is set in modern day. 2. While there is some romance to the plot, it is not the all consuming topic. 3. I like try things again because, you "can't judge a book by it's cover!" har har ;) I read it, and I liked it, but I didn't LOVE it. I think the reason I didn't love it is based on the expectation I had of the plot. {Possible SPOILER ALERT!} Let me back up a bit and start with what I did like about this book... -Lisa Wingate is actually a good writer! -I also liked how she dealt with some real issues in the content. The main character, Kai, came from a not so great home life, and Wingate clearly showed the affect it had on Kai's life and her inability/unwillingness to truly connect with people. -There was romance, but she wrote in such a way that did not stir emotions or fantasies or unrealistic ideals. Unfortunately, most Christian romance novels I have read are almost as bad as the secular romance novels. You know what I mean...a harlequin romance just minus the explicit scenes. -The story had a good moral about taking care of those in need. Alright, now on to the items where I felt a bit let down... -While the characters in the book clearly went to church, and were religious, I didn't get anything about their relationship with Jesus. -Kai questions her beliefs through the memories of her little brother, but at the end of the book there was not a resolution about where she stood about her faith. -I would have liked more of the story to focus on her love interest, Kemp. So, on the scale of Bad, Eh, Good, and Excellent...I give it a "Good". This book was provided for free by Bethany House Publishing for review and it can be purchased at any online book retailer. :)
Sneezybee23 More than 1 year ago
Kai Miller has traveled all her life. Now at 27, she is displaced once again - this time by hurricane. When Hurricane Glorietta makes a turn towards Kai's home in Perdida, Kai joins the wave of residents fleeing the hurricane's path. Along the way Kai finds herself thrown together with Donetta Bradford of Daily, Texas, and two of her friends. The four of them find a relationship forged from desperation and hope. Kai accompanies Donetta to the haven of Daily, Texas, and finds herself thrown together with Kemp Eldridge. As an attraction grows between Kai and Kemp, so does Kai's doubts. Will she find the faith to stay and finally call a place home? I was excited when I received this book from Bethany House Publishers. I had seen it advertised and the plot sounding interesting. I was not disappointed throughout the story until the very end. The author's tone was perfect as she gave Kai and Donetta their own personal voices to narrate the events, the story was written with humor (especially during the parts when Donetta was narrating), the plot moved at a good pace and was filled with things to keep you interested in the story. My biggest complaint with this book was that the ending was unsatisfactory. An additional chapter or epilogue would have cleared things up nicely. The reasons that Kai left Kemp were all valid and never resolved; the issues that Kai dealt with in the past were somewhat resolved, but not fully; and Kai failed to ever make a decision about God. Never Say Never is an enjoyable read, but the imperfect ending strongly affects the whole perception of the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
tiffanibelle More than 1 year ago
"Never Say Never" by Lisa Wingate is hands down the BEST of the books I've read in the last month or so. The characters were so engaging and charming, the story so touching and entertaining, and the setting so enjoyable that I read it in 24 hours. The story centers around two women, Kai, a young gal who works on a cruise ship and makes jewelry from found objects and Donetta, and older lady, who with her two best friends is headed to Perdida, Texas to enjoy a cruise. But before they can make it to Perdida, a hurricane moves in and causes an evacuation of Kai and the rest of the gulf coast. Donetta, her friends, Lucy and Imogene, and Kai end up traveling together after series of the kinds of crises that happen during a hurricane evacuation. Through their travels together on the road, and Kai's eventual landing in Daily, Texas (Donetta's hometown) - all involved learn about themselves and others. Kai and Donetta alternate narrating the chapters, and so you hear both of their perspectives, often on different events that are happening - and it makes the story really entertaining. As you learn about Kai's family history, you understand more about her reticence to find a home in Daily - even with the handsome Kemp Eldridge (Donetta's nephew, and the high school Baseball Coach) on her tail. And as you learn about Donetta's relationship with her husband (who is missing when she returns to Daily), you really get a sense of how miscommunications can happen within marriages. As I read the story, I chuckled out loud a lot; I also got teary-eyed a number of times. Lisa Wingate is a great storyteller - and it didn't hurt that Daily is located near Waco/Killeen, so the way the characters talk (they say things like "might could" and eat Chicken Spaghetti) was super familiar and accurate and the areas that she was talking about reminded me so much of my years in Texas. If you enjoy fiction novels, and especially if you like romance stories - you will really love this one. For real people, buy this book. Five Small Town Baseball Fields out of Five.
JDyan More than 1 year ago
I was really excited about reading Never Say Never when I found out the setting was in Texas, being that I was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. When I started reading, however, I found the first two chapters rather dull and hard to get through. After I passed them I found the novel picking up speed and I caught myself unable to pull my eyes from the pages. One thing I wasn't excited about was the hurricane scenario as I kept thinking to myself, "I've seen it all on TV already, what more could anyone add too such a mess?" This book brought the realization to my eyes the bonds formed with people during such hard times, not shown in such detail on TV. I can definitely see Never Say Never as a cute rom-com film and I recommend it, with high marks, to all the people who enjoy a good ole hometown story that makes ya feel good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
khager23 More than 1 year ago
According to the back of the book: "Kai Miller floats through life like driftwood tossed by waves. She's never put down roots in any one place--and she doesn't plan to. But when a chaotic hurricane evacuation lands her in Daily, Texas, she begins to think twice about her wayfaring existence. And when she meets hometown-boy Kemp Eldridge, she can almost picture settling down in Daily--until she discovers he may be promised to someone else. Daily has always been a place of refuge for those the wind blows in, but for Kai, it looks like it will be just another place to leave behind. Then again, Daily always has a few surprises in store--especially when Aunt Donetta has cooked up a scheme." (Quoted so as not to spoil anything.) Donetta and Kai narrate alternating chapters and Donetta talks in dialect which was a little annoying, especially at first. But they're both incredibly likable characters (and I'm guessing Donetta appears in the other Daily, Texas books so that's good). Recommended for people who like fluffy love stories and/or Christian fiction.
hloeffler More than 1 year ago
This is a great, light read that encompasses values, romance and a little danger, Mother Nature style. The book follows two story lines - that of Donetta Bradford and Kai Miller... it's interesting to see the story unfold from both perspectives as they both struggle to balance the past with the present and enrich their lives by embracing love. It has a good moral message and a sweet story line. It reminds us that there is still good happening in this world, even when the world seems to be turning upside down. The story builds from Kai helping Donetta and her friends outrun a hurricane reminiscent of Rita and others... and ends up with both women finding what they need in life. If you like Christian fiction, small town stories and good writing. I recommend adding this one to your summer reading list - it will make a good, thoughtful beach read - if you can wait that long to read it! I also recommend checking out the first two books from the Daily Texas series. I was given this book at no cost for review by Bethany Publishers, however that did not influence my review in any way.
sdslangford More than 1 year ago
"Home isn't a place, a structure you create from wood or bricks or mortar, building the walls high and strong, to keep out the storms of life. Home is in the things you carry with you, the treasures of the heart..... It is a dwelling place you share with the people who matter most, a refuge in which you are never alone. The Builder is always nearby, tearing down old walls and adding new rooms, repairing the damage of wind and weather, filling empty spaces with new gifts." What a great ending to a fun book! In Never Say Never, Lisa Wingate tells the story of Kai Miller and her attempt to put down roots after living a childhood moving from place to place. Kai ends up in the small town of Daily, Texas after escaping from a hurricane near her home and discovers the never before experienced welcome of a small town. She met and saved Donetta Bradford during a risky evacuation during the storm and an unlikely friendship begins to develop. Donetta, having had a similar childhood, is able to aid Kai in ways she could not have imagined. The story is told from the perspective of both Kai and Donetta which makes small town Texas come alive. If you are looking for a lighthearted, entertaining book, then Never Say Never is a great choice! *Thank you to Bethany House for providing the book free of charge for review. All opinions expressed are my own.